James A. Helis, Ph. D., Director

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Dr. Helis was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in July 2012. He is currently serving as the Director of the Army Resilience Directorate. In this capacity, he establishes effective strategies, develops plans, and formulates policies for continued improvement of ARD programs. Dr. Helis works with Army and Department of Defense Senior Leaders to develop and execute short-term strategies and long-term initiatives to satisfy changing needs in a dynamic, evolving environment supporting Soldiers and Army Families. Prior to this assignment, he served as the National Security Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Transportation, Washington, DC. In this capacity he advised the Assistant Secretary on the role of the Department of Transportation pertaining to national security objectives Additionally, Dr. Helis served as the Superintendent to the United States Merchant Marine Academy for six years. As the Chief Executive Officer for one of America’s finest academies, he was responsible for the effective execution of a comprehensive four-year leadership program for cadets’ commission as an officer in one of the US Armed Forces.


Career Chronology

  • Mar 19 - Current: Director, Army Resilience Directorate, HQDA, DCS, G-1, Pentagon, Washington, DC
  • Oct 18 - Mar 19: National Security Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs, Washington, DC
  • Jul 12 - Oct 18: Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY
  • Jan 09 – Jul 12: Chairman, Department of National Security and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
  • Jul 08 – Dec 08: NATO International Security Assistance Force, Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Jun 04 – Jun 08: Chairman, Department of National Security and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barrack, PA
  • May 02 – Jun 04: Director, Military History and Strategy, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA
  • Jun 79 – Jun 09: Infantry Officer, United States Army

  • College

  • Doctor of Philosophy, International Relations, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 2006
  • Master of Arts, Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, 1990
  • Bachelor of Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, 1979

  • Significant Training

  • U.S. Army Senior Service College Fellow, Queen’s University Centre for International Relations, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Master of Military Art and Science, School of Advance Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. Kansas

  • Major Publications

  • “An Exit Interview with General David G. McKiernan,” Senior Leader Debriefing Program, US Army Military History Institute, 2011.
  • “Multilateralism and Unilateralism” in US Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Volume Ii: National Security Policy and Strategy, ed. J. Boone Bartholomees, Strategic Studies Institute, June 2008.
  • “Haiti: A Study in Canadian-American Cooperation in The Western Hemisphere,” in Over Here and Over There: Canada-US Defence Cooperation in an Era of Interoperability, ed. David G. Haglund, Queen’s Quarterly 2001.
  • “Air Assault Forces in the Counter-Penetration Role,” School of Advance Military Studies Monograph, 1992
  • “Do the CINC Still Have a Job? Operational Command in Operations Short War,” School of Advanced Military Studies Monograph, 1992