Dr. Tino Perez
Chair of Executive and Strategic Leadership
Celestino Perez is the Chair of Executive and Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College. He also serves as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. At Carlisle Barracks, Celestino directs the Carlisle Scholars Program—Leader Immersion Labs, which privileges experiential, problem-based learning for sixteen select national-security leaders. These professionals, which include military, civilian, and international graduate students, learn and apply cutting-edge scholarship on policy, war, leadership, and military ethics to policy and strategy formulation. His research interests include leader development, political judgment, strategy, military ethics, and the relationship between the American military and democracy. He is especially interested in “bridging the gap” between political science and the real-world challenges that political and military leaders confront.
As a teacher of national-security leaders and a political theorist, four objectives motivate his teaching and writing.
- He seeks to integrate cutting-edge, scholarly perspectives on coercion, interstate war, intrastate war, and conflict termination into strategy formulation, military planning, and professional education in national-security and military affairs.
- He aims to help national-security and military leaders cultivate political and causal literacy as it relates to military interventions. Such literacy entails understanding how causal dynamics in the policy and strategic environments might unfold as well as the potential consequences of our interventions.
- He advocates for an approach to strategic- and executive-leader education centered on the ethos of “strategy is performance.” This approach means that we cannot become better leaders and strategists by merely reading and talking about strategy. We become better strategists only by doing strategy; i.e., developing creative solutions to intractable problems.
- He aims to integrate a heightened appreciation for ethics as a routine practice in policy and strategy formulation…particularly when noncombatants’ lives are at risk.
Perez holds a BS in American Politics from West Point (1992) and an MA (2002) and PhD (2008) in political science (political theory) from Indiana University at Bloomington. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College with a Master in Strategic Studies. His scholarly work appears in the Journal of Military Ethics, Peace Review, Armed Forces & Society, and Perspectives on Politics. His public and professional essays have appeared in Joint Forces Quarterly, Military Review, War on the Rocks, Political Violence @ a Glance, and Strategy Bridge. He has also published an edited volume entitled Addressing the Fog of Cog: Perspectives on the Center of Gravity in U.S. Military Doctrine with Combat Studies Institute Press (2012).
On October 31st, 2021, Perez retired as a colonel after 30 years of service in the U.S. Army. He served as an armor officer and strategist with key assignments as a task force commander in Iraq, a speechwriter and strategic advisor in Afghanistan, and as the Director of Plans at U.S. Army North in San Antonio, TX. His previous teaching assignments include service at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the Department of Social Sciences and at the U.S. Army Command & General Staff College as Director of the Local Dynamics of War Scholars Program.