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Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership
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Ethics Fellowship Programs


One of the Center’s cornerstone programs is the Fellows program.  The Fellows program is a unique and multidisciplinary effort that brings together academics and military professionals to study a specific topic in the field of military ethics and leadership.  The Fellows meet together for a weekly seminar, host guest speakers, conduct independent and joint research, travel to meet with other experts in the field, publish their findings in journals and books, produce instructional materials for the Academy curriculum, and make presentations at the Academy and other national and international forums.

Each year, the Center advertises widely for civilian candidates interested in the Fellows Program.  The Distinguished Chair in Ethics and the Center’s Director of Research review all submitted applications, conduct phone interviews, check references and narrow the field to six to eight finalists.  A committee composed of the Center Director, Deputy Center Director, Distinguished Chair in Ethics, Distinguished Chair of Leadership and Center’s Director of Research choose two Resident Fellows and two Non-Resident Fellows from these finalists to serve in the upcoming academic year.  The Fellows program is funded through the generosity of the Naval Academy Classes of 1958 and 1962 and SAIC. This Center program has been in existence since Academic Year 2000-2001. 

 Impact on the Naval Academy and Other Institutions:

Research accomplished by the Fellows makes a significant impact on education at the Naval Academy and policy making within our national government. 

Fellows interact with midshipmen in the classroom, both as adjunct instructors and seminar leaders, and provide professional development opportunities for instructors and professors in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law (LEL).  As Fellows tackle emerging issues in military ethics and leadership, they are able to develop case studies and other instructional materials to support the core and elective courses offered by LEL and take on a mentoring role for midshipmen interested in the topics pursued by the Fellows cohort.

The Fellows research is also designed to inform the highest levels of naval service leadership about emerging ethics and leadership challenges for the foreseeable future.  At the conclusion of the research effort, the Center hosts the McCain Conference where the Fellows are joined by military and civilian educators from the nation’s service academies and war colleges and other thought leaders to discuss and debate the research conducted at the Naval Academy. Policy issues and recommendations emerging from the McCain conference are shared with the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Additionally, because of the participation of the Fellows in high visibility conferences and meetings and the publications they produce, their work enhances the influence and prestige of the Stockdale Center and the Naval Academy worldwide.

 Academic Year 2016-17 Research Effort

This year’s research and McCain Conference will examine in detail ethical and political issues involved with intra-state conflicts. More upcoming.

In addition to this year's fellow the following individuals are participating in this year’s work:

-          Dr. Ed Barrett, Director of Strategy and Research, Stockdale Center, U.S. Naval Academy

-          Dr. David Luban, Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics, Stockdale Center, U.S. Naval Academy

-          Dr. Michael Skerker, Faculty, LEAD Department, U.S. Naval Academy

If you are interested in applying for this opportunity during the 2017-2018 academic year, please apply here.

Current Fellows:

Funded by USNA Classes of 1958, 1962 and 1978. Also made possible by the generosity of Frank J. Behm (USNA '78) and Andrea K. Behm

September 2016 - May 2017

Dr. David Lefkowitz

  • Dr. David Lefkowitz: Dr. David Lefkowitz specializes in legal and political philosophy.  His research interests span three overlapping areas: (1) the morality of obedience and disobedience to law (e.g. the basis, if any, of a moral duty to obey the law, the moral justifiability of civil disobedience, the just treatment of conscientious objectors); (2) analytical and normative issues in international law (e.g. the nature of customary international law, the legitimacy of international law, the existence (or not) of an international rule of law and its implications); and (3) substantive moral questions in the conduct of international affairs (e.g. the morality of secession, and the just conduct of war).  With respect to the last of these topics, he has published several papers on the ethics of collateral-damage causing acts of war, the legal and moral justifiability of humanitarian intervention, and the morality of deference or disobedience to superiors’ orders.  As a member of both the Philosophy Department and Program in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law (PPEL) at the University of Richmond, Dr. Lefkowitz regularly teaches courses in Ethics and International Affairs, Normative Theory and Public Policy, and Philosophy of Law.


  • Dr. Andrew Bell: 

    Andrew Bell’s research interests focus on international security, the law of armed conflict, counterinsurgency, military ethics, foreign military training, and technology and war. His current research examines the effect of military culture and law of war norms on armed group conduct toward civilians during war.

    Dr. Bell earned a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University (specializing in security and conflict studies), a J.D.-M.A. from the University of Virginia School of Law (specializing in international law), and an M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School (specializing in Christian ethics and just war theory). He has been a pre-doctoral research fellow at the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies at George Washington University. He will begin an appointment as assistant professor at the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2017.

Dr. Adam Betz

  • Dr. Adam Betz: 

Adam is a junior fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy's Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.  He completed a Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2016.  His research interests include applied and normative ethics, political philosophy, and virtually all issues in just war theory and the ethics of war.  He is currently working on papers on epistemic authority to wage war, and the source of soldiers' duties to protect civilians.

Dr. David Luban

  • Dr. David Luban: David Luban is University Professor and Professor of Law and Philosophy. In addition to his Georgetown responsibilities, he is Class of 1984 Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, United States Naval Academy (2013-15).  In 2012-13 he co-directed the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London.  Luban has also directed Georgetown's Center on National Security and Law. Luban is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and has received prizes for distinguished scholarship from the American Bar Foundation and the New York State Bar Association.  In 2011 he was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University.
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