N. W. Collins

Columbia University

N. W. Collins is dedicated to U.S. national security, defense leadership, and military technology.

She serves as the chair of Defense and Security Studies at Columbia University. Since joining the university in 2004, she has taught security studies and contemporary history, advised graduate capstones, and directed a research institute in regional studies.

Collins is committed to public service, undertaking her first assignment in 1992. She serves as a senior advisor in the U.S. Department of Defense, focusing on national mission priorities and leadership assessments. She has overseen programs, activities, and special projects with the Intelligence Community, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Special Operations Forces.

She is the author of Grey Wars (Yale University Press), an analysis of America's shifting forms of warfare. Her essays and commentaries appear in a range of publications, including Forbes, The New York Times, TIME, U.S. News & World Report, and The Wall Street Journal. Her upcoming book, America's Edge, focuses on how the nation builds strategic technology, and her forthcoming series, The Future Fight, analyzes America's accelerating investments in national security.

Collins is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Commission on Military History. She has served as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, at Georgetown University, and at West Point. She is a recipient of the Dirksen Congressional Center Award and the NCAFP 21st Century Leader Award. She attended the Loomis Chaffee School and later served on its board of trustees for a decade. She received a BA from Georgetown University and an MA and a PhD from the University of London, where she was named the Thornley Fellow.

Since her first circuit competition in 1989, Collins has pursued speed on the water, on tracks, and in the air. She has raced in all fifty U.S. states and more than seventy countries.

Over the past three decades, Collins has received fellowships and grants from, among others, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Yale University.

Featured Work

"Tribute in Light" commemorative art installation, September 11, 2020. CREDIT: <a href="https://flickr.com/photos/wasabi_bob/50342448667/">Wasabi Bob</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(CC)</a>.

SEP 9, 2021 Podcast

Twenty Years Since 9/11: Grey Wars, American Values, & the Future of National Security

In the 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, national security decisions have tested the values of American democracy. This panel, hosted by Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal, ...