Thomas Culora

Thomas Culora

Center for Naval Warfare Studies
(401) 841-4057


Under Dean Culora’s leadership, the Center conducts focused research on areas of interest to the CNO, Fleet and Combatant Commanders and other stakeholders responsible for naval and maritime strategy, policy and operations. He provides oversight for a number of departments including Wargaming, Strategic and Operational Research, International Law, the Naval War College Press, the Naval War College Museum and the Office of Naval Intelligence Detachment in Newport.  Prior to assuming the duties as Dean, Professor Culora was the Chairman, of the Warfare Analysis and Research Department in CNWS.

Professor Culora is a retired Navy Captain and Naval aviator with over 2500 flight hours.  He has served in numerous operational billets at sea including commanding a helicopter maritime strike squadron (HSM-47) and the USS BOXER (LHD-4), an amphibious assault carrier.  His staff tours include serving on the Joint Staff where he was the action officer responsible for coordinating military policy during the groundwork initiatives to expand NATO in the mid-1990's and as Flag Secretary to the Chief of Naval Education and Training; He also served as acting Director , then Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy on the Navy Staff where he contributed to maritime strategy, HA/DR planning, NGO integration and Afghanistan/Pakistan planning before retiring from Naval Service.  

Professor Culora’s research interests include cultural, personal and organizational elements of leadership – and he has developed a popular elective course at the College that explores these elements. He also maintains interest in the formation of maritime and naval strategy and Arctic Strategy and Policy. 

Professor Culora holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York, a Masters of Arts in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies from the Naval War College where he graduated with distinction.  

Professor Culora was a Federal Executive Fellow at Harvard University's Olin Institute from 2001-2002 during which time he focused primarily on leadership issues.  From 2005 to 2007 he was a Military Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where his work examined global leadership, humanitarian assistance and U.S. maritime strategy. 

He also continues his work as a fine artist exploring themes of post-post-modernism, issues of anonymity, the internet and global political issues.  He maintains an active studio and has been featured in several regional and international exhibits.


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