Col. Todd A Schmidt, PhD
Colonel, U.S. Army
Graduation Year and Degree Program: 2006, MPA
Current Position and Employer: Director (J5) of Policy, Plans, and Allied Integration, Joint Functional Component Command - Integrated Missile Defense
Hometown: Greenwood, IN
Current City: Colorado Springs, CO
Why did you choose McCourt? No other policy school or program is better positioned to take advantage of the unique classroom and policy laboratory that is our nation's capital. Surrounded by policy think tanks, national government institutions, and our nation's best and brightest policy minds, the McCourt School provides a unique experience that allows students to simultaneously study and learn in the classroom, while putting their academic knowledge into practical use in real time, in the real world, to solve real issues, and improve the real lives of our fellow citizens.
What internships did you have during your time at McCourt?: There were so many intern opportunities, as I imagine there still are. Interning was a great way to network, as well as focus on specific policy areas that I had an academic interest. I had the privilege of working as a special assistant to the president of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and Adjunct Professor, Dr. Dennis McBride. I focused my work on homeland air security policy, which was the primary topic of my final dissertation. During my internship, I met professionals that I consider close friends to this day - 15 years later - and who still provide mentorship to me in my professional career.
What student organizations were you involved in?: I worked with the editorial team of the Georgetown Public Policy Review journal as an outreach director, as well as reviewing submissions with the entire team. As a military officer recently returned from Afghanistan, it was an incredible experience to work with so many brilliant, young, traditional students. I learned a great deal working with the GPPR and definitely had the better end of the deal.
What is your favorite McCourt School memory?: My greatest memory of the McCourt school was meeting and getting to know the incredible faculty talent at the school. So many of them were and are dedicated civil servants that come in and out of government to share their experience with students. It reinforced for me the importance of having a professional cadre of committed, selfless civil servants to balance the influence of military professionals in government. My second favorite memory is the study sessions that typically ended at The Tomb's over adult beverages.
Undergraduate University and Degree: Prior to attending Georgetown, I received by bachelor's degree from Indiana University. Following Georgetown, I attended University of Kansas to complete my Ph.D. in Political Science with a concentration in international relations, foreign policy analysis, and American government.
Hobbies and Interests: I currently run an international, strategic policy experimentation program called "Nimble Titan." As the director of the program, we routinely host over 160 delegates from 24 countries and 4 international organizations from around the globe. National delegations attend a series of events that identify political and military policy challenges that, if addressed appropriately, have the potential to improve our international relationships, alliances, and interoperability in providing for our collective security.