Dr. Brian Maher, president of Joint Special Operations University, presented the 2016 President's Award to Dr. Paul Lieber, a resident senior fellow during a ceremony, March 31, at the Joint Special Operations University. Maher established the President's Award three years ago to recognize sustained excellence in teaching and support to the university's academic mission during the previous year.
Frank Reidy from JSOU's Center for Special Operations Studies and Research, reflected on Lieber's accomplishments, "Paul came to JSOU with a rich and diverse academic background, plus some quality experience at USSOCOM Headquarters. He had a very productive year including publishing his own research in several academic journals and leading a team for a command-directed study of the Syria train and equip mission."
Working with partners and students in any situation, Lieber seeks to bring research back to the enterprise and circulate that knowledge to the force.
"JSOU adds a necessary dimension to the command and, within JSOU, the Senior Fellows are a useful instrument for the commander to explore ideas or to conduct rigid academic analysis independent of headquarters staff functions," said Lieber.
During the year, Lieber contributed to five symposia, two courses, facilitated "thinker sessions" for the commander and command senior enlisted leader, and published more than six articles in peer-reviewed journals.
"He's definitely a workhorse," Maher said. "Whether facilitating a symposium in New Zealand in support of SOCPAC, teaching in a JSOU course, presenting on a panel with University of South Florida faculty, writing his own monograph, or reviewing manuscripts for publication in the JSOU Press, Dr. Lieber delivers insightful commentary that advances any discussion."
Lieber also provides invaluable advice to the JSOU Press and its authors. Rob Nalepa, editor-in chief of the JSOU Press praised Lieber's ability to establish effective, professional relationships with the authors of research projects for which he provides academic advice.
"In this business peer-reviewed comment and recommendations are often blunt and hard-hitting. Dr. Lieber has a knack for establishing the two-way communication and respect necessary to convey that feedback," Nalepa said. "He is also instrumental to success that begins in the early stages of projects by working closely with authors to hammer out organization and scope of a project. Although the authors' names are on the titles, without Dr. Lieber's feedback and guidance, very few manuscripts would attain the quality necessary for JSOU Press to publish."
"I am very humbled by this recognition," said Lieber. "I get a chance to work with talented people, doing research that matters, working with serious-minded students and military professionals, and supporting a command with a daily mission that affects people around the globe. If my work adds to the command's success, that's reward enough."
A life-long, anything-New York sports fan, Lieber added with a wry smile, "As much as I genuinely appreciate the award, the real highlight of my year was visiting the owner's box during a Knicks game."