Alan Stephenson is an aviation consultant and a 35-year veteran of the Canadian Forces. Colonel (ret'd) Stephenson's extensive knowledge of NORAD and NATO airpower follows from his experience as a CF-18 pilot with 3600 hours flying fighters and as a staff officer at all levels of command. Having held senior appointments such as Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, Chief of Tactical Evaluation, and Director of Western Hemisphere Policy, he has a broad understanding of military and interagency operational and strategic interaction, both domestically and internationally. Operationally, he commanded Task Force Aviano during Op ECHO (1999/00) and 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, Canada's basic and advanced "top gun" training schools.
Alan is a graduate of Royal Roads Military College with a BSc in Physics (Sword of Honour recipient), the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College (with Distinction), and the United States Air Force Air War College where he received a Master of Strategic Studies with a focus on the strategic employment of airpower. His Masters thesis, "Shades of Gray: Gradual Escalation and Coercive Diplomacy" won the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategy Essay Competition in 2002, the only international student so honoured to date. Alan completed his PhD at Carleton University in May 2016 writing his thesis on Canadian National Security Culture. His areas of interest include international relations, strategic studies, airpower, Canadian defence and foreign policies, NORAD, NATO, and Canada-US relations.