P. W. Singer

P. W. Singer

Bio

Peter Warren Singer is Senior Fellow and Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution. He is the youngest scholar named Senior Fellow in Brookings’s 90-year history. In 2005, CNN named him to their “New Guard” List of the Next Generation of Newsmakers. In his personal capacity, Singer served as coordinator of the Obama-08 campaign’s defense policy task force.

Dr. Singer is considered one of the world’s leading experts on changes in 21st century warfare. He has written for the full range of major media and journals, including the Boston Globe, L.A. Times, New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Current History, Survival, International Security, Parameters, Weltpolitik, and the World Policy Journal. He has been quoted in major U.S. newspaper and news magazine and delivered talks at venues ranging from the U.S. Congress to over 40 universities around the world. He has provided commentary on military affairs for major TV and radio outlets, including ABC-Nightline, Al Jazeera, BBC, CBS-60 Minutes, CNN, FOX, NPR, and the NBC Today Show. He is also a founder and organizer of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a global conference that brings together leaders from across the US and the Muslim world (www.us-islamicworldforum.org).

His first book Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2003) pioneered the study of the new industry of private companies providing military services for hire, an issue that soon became important with the use and abuse of these companies in Iraq. The book was named best book of the year by the American Political Science Association, among the top five international affairs books of the year by the Gelber Prize, and a “top ten summer read” by Businessweek. Singer continues to serve as a resource on the private military issue to the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Defense, CIA, and the European Union and he helped bring to light the role of private contractors in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the Halliburton contract controversies in Iraq. Singer’s work was featured in the History Channel documentary “Soldiers for Hire” and he served as a consultant on the topic for the TV drama The West Wing.

Dr. Singer’s next book, Children at War (Pantheon, 2005), explored the rise of another new force in modern warfare, child soldier groups. Dr. Singer’s “fascinating” (New York Post) and “landmark” (Newsweek) work was the first book to comprehensively explore the compelling and tragic rise of child soldier groups and was recognized by the 2006 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book of the Year Award. His commentary on the issue was featured in a variety of venues ranging from NPR and Fox News to Defense News and People magazine. Dr. Singer has served as a consultant on the issue to the U.S. Marine Corps and Congress, and the recommendations in his book resulted in changes in the UN peacekeeping training program. An accompanying A&E/History Channel documentary, “Child Warriors,” won a 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award for excellence in the production of film, television, video and new media. Singer also helped advise the Don Cheadle movie Traitor, as well as the upcoming 24 movie/DVD.

Dr. Singer’s upcoming book, Wired for War (Penguin, 2009), will look at the implications of robotics and other new technologies for war, politics, ethics,and law in the 21st century. The work has already been featured in the video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot, as well as in presentations to audiences as diverse as the Air Force Institute of Technology to the National Student Leadership Conference.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Singer was the founding Director of the Project on U.S. Policy Towards the Islamic World in the Saban Center at Brookings. He has also worked for the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, the Balkans Task Force in the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Peace Academy. Singer received his Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

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