Janet Breslin-Smith travels among the diverse professional cultures of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. military, and higher education. Her 17-year career in the U.S. Senate, serving on both committee and personal staffs, and her 14-year tenure as a professor of national security strategy at the National War College, have given her a unique understanding of and acceptance in these very distinct worlds.
Breslin-Smith served on the staffs of three U.S. senators, including Patrick Leahy (D-VT). During her 12 years with Senator Leahy, she was his legislative director and then deputy staff director of the Agriculture Committee when he assumed chairmanship.
Shortly after the first Gulf War, she joined the faculty at the National War College where she taught senior military officers and officials from the State Department and the intelligence community in a year-long graduate-level course in national security strategy. She eventually served as department chair and was named Outstanding Professor in 2006. Breslin-Smith taught courses on Congress and national security, the foundations of strategy, and the national security policy process.
She is currently finishing a book on the history of the National War College and is working with Army and Marine officers from the War College Class of 2005 on a collection of wartime reflections titled Fresh from the Fight. During this past fall and winter, she worked on the New Hampshire campaign of then Senator Barack Obama in New Hampshire and has been part of the Congress working group to write a new National Security Act of 2008.