University of Wisconsin–Madison

Eurasia Foreign Area Officers (FAOs)

The M.A. Degree Program for REECAS, administered by CREECA, provides interdisciplinary area studies training for emerging professionals and future leaders in business, development, government, journalism, law, publishing and the military. Since its inception in 2001, the M.A. Degree Program in REECAS has trained a number of Eurasian Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), who are now serving in leadership roles in the US military, as defense attaches in US embassies in Eurasia, and at other agencies within the Department of Defense.

Why Wisconsin for FAOs?

In addition to our excellent faculty, wide range of area studies courses, proven record in language training, and extensive networking opportunities, UW-Madison has a lot to offer Eurasia FAOs:

  • FAOs may enter in the summer, fall, or spring and complete the program within 12 calendar months
  • Active military personnel pay resident tuition rates, making UW-Madison a low-cost campus
  • Madison and the surrounding area offer excellent public schools, a range of housing options, a wide variety of activities and organizations for families and children

Our REECAS alumni, including many FAO alums, are leaders in their fields

Lieutenant Colonel Mike Panaro completed the M.A. program in REECAS in fall 2015 and is currently assigned to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where he serves as an Escort Team Chief for Russian delegations verifying the provisions of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. He has also served as the Country Desk Officer for the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan at the Headquarters of U.S. Army Central. He has traveled extensively and participated in FAO internships in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and has held numerous other military assignments in the United States, the Middle East, Germany, and Kosovo. In addition to his M.A., MAJ Panaro holds a B.S. in International Politics from the United States Military Academy (2000).

Major Courtney Olson graduated from the REECAS M.A. program in 2014. At present she is the Assistant Army Attache in Moscow, Russia.

Major Dan Singleton graduated from the REECAS M.A. program in 2014. At present he is a political-military officer at the United States European Command in Germany. He works as a desk officer in the Black Sea region. MAJ Singleton has traveled extensively and participated in FAO internships in the Latvian Ministry of Defense and the U.S. embassy in Azerbaijan. He has served as Sunni Reconciliation Section Chief and Scout Platoon Leader, among other combat assignments. His interests include Central Asia, cyber warfare, and just war theory. In addition to his M.A. in REECAS from UW-Madison, which he earned in August 2014, MAJ Singleton also holds an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2003).

Dr. Daniel L Burghart is a professor of National Security and Eurasian Studies at the National Defense Intelligence University in Washington, DC. A specialist in Russian, CIS and Central European Affairs, Burghart has a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois, an M.A. in Political Science and Graduate Certificate in Russian Area Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in Russian and International Studies from the University of Surrey. Over his 30 years of service in the Army, he served in a variety of Foreign Area Officer assignments before retiring as a Colonel in June 2003.

Colonel Tracy Roou is a Eurasia FAO who received her M.A. in REECAS from UW-Madison in 2002. She is currently Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan. COL Roou welcomes inquiries from prospective FAOs about the M.A. degree program in REECAS at UW-Madison.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Johnson is currently Executive Officer to the Director for International Affairs, Missile Defense Agency in Ft. Belvoir, VA. A career Army officer with extensive international experience focused on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, LTC Johnson has served as Eurasian Regional Manager for the Missile Defense Agency, as Operations Officer to the Arms Control Inspection Unit, Defense Threat Reduction Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and as Chief of the Government of Iraq Operations Lane as part of United States Forces in Iraq. LTC Johnson received his M.A. in REECAS from UW-Madison in 2004.