Chad C. Serena, Senior Research Fellow, The Soufan Center

Senior Research Fellow

Chad C. Serena


Dr. Chad C. Serena is a Senior Research Fellow at The Soufan Center. His research focuses on military and Violent Non-State Actor (VNSA) operations and adaptation, the influence of technological innovation on conflict, and the role of military force in geopolitics.

Dr. Serena began his career as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army. He was formally trained in all-source intelligence, signals intelligence, electronic warfare, and various aspects of strategic and tactical information operations. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Serena accepted an appointment as a political scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he worked for nearly a decade. At RAND, Dr. Serena led and/or supported research for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and several private donors and foundations. His research—routinely briefed to senior defense and military leadership—focused on terrorism and insurgency, cyberwarfare, intelligence, military readiness, mission command/command and control and staff organization, and information operations, among other subjects. Prior to and while at RAND, he taught courses at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University focusing on military transformation and effectiveness, threats to U.S. security policy, and the challenges of integrating cyber and conventional warfare.

Dr. Serena is the author of numerous commentaries, articles, monographs, and books on a diverse range of defense and security matters including but not limited to military and VNSA adaptation, countering VNSA networks (terrorist, criminal, drug-trafficking, insurgent), cyberwarfare and cyber policy, military intelligence, technology and future warfare, defense readiness, and manifold aspects of conventional and unconventional warfare. His work has appeared variously in Global Crime, Parameters, Small Wars Journal, Defense One, The National Interest, Reuters, Defense News, The Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, he authored or co-authored over 50 reports and monographs while at the RAND Corporation and has published two books, one in 2014 for Stanford University Press, It Takes More than a Network: The Iraqi Insurgency and Organizational Adaptation, and another in 2011 for Georgetown University Press, A Revolution in Military Adaptation: The U.S. Army in the Iraq War.

Dr. Serena holds a BA in Political Science (American Government and Politics) with a minor in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, a MPIA (Foreign and Defense Policy, East Asian Security) from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a Ph.D. (International Security Policy and International Development), also from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.



The Iraqi Insurgency and Organizational Adaptation


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The US Army in the Iraq War


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