Research/Areas of Interest: U.S. national security policy, international interventions, state and institution building, roles and missions of U.S. armed forces, contemporary military strategy and planning, civil-military relations.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations, Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA, 2013
  • Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, Fletcher School, Tufts University, USA, 2004
  • Bachelor of Science (International Relations), United States Military Academy, West Point, USA, 1995


Abigail Linnington (F04, F13) is a Professor of Practice in the International Security Studies Program at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She teaches courses on national security decision making, strategy and grand strategy, civil resistance, and security sector reform. In 2022, she received the James L. Paddock Teaching Award from Fletcher students.

She previously taught at National Defense University where she was a senior fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies and visiting faculty at two of the war colleges, the Eisenhower School and the College of International Security Affairs.

Retiring at the rank of Colonel, Linnington served for 25 years in the U.S. Army as a military strategist and aviator. From 2016 to 2018, she was a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of the Chairman's Action Group. In that position, she supported the chairman in his role as senior military advisor to the president, secretary of defense, the National Security Council, and Congress. She worked in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for two years as an advisor on war plans related to European security and U.S. special operations. From 2012 to 2014, she led the analysis and speechwriting team for the U.S. Army Chief of Staff.

In 2008 and 2009, she participated in several interagency policy reviews related to the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan. She assisted with the creation of an interagency task force to assist with rule of law initiatives in Afghanistan and deployed as an advisor to the Commander, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force - 435 (Rule of Law) from 2010 to 2011.

As a pilot qualified in the UH-60 (Blackhawk) and OH-58 (Kiowa) helicopters, she commanded units in the XVIII Airborne Corps and the 3rd Infantry Division (Savannah, Georgia), and Eighth U.S. Army (Republic of Korea).

She earned her bachelor's degree in international relations from West Point—where she also taught international relations from 2004 to 2007—and her master's and doctorate at the Fletcher School. She has received the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards), the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, and the 2017 Tufts Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, among other honors.
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