Shawn W. Burns, Ed.D.

Shawn W. Burns, Ed.D.

Associate Professor
War Gaming
(401) 841-2523


Shawn Burns is an Associate Professor in the War Gaming Department, responsible with colleagues to design, execute, and analyze war games. He previously taught in the in the National Security Decision Making department, and in the College of Distance Education’s web-based Joint Military Operations course. He also served as an operations analyst in the College of Operational And Strategic Leadership’s Assist and Assess Team.

Professor Burns designed the 2008 Force Design Workshop for the Navy Headquarters, N-81, and the 2009 Pacific Fleet Standardized Task Force Command and Control War Game. He also served as game director for several games including: the 2010 Multilateral War Game, 2012 Indo-Pacific War Game, 2013 Inter-American War Game, 2014 U.S. Fleet Forces’ Command & Control in Denied/Degraded Communications Environment War Game, 2015 Joint Staff Cyberspace Operations Command and Control War Game, and the 2016 Global V Command and Control War Game for Pacific Fleet. Additionally, he led war gaming teaching seminars to international audiences including war colleges in Azerbaijan, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Uruguay.
His paper, An Exploration of the Use of Reflective Practice among Institutions of Higher Education Employing Multinational Gaming, was selected for presentation by the New England Educational Research Organization at its annual meeting in 2014. He edited War Gamer’s Handbook: A Guide for Professional War Gamers (Newport: Defense Automated Printing Office, 2013), and Case Studies in Policy Making, 9th Edition (Newport: National Security Decision Making, US Naval War College, August 2005). 
Before joining the Naval War College, he served as a Marine lieutenant colonel helicopter pilot, completing overseas deployments with the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 22nd and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units, and the Second Air/Naval Gunfire Liaison Company. He is a graduate of the Defense Systems Management College program manager’s course, and certified as a Level III Acquisition Professional.
He holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Johnson & Wales University, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies (M.A. NSSS) from the U.S. Naval War College, and Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Salem State College.

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