Dr. Thomas Preston is a C. O. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Washington State University. He also currently serves as Director of the M.A. in Global Justice and Security Studies (GJSS) program, and as a member of the board of directors for the Institute for the Study of Intercommunal Conflict at WSU. He received his M.A. at the University of Essex (United Kingdom) and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH). He is a Faculty Research Associate at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, New York and at CRISMART (The National Center for Crisis Management, Research and Training), part of the Swedish National Defense College, Stockholm, Sweden. A specialist in security policy, foreign affairs, and political psychology, Professor Preston joined Washington State University and the Department of Political Science in 1994. He teaches undergraduate courses on international relations, American foreign policy, U.S. national security policy, and political analysis. At the graduate level, he offers seminars on international security and the psychology of leadership and decision-making. In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious William F. Mullen Excellence in Teaching Award by the WSU College of Liberal Arts, was named a WSU faculty Innovator by the university in 2007, and has received two Fulbright Senior Scholar Awards from the U.S. State Department to New Zealand in 2010 and to Romania in 2020. He is the author of three books: The President and His Inner Circle: Leadership Style and the Advisory Process in Foreign Affairs (Columbia University Press, 2001), ‘From Lambs to Lions’: Future Security Relationships in a World of Biological and Nuclear Weapons (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007/2009), Pandora’s Trap: Presidential Decision Making and Blame Avoidance in Vietnam and Iraq (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011), and is the co-author of the popular Introduction to Political Psychology (Erlbaum, 2004/Taylor and Francis 2010/2016), which will soon be releasing a Fourth Edition. He has written numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters on leadership, international security, the use of active-learning simulations in the classroom, and foreign policy analysis. His current research involves a number of projects looking at leadership and advisory group dynamics during crisis, nuclear/biological weapons proliferation, a book project on how to bridge the gap between academia and the practitioner community, and an exploration of the psychology of bioterrorism. He frequently serves as an independent consultant for various U.S. governmental departments and agencies.
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