CDR (ret.) Patrick Paterson

Professor of Practice

Pat Paterson is a Professor of Practice at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. A 1989 graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he retired from in the Navy as a Commander in 2009. His last assignment was as the Political-Military Advisor on the Fourth Fleet staff in Mayport, FL. He has a Masters degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, a Masters equivalent from the Argentina Naval War College in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Masters degree in Political Science from the American University in Washington, DC. As part of those studies, he has researched and written on numerous topics about Latin America including civil-military relations, US foreign policy, democracy, rule of law, human rights, social movements, political violence, and counterinsurgency. He is the author of numerous defense and security related articles in journals such as Military Review, Armed Forces Journal, Proceedings Magazine, Joint Force Quarterly, Naval History, The Journal of International Affairs, and Security and Defense Studies Review and has appeared on BBC Radio. His principal areas of expertise include civil-military relations, human rights, rule of law, counter-insurgency, and US and Latin American history.


  • Paterson, Patrick. Training Surrogate Forces in International Humanitarian Laws: Lessons from El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, and Iraq. Tampa: Joint Special Forces University, 2016. PDF icon Download
  • Earle, Walter and Patrick Paterson, eds., Contemporary Security and Defense Issues in the Caribbean. Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, 2016. PDF icon Download
  • Paterson, Patrick. "Transitional Justice in Colombia: Amnesty, Accountability, and the Truth Commission." Occasional Paper. Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, 2016. PDF icon Download
  • Paterson, Patrick and Rory Flynn. "The Peru-Chile Maritime Border Decision and Latin America Border Conflicts.” Foreign Area Officer Association Journal of International Affairs 17, no. 3 (2014): 38-45. PDF icon Download
  • Paterson, Patrick and Cristina Blain. "Derechos Humanos y la Lucha Contra las Organizaciones Criminales Transnacionales: Una Estrategia Imprescindible.” Security and Defense Studies Review 16 (2014): 39-56. PDF icon Download