Nicholas Kenney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
College of Social Sciences


  • Rated as one of the top five teachers in College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University
  • Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist (scored in top 2% of class) for the prestigious Federal Talent Development Program
  • Summer clerk at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA)
  • Associate of Cosgrove, Eisenberg & Kiley, P.C., Boston, MA and Foley Hoag LLP, Boston, MA
  • Published the Bulletin of Regional Cooperation in the Middle East, a quarterly newsletter published by Search for Common Ground (August 2006)
  • Author of “The United States and North Korea Compete for China’s Support”; Power and Interest News Report, PINR, (June 2006)

Nicholas Kenney has spent a decade studying the complex national security issues of the twenty-first century. His research centers on grand strategy and the rise of terrorist organizations, insurgencies, and cyberpower. His dissertation was on the British Empire and the nationalist movements in Ireland and India. He has also worked in Jerusalem and for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. Professor Kenney earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Tufts University, a J.D. from Boston College, and a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross.

Kenney’s teaching style is Socratic. His students learn actively by engaging in a process of question and argument. For him, one special reward of teaching is seeing students develop the skill of posing a well-framed question at the right moment and the analytical versatility to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different answers. Professor Kenney teaches the first-year Complex Systems Cornerstone.