Scott Handler

Scott is a major in the U.S. Army and is currently the Executive Officer of the 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia.  As the second-in-command and chief of staff of the 782nd, Scott is helping build the Army's second battalion to conduct full-spectrum operations in cyberspace.   Prior to this assignment, Scott served as an assistant professor in the Social Sciences Department at West Point, where he taught courses on international relations, national security strategy, and cyber policy and strategy.   

Tactically, Scott commanded a military intelligence company based in Colorado, led an infantry scout platoon inside the DMZ as part of the UN Command Security Battalion-Joint Security Area, Panmunjom, Republic of Korea, and was the primary and assistant intelligence officer in two light infantry battalions.  Operationally, he served as Special Assistant to two Commanding Generals in charge of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq.  Strategically, Scott served as Special Assistant to the Senior Leadership Team that created the U.S. Cyber Command and later as Special Advisor in the Commander's Action Group at U.S. Cyber Command.  

Scott is a distinguished graduate from the U.S. Military Academy with a Bachelor's of Science in American Politics.  He received a Degree Fellowship to the East-West Center in Honolulu and holds a Master's of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaii.  Additionally, he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science from Stanford University, completing his dissertation on state-building in conflict-torn environments as a Fellow at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies' Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.  Scott has also been a Fellow at Stanford Law School's Center on Conflict and Negotiation as well as a Military-Business Dialogue Fellow at the Madison Policy Forum.   

*Handler resigned as a Young Leader on August 25, 2014 in order to serve as a 2014-2015 White House Fellow.

Why did you apply to the Young Leaders Program? What are you seeking to get out of it?
I was first introduced to the French-American Foundation through the French-American Defense Symposium and the Leaders in the Making program.  Those opportunities inspired me to become more involved with the Foundation, and the Young Leader program felt like the next step.  I hope to develop enduring relationships with the French and American Young Leaders.

What is an interesting fact about you that some people might not know?
My wife and I just recently welcomed our first child, Elisabeth.

What did you aspire to be when you were young?
I wanted to become a lawyer when I was younger because I wanted to debate ideas and “win” arguments.  Instead, I ended up marrying one, and find myself debating ideas, but not necessarily winning arguments.

You are obviously highly accomplished professionally.  What is one mistake you made that was a great learning lesson?
It’s too tough to choose just one.  I have learned that every mistake—and success—can be a great learning lesson, and it is important to learn from both.