Dr. Jasen Castillo joined the Bush School in 2007 as an assistant professor in the National Security Program. Immediately prior to his appointment, he worked in the office of the Undersecretary for Policy in the Department of Defense. He had previously worked at the RAND Corporation, one of the leading research organizations in the nation, and was an adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University as well as a consultant for the Institute for Defense Analysis.
Dr. Castillo, now an associate professor, quickly became known among the students as a teacher with good wit, challenging classes, and one who occasionally referenced J.R.R. Tolkien to illustrate a point. He encourages classroom participation, preferring the Socratic method of teaching as opposed to the more traditional lecture format, and sees teaching as a logical extension of his research on U.S. foreign and defense policy. Having worked in the defense ‘business’ he realized that those making policy knew little about the theories of military strategy and foreign policy, and that by focusing on research and sharing the knowledge gained, he would be in a position to educate potential policymakers.
Growing up in the era of the Cold War near Air Force bases, Dr. Castillo worried about national security policy. A champion debater in high school, he attended Northwestern University to pursue a B.A. in political science. His introduction to national security studies in college, combined with his personal memories of the Cold War, led him to focus on military strategy and U.S. foreign military policy in graduate school. He attended the University of Chicago for his Ph. D., where one of his advisors was John Mearsheimer, a noted expert in security issues and international politics.
The combination of a clever wit and intelligence enable Dr. Castillo to challenge his students while also making them laugh. His research takes a critical look at some of today’s very relevant and important questions on military strategy, thus bringing a unique and important perspective to the Bush School.