The faculty members and speakers for this program are pulled from universities across the University of North Carolina system, Duke University, the private sector, and the U.S. Military and Government. 


The two core National Security instructors, Professor David Schanzer and Professor Tim Nichols, are esteemed professors in the academic realm of National Security.  Schanzer and Nichols have been a part of the UNC-IDB SSFP since its inception in 2012 and they build the core national security curriculum.  Their national security sessions are heavily discussion-based and interactive with theoretical application exercises. 

The Lead Team Project Advisor, Dr. Hugh O'Neill, administers and oversees the Fellows' course-long team projects.  O’Neill provides the strategic tools and lessons the Fellows use to shape their approach to their team projects.

Outside of the core faculty, the IDB utilizes its vast academic network and partnerships to identify the appropriate faculty members to complement the SSFP course themes.  The faculty draw upon their academic and professional career experiences during their sessions.  The exposure and insight presented to the Fellows from academic and professional leaders that have written the National Security Strategy to chairing innovation projects in Silicon Valley to serving as a U.S. Ambassador in the Middle East on how to think strategically and operate in a senior-level environment all within a four-week program is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Core Faculty

David Schanzer headshot

David H. Schanzer
Associate Professor of the Practice for Public Policy at Duke University and Director, Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security
Professor Schanzer’s research and areas of expertise focus on terrorism, national security policy and law, homeland security, and emergency preparedness and response. Along with Professor Tim Nichols, Professor Schanzer was instrumental in designing the SSFP curriculum.

Timothy Nichols headshot Timothy W. Nichols
Adjunct Professor, Duke University 
Professor Nichols served as an intelligence officer in the Marine Corps for over 21 years with extensive experience in the special operations and counterterrorism fields. His research Interests include homeland security, counterterrorism, national security, and military campaign design.
Hugh O'Neill headshot

Hugh O'Neill
Edward M. O'Herron, Jr. Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Dr. O'Neill teaches at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.  His research interests include turnaround strategies, corporate governance, mergers, entrepreneurship in emerging and recovering economies and managerial decision making.  Dr. O'Neill has served as the SSFP Lead Team Project Advisor since 2013.


Institute for Defense & Business
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