Stephen Duncan, Adjunct Faculty

Stephen M. Duncan, J.D., served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs in the administrations of two presidents. He also served as Department of Defense Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy and Support from 1989 to 1993.  Mr. Duncan is a veteran of the U.S. Navy from which he is retired with 41 years of Active and Reserve service. In his legal life, he has been an Assistant United States Attorney for the Federal District of Colorado and has worked in private practice. From 2002-2004, Mr. Duncan served as a Distinguished Fellow at the National Defense University (NDU), Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. In 2004, he was appointed Director of the Institute for Homeland Security Studies at NDU. Between 2007 and 2010 he was Vice Chairman of General Atomics Technologies Corporation.

Mr. Duncan is graduated from the United States Naval Academy. He received an M.A in American Government from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from the University of Colorado.

Mr. Duncan is the author of several books, including Citizen Warriors: America’s National Guard and Reserve Forces& the Politics of National Security (1997), A War of a Different Kind: Military Force and America’s Search for Homeland Security (2004), Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders (2012), and Master Craftsmen: Friends, Colleagues & Other Contemporaries Who Have Made a Difference (2016). He is also the author of many articles on national security and related subjects.

Stephen M. Duncan Only the Most Able Book Cover
Listen to a podcast with Dr. Duncan about his book Only the Most Able: Moving Beyond Politics in the Selection of National Security Leaders.

Read a review of Only the Most Able.

Mr. Duncan teaches 470.678 National Security Leadership. He can be reached at

Stephen Duncan