Robert Ayer, 1993

Robert C. Ayer, PhD

Robert Ayer was the first Coast Guard officer sent to The Fletcher School for a master's preparatory to teaching in the Department of Humanities at the Coast Guard (CG) Academy in New London, Connecticut (one of the federal service academies, like West Point or Annapolis). He was subsequently chosen to stay at the Academy as a permanent military faculty member, and over the next 25 years served in many positions, including: assistant, associate and full professor; assistant and associate dean; and section chief and academic department head.

Upon mandatory retirement from the military, Dr. Ayer took a job as a civilian writer-editor for the Department of Defense in Quantico, Virginia. He also works as a freelance editor, mostly on books of military history. "I am proud to say that several other CG officers followed me to Fletcher," notes Dr. Ayer.


  • Shifty Seafarers, Shifting Seas: American Governmental Policy Toward Maritime Smuggling from Colonization to the War of 1812

Fletcher Fields of Study

  • Political Theory (John P. Roche)
  • International Law (Al Rubin)
  • Diplomatic History (Alan Henrikson)
  • International Politics (Robert Pfaltzgraff)

Awards, Fellowships, Grants

  • United States Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Numerous military awards

Education before Fletcher

  • B.S. in Government, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1979

Experience before Fletcher

  • U.S. Coast Guard, 1975-2011
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy faculty member, 1985-2011


  • English
  • French