Roger Harrison serves as founding director of the Eisenhower Center for Space and Defense Studies of the Air Force Academy. The Center, jointly endowed by the Congress and by the aerospace industry, was founded in 2005 to provide opportunities for cadets in space policy studies and in direct experience within both the military and industrial space sectors. It has also become an intellectual resource for Space Command, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Space Office, as well as the State Department. Ambassador Harrison served twice previously at the Academy: from 1977 – 9 as Associate Professor (on loan from the State Department) and in 1993-4 in a named academic chair.
Before returning to the Academy in 2003, Ambassador Harrison served as Dean and Academic Chairman of the Near East/ South Asia Center of the National Defense University, and concurrently, as distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University. He came to that job from a stint in the private sector as President and COO of Specialty Vehicles International, a producer of security and other high performance vehicles.
Roger Harrison was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as Ambassador to Jordan, arriving at post eleven days after the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990, and serving until 1993. He had previously been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense and Arms Control, Political Counselor of Embassy Tel Aviv and Deputy Political Counselor, Embassy London. He also served in various diplomatic capacities at Embassy Warsaw and Embassy Manila. He was special assistant to the Director, Department of Political Military Affairs at the Department of State (1974-5) and was then appointed deputy director for Planning at the National Security Council Staff under first, Henry Kissinger, and later, Brent Scowcroft. He is the author of numerous articles on international affairs and space and cyber policy, including Space Deterrence (2009) and Space Verification (2010), both available at the Center’s website. Under his directorship, the Eisenhower Center has funded six cadets for graduate school in space related disciplines, established the Brent Scowcroft Professorship in National Security Studies as a permanent fixture of the Academy faculty, greatly improved intra-academy exchanges on space, established an international industry/government dialogue on space situation awareness, a “track 1.5” series of meetings with the Chinese on space, held five National Space Forums bringing together all elements of the space community, and raised more than $4.5 million for various academy activities.
Ambassador Harrison is married and lives in Colorado Springs.