Dr. Owens is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) in Philadelphia, and editor of Orbis, FPRI's quarterly journal. He recently retired as Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. At the War College he specialized in the planning of US strategy and forces, especially naval and power projection forces; the political economy of national security; national security organization; strategic geography; and American civil-military relations. In addition to the NWC core course, he has taught electives on The American Founding, Strategy and Policy of the American Civil War, The Statesmanship of Abraham Lincoln, Sea Power and Maritime Strategy, Strategy and Geography, and US Civil-Military Relations. From 1990 to 1997, Dr. Owens was Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly defense journal Strategic Review and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Boston University.
Dr. Owens is the author of the FPRI monograph Abraham Lincoln: Leadership and Democratic Statesmanship in Wartime (2009) and US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain (Continuum Press, January 2011) and coauthor of US Foreign and Defense Policy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower (Georgetown University Press, spring 2015). He is also completing another book for the University Press of Kentucky tentatively titled Sword of Republican Empire: A History of US Civil-Military Relations. He is co-editor of the textbook, Strategy and Force Planning, now in its fourth edition, for which he also wrote several chapters, including "The Political Economy of National Security," "Thinking About Strategy," and "The Logic of Strategy and Force Planning."
Dr. Owens is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal. In addition, his articles on national security issues have appeared in International Security, Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, The Public Interest, The Weekly Standard, The St. Louis Lawyer. Defence Analysis, US Naval Institute Proceedings, Marine Corps Gazette, Comparative Strategy, National Review, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor; The Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, The Washington Times, and The New York Post.
Before joining the faculty of the War College, Dr. Owens served as National Security Adviser to Senator Bob Kasten, Republican of Wisconsin, and Director of Legislative Affairs for the Nuclear Weapons Programs of the Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration. Dr. Owens is also a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, where as an infantry platoon and company commander in 1968-1969, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star medal. He retired as a Colonel in 1994.
Dr. Owens earned his Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Dallas, a Master of Arts in Economics from Oklahoma University, and his BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has taught at the University of Rhode Island, the University of Dallas, Catholic University, Ashland University of Ohio, and the Marine Corps' School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW). He was also a visiting lecturer at Amherst College during the fall of 2011. He has been a program officer for the Smith Richardson Foundation, Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses and a consultant to the Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plans Division, Headquarters Marine Corps; and J-5 Strategy, the Joint Staff. He is the recipient of the 2012 Andrew Goodpaster Prize for excellence in military scholarship for his book US Civil-Military Relations after 9/11 and was the 2013 Ira Eaker Distinguished Lecturer at the Air Force Academy.