Mr. Kenneth Kligge

Director, CASL

Director, NSPAF

Since December 2022, Mr. Kenneth Kligge serves as the Director of the Center for Applied Strategic Learning, having served in an interim capacity from 2019. He joined the Center for Applied Strategic Learning (CASL) in September 2002, as an independent consultant, after completing his Masters in International Affairs, Security Studies at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. In November 2003, Mr. Kligge was hired as a civilian into CASL as the lead game designer for the Strategic Policy Forum (SPF) program which brought together sitting Members of Congress and senior Executive Branch officials, generally at the Assistant Secretary level. Over the eight-year program, the SPF program provided wargames and simulations to 148 distinct Members of Congress from both chambers, with 229 total visits. Forty-four States and Territories were represented, and the program had vast bipartisan support, as well as support and attendance by Senate and House of Representation leadership.

In September 2009, Mr. Kligge was appointed Interim Director of the Strategy & Policy Division, and was eventually selected competitively for that position in February 2010. He has, since that time, also served as the Director of the OSD-sponsored and funded National Security Policy Analysis Forum (NSPAF) program, which is the successor program to the highly successful SPF program. Under his leadership, this program continues to expand its ability to provide high-quality exercises to the U.S. Government, state and local partners, and international allies and partners in alignment with DoD policies and guidance regarding engagement with allies and partners. 

Following an internal restructuring of CASL, he was named the Director of Wargaming in 2013, becoming responsible for all CASL experiential learning activities at the Fort McNair campus. During this period, he was responsible for doubling the level of support to the National War College, Eisenhower School, College of International Security Affairs, and the College of Information and Cyberspace. 

From 2015 until 2019, Ken performed the duties of, and was eventually promoted to Deputy Director, CASL where he is annually responsible for approximately 80 exercises in support of Joint Professional Military Education, the USG, international allies and partners, and other directed activities at both its Washington, DC and Norfolk, VA campuses. He is responsible for managing the budget, contracts, and personnel of CASL and often serves on critical “Tiger Teams” across the University in order to ensure a strategic and holistic view of the NDU environment is examined on these projects and programs. He was also briefly dual-hatted as Acting Director from May through July 2015.

In April 2019, Ken was named Interim Director of CASL and served as the University’s leading expert for wargaming, tabletop exercises, and use of experiential educational techniques within Joint Professional Military Education (JPME).

Prior to joining NDU, Mr. Kligge worked in Finance and Accounting recruiting for a national company, worked for a Member of Congress, and also provided hardware, software, and network repair for the nearly 3500 computers at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. While there, he effectively served as the Assistant Director for Computer Hardware Repair, the first student to be appointed to that role to that point. 

While at Lafayette, Mr. Kligge studied International Affairs and Government & Law, with a focus on Russia and Eastern Europe. He graduated with honors in both programs. His undergraduate thesis was entitled, "Missile Escrow: A New Policy Proposal for Nuclear Arms Reduction."

His areas of research have included terrorism; nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and associated policies; Russia and Eastern Europe; and Homeland Security/Homeland Defense.

He has been awarded two Joint Civilian Service Commendation Awards (2023 and 2018) for works related to long-term NDU Strategic Plans. He also was awarded the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award (2015) for his service as Acting Director and responding to then Deputy Secretary of Defense Work’s call to reinvigorate wargaming across JPME. He has also earned three Joint Meritorious Unit Awards.