Dakota Wood

Dakota L. Wood, who served America for two decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, is the Senior Research Fellow for Defense Programs at The Heritage Foundation.

In his service as a Marine, Mr. Wood participated in the planning and execution of operations around the world to include Operation Enduring Freedom following the attacks of 9/11 and Operation Iraqi Freedom to depose Saddam Hussein. He culminated his career conducting studies on military, technology, economic and political matters for senior officials at the highest levels of the Marine Corps and the Defense Department.

Mr. Wood retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2005, having enjoyed a 20-year career during which he served with a variety of operational units and in various high-level staff assignments. His operational experiences included a number of contingencies ranging from the evacuation of American citizens from countries in crisis to the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Following retirement in 2005, Mr. Wood helped organize and operationalize the National Biosurveillance Integration System, a Department of Homeland Security effort intended to provide national leadership with the earliest indications of a potential biological threat to the United States.

From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Wood served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.Most recently, Mr. Wood served as the Strategist for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Special Operations Command.

Mr. Wood has been a frequent contributor to the news media, having been consulted on a wide range of national security and defense matters by a number of national and international outlets. He has also provided expert testimony to the U.S. Congress and has been consulted by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), Congressional Research Service (CRS), and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).