#Monday Musings: Diane Maye

“Monday Musings” are designed to get quick, insightful thoughts based around three questions from those interested in strategy, from the most experienced and lauded, to our newest thinkers/writers.

1 — Who had the greatest impact on you intellectually (whether through writing, mentorship, etc.)?

I think it had to be my undergraduate political science professors at the Air Force Academy. It’s been nearly 20 years, but I still remember many of them by name: Brent Talbot, Paul Carrese, Paul Bolt, Douglas Murray, Steve Kiser, Mark Gose, Jeffrey Larsen, Troy Thomas — they were a really intellectual bunch and fostered great debates in class. In a place where you don’t have a lot of time to concentrate (and I certainly wasn’t the best cadet), a few of them really took the time to encourage me personally, and they pushed me to get involved with more intellectual and strategy-oriented activities like the Institute of National Security Studies.

2 — What book (fiction, history, or academic) do you think best explains strategy?

Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War is such an excellent piece — succinct and timeless. I also love The 48 Laws of Power. I think this should be in every Strategy 101 course. Another great book is Peter Schwartz’s, The Art of the Long View — it helps you think of everything in terms of “scenarios,” which is helpful for any strategy-oriented person.

3 — What do you want your legacy to be?

I would love to contribute, in a significant way, to the U.S. grand strategy dialogue and the ongoing discussions of U.S. national security strategy and our foreign policy. I’d also like to mentor young people and encourage them the same way I was encouraged. I would love for young people to feel like they learned something new because of something I wrote or said.

Diane Maye is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Naval Postgraduate School, and recently earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from George Mason’s School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. In 2016 she will serve as a visiting professor at John Cabot University in Rome, where she will teach American Foreign Policy and World Politics.

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