Guiding the Next Generation of National Security Leaders

Our Vision

Helping People Build Great Careers

We know from personal experience how important mastering key skills and acquiring subject matter expertise was for our own careers. We have benefited from a vast number of experts over the years who took the time to share their knowledge and know-how with us. Now it’s our turn.

Our vision for E38 Academy is to create a place where professionals in the national security field come to get the skills they need to land a great job, earn a well-deserved promotion, and to help them build a rewarding career.

Our Mission

Delivering Great Courses at Affordable Prices

E38 Academy’s mission is to make the process of acquiring key skills and knowledge more efficient, more fun, and more affordable. E38 Academy works with senior national security and risk intelligence professionals to provide transformative, efficient, and affordable professional development to people all over the world. Wherever you are, E38 Academy is here to help.

Our Students

Tomorrow’s Leaders

E38 Academy students are men and women committed to the preservation of peace and security. They are:

  • Young people looking to gain the skills they’ll need to build careers in the national security field;
  • New managers mastering the art of leadership;
  • Professionals in new positions who need to get up to speed on a new range of issues; and
  • Lifelong learners who want to stay abreast of new technologies and geopolitics.

Meet the Team

A. Trevor Thrall, Ph.D.

A. Trevor Thrall, Ph.D.


Trevor has been deeply involved in the online learning world since 1998 when he became one of the early employees of Michigan Virtual University. From 2003 onward Thrall has created and taught numerous online courses and helped lead the creation of an online master’s degree in biodefense at George Mason University.

Trevor is an associate professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government where he teaches courses in international security and a senior fellow for the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department, with expertise in international security and the politics of American national security.

His recent research includes work on shifting American attitudes toward foreign policy, an analysis of the role of arms sales in U.S. foreign policy, and Fuel to the Fire, a book on foreign policy during the Trump administration.

Trevor has published articles in a range of academic journals and his shorter commentary on foreign affairs has appeared in a number of publications including the Atlantic, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Foreign Policy, Detroit News, Huffington Post, War on the Rocks, and the National Interest.

He is also the co-host of the Power Problems podcast, a biweekly podcast which explores key questions in international security with guests from across the political spectrum.

Prior to working at George Mason Thrall taught at the University of Michigan-Dearborn where he directed the MPP and MPA programs. Thrall holds a PhD in political science from M.I.T.

Christopher Savos, Ph.D.

Christopher Savos, Ph.D.


Chris has extensive experience as an executive manager, leader, and analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). For over two decades, he worked on a range of sensitive international security and foreign policy issues. He also has experience in resource management, training, talent management, and recruitment. Chris currently is Vice President at Analytic Advantage, Inc. (AAI), designing and delivering unique leadership, analytic, and professional skills training and development programs to a range of clients in the Intelligence Community and the private sector. 

Chris held numerous leadership positions within the CIA, running regional analytical units that followed high-profile issues in the Middle East and South and East Asia.  As Deputy Director of the Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center, he helped drive Agency analysis of foreign weapons of mass destruction and space capabilities and of conventional weapons and technology development programs.  Chris also served a tour on the National Intelligence Council as the Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia in addition to spending several years in the Directorate of Operations.

Chris also ran the leadership and management training program within the Directorate of Analysis (DA) and created and taught a key leadership course for DA managers. Chris was also a sought-after speaker on leadership topics and ran a popular seminar on executive presence.

Chris helped recruit new talent for the Agency and ran several large recruiting efforts.  He created and ran a unique program that teamed senior DA officers with universities around the country to work with students over several years to prime them for Agency employment.  He was also a frequent guest lecturer on campuses and developed close working relationships with professors at several top academic institutions.

Chris earned a PhD in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in government from Dartmouth College. 

Parker Schaffel

Parker Schaffel

Director of Marketing and Communication

Parker has more than five years of experience in strategic communications, having honed his expertise at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) supporting the CIA Director and Deputy Director, the Office of Public Affairs, Talent Center, and the Professional Development Group. His efforts increased communications engagement from 55% to 82% of the CIA workforce, tripled applications to leadership and professional development programs, and dramatically redesigned two major intranets.

From 2016 – 2019, Parker was a leadership and professional development instructor at CIA, where he taught courses on leadership theories and philosophies, networking, self-development, and presentation skills.

Prior to his work in communications, Parker was a US Navy intelligence officer, CIA military analyst, and State Department Foreign Service Officer. He has extensive overseas experience, serving multiple assignments in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Jordan, and Iraq.

Parker is the author of the book Get After It: Seven Inspirational Stories to Find Your Inner Strength When It Matters Most, a published musician, and volunteer guitar and bass guitar instructor at the Sitar Arts Center in Washington, DC.

Our Story

E38 Academy emerged from a conversation over a couple of beers. Chris had retired from the CIA and was hard at work providing leadership and other training to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Trevor was teaching at George Mason University and was thinking there had to be a better way to transmit key skills to his students and especially other people who might not have the time or the money for graduate school. When Trevor reached out to Chris to talk, it turned out Chris had been thinking many of the same thoughts. By the end of the afternoon a company was born.

Finding the right name, on the other hand, took a bit longer. Eventually we returned to M.I.T.’s E38 building, the place where our friendship began (then called the Defense and Arms Control Studies program and now called the Security Studies Program) during graduate school. To this day we are grateful for that friendship and the camaraderie with our fellow students, and we have never forgotten the positive impact on our careers that learning from great people has had. Our hope is that E38 Academy can provide the same sort of transformative skills to the next generation of leaders.

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