Former assistant secretary of defense joins School of International Affairs

July 21, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Honorable Mary Beth Long, former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, will be joining the Penn State School of International Affairs (SIA) faculty as a professor of practice for the 2021-22 academic year.

“I have had the opportunity through business and government service to engage with leadership around the world, but nothing right now excites me more than to come home to Penn State and engage with students on what is happening in the world around us and how it impacts who they are now and what they will be doing,” Long said. “Whether these bright young minds are interested in the world of intelligence collection, foreign affairs, or the making of foreign policy, I know our interactions will be dynamic and engaging.”

Long’s distinguished career in the public and private sector includes over 17 years of government service in the intelligence and defense fields — bringing invaluable, hands-on experience to the classroom as she transitions to a teaching role at SIA.

“The Penn State School of International Affairs is thrilled to welcome the Honorable Mary Beth Long,” said Hari M. Osofsky, dean of Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs. “She has made so many contributions in her distinguished career, and our students will benefit greatly from her expertise.”

Long has strong ties to Penn State and SIA. A 1985 honors graduate of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Long received the Penn State Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, the University’s highest honor presented to its alumni. She is a member of the SIA Board of Advisors and recently made a donation to create a student emergency fund to help SIA students in financial need by offsetting expenses such as rent, utilities, food, life-saving medications, and other necessities.

“We are delighted to have the Honorable Mary Beth Long join the SIA faculty this year,” said Elizabeth Ransom, interim director of SIA and associate professor of international affairs. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the School of International Affairs, as well as a passion for giving back to Penn State and supporting a diverse student body.”

As assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs from 2007 to 2009, Long served as the first woman ever confirmed to a four-star equivalent position by the U.S. Senate. She also was the first woman to chair NATO’s High Level Group (HLG), the organization’s senior-most nuclear and missile defense policy-making body. To those credentials, Long adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) clandestine operational experience abroad on terrorism and other security issues.

After leaving government, Long founded two multi-million-dollar advisory firms from scratch. She is the founder and principal of M B Long & Associates, PLLC; co-founder and principal of Global Alliance Advisors, LLC; and is the founder and former CEO of Metis Solutions, LLC. She advises several Fortune 500 companies on international defense markets and was featured as one of Forbes magazine’s “Women Business Leaders” in 2016.

As part of her faculty appointment, Long will be teaching two courses at SIA this fall:

  • I Spy: U.S. Intelligence and National Security (INTAF 897), which will examine the role of intelligence gathering in the United States’ activities abroad; and
  • U.S. Foreign Policy Today: Competing Policies and Perspectives (INTAF 897), which will focus on the challenges and opportunities for U.S. foreign policy in today’s increasingly globalized and dynamic world.
  • The Honorable Mary Beth Long

    The Honorable Mary Beth Long, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, will be joining the Penn State School of International Affairs (SIA) faculty as a professor of practice for the 2021-22 academic year.

    IMAGE: Global Alliance Advisors, LLC
Last Updated July 21, 2021