United States Air Force Academy

Go to home page

Dr. Danielle Gilbert

Assistant Professor

Department of Military & Strategic Studies

Danielle Gilbert
Contact Information

(719) 333-6056




Dr. Danielle Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Military & Strategic Studies at the United States Air Force Academy. She has previously held the Minerva/Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Fellowship with the United States Institute of Peace and Minerva Research Initiative, and she served as a Fellow with the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at the George Washington University. Her research on the role of non-state actors in international security has been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Cosmos Club, and the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. In 2019, she was recognized as one of six “New Faces” in International Security by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.

Danielle’s scholarly work on kidnapping, civil war, nationalism, and pedagogy has been published in Terrorism and Political Violence, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, H-Diplo, and the Journal of Political Science Education. She has also written for the public and policymakers, sharing insights about hostage-taking trends, ransomware, media attention to violence, and scenario analysis for Political Violence @ a Glance, War on the Rocks, Just Security, the Duck of Minerva, and the Washington Post. In addition to her scholarship, Danielle is a dedicated teacher; she was awarded the “Best Instructor in Political Science” award by George Washington University in 2019. Since 2015, she has served as a fellow with the Bridging the Gap Project, where she runs the annual New Era Workshop.

Before entering academia, Danielle served four years on Capitol Hill, including as a Senior Legislative Assistant and Appropriations Associate to the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee. Danielle holds a PhD in Political Science from the George Washington University, master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and George Washington University, and a BA in Ethics, Politics & Economics from Yale.


BA, Yale University, New Haven, CT

MSc, The London School of Economics, London, UK

MA, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

PhD, The George Washington University, Washington, DC

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, USAFA (2020 – present)

Fellow, Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, George Washington University (2018 – 2020)

Minerva/ Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar, United States Institute of Peace (2018 – 2019)

Lecturer, the George Washington University (2018 – 2019)

Senior Legislative Assistant and Appropriations Associate, U.S. House of Representatives; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee (2013)

Legislative Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives, Office of FL-20 (2009 – 2012)

Honors & Awards

World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, Smith Richardson Foundation (2020)

“New Faces” in International Security, Triangle Institute for Security Studies (2019)

Best Independent Instructor in Political Science Award, George Washington University (2019)

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2019)

Minerva/Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Dissertation Fellowship, Minerva Research Initiative & the United States Institute of Peace (2018 – 2019)

Shirley H. and Robert L. Richards Endowment Scholarship, George Washington University (2018 – 2019)

Cosmos Scholars Award, the Cosmos Club Foundation (2017)

Policy Engagement Fellowship, the Bridging the Gap Project (2016)

George Hume Senior Essay Prize for the best thesis in Ethics, Politics & Economics, Yale University (2008)

Les Aspin Class of 1960 Summer Research Fellowship, Yale University (2006)

Georg W. Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy Grant, Yale University (2006

Research and Scholarly Interests

Civil war repertoires of violence

Crime-terror nexus

The role of non-state actors in international security

Hostage-taking dynamics

Coercive diplomacy

Public perception of violence



  1. Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle, “The Oxygen of Publicity: Explaining U.S. Media Coverage of International Kidnapping,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (2020). DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2020.1792723.
      Available Here
    2. Gilbert, Danielle, “The Politics and Pedagogy of Nationalism: Authentic Learning on Identity and Conflict,” Journal of Political Science Education (2020). DOI: 10.1080/15512169.2020.1762625
      Available Here
  2. Review Articles:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle, “Terror by Any Other Name,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 31(2): 417-420 (2019).
      Available Here
    2. Gilbert, Danielle, “Organized Violence Between War and Peace,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 29(2): 377-383 (2017).
      Available Here
  3. Dissertation:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle, “The Logic of Coercive Kidnapping,” (June 2020) Proquest information forthcoming.
  4. Public Writing:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle and Whitlark, Rachel, “Borders, Blinders, and Mental Maps: Assessing Scenario Analysis in Light of Covid-19,” Duck of Minerva, online (June 8, 2020).
      Available Here
    2. Gilbert, Danielle, “Taking Stock at 40: The UN Convention Against the Taking of Hostages,” Just Security, online (December 20, 2019).
      Available Here
    3. Gilbert, Danielle, “The Collapse of Compassion: Visual Suffering and Political Change,” Political Violence at a Glance, online (July 5, 2019).
      Available Here
    4. Gilbert, Danielle, “Trump claims he’s the greatest hostage negotiator ever. So why did he make it harder to bring Americans home?” The Washington Post, online (April 29, 2019).
      Available Here
    5. Gilbert, Danielle, “‘No Concessions’? A Closer Look at U.S. Hostage Recovery Policy,” War on the Rocks, online (February 27, 2019).
      Available Here
    6. Gilbert, Danielle, “What the Dublin Tram System Hack Reveals about the Future of Hostage Taking,” Just Security, online (January 11, 2019).
      Available Here
    7. Gilbert, Danielle, “The U.S. believes that kidnapped journalist Austin Tice is still alive. Here are 5 things to know about global kidnapping,” The Washington post, online (December 4, 2018).
      Available Here
    8. Gilbert, Danielle, “Will Colombia’s next president be a former left-wing guerrilla?” The Washington Post, online (June 15, 2018).
      Available Here
    9. Gilbert, Danielle, “How a Decade of the iPhone Changed Global Kidnapping,” War on the Rocks, online (January 4, 2018).
      Available Here
  5. Book Reviews:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle, Review of Nichols, Angela, Impact, Legitimacy, and Limitations of Truth Commissions. Democracy and Security, 15(4): 408-410 (2019).
      Available Here
    2. Gilbert, Danielle, Review of Scott, Erik R., “The Hijacking of Aeroflot Flight 244: States and Statelessness in the Late Cold War,” H-Diplo (2019).
      Available Here
    3. Gilbert, Danielle, Review of Kidd, Dustin, Social Media Freaks: Digital Identity in the Network Society, Terrorism and Political Violence, 31(6): 1347-1349 (2019).
      Available Here
    4. Gilbert, Danielle, Review of De La Calle, Luis, Nationalist Violence in Postwar Europe, H-Nationalism, H-Net Reviews (2017).
      Available Here
  6. Roundtables:
    1. Gilbert, Danielle, “Teaching Nationalism in International Relations,” Teaching Roundtable XXI-27, H-Diplo, online (February 4, 2020).
      Available Here