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James Backus

Retired Learning Leader

Retired Dept. of Defense

Dr. James Backus is a semi-retired learning leader. He retired from the Department of Defense (DoD) in February 2022 after more than 40 years of service. During this time, he led transformation of career specialty training and the establishment of a unique training detachment teaching Air Force personnel skills for wartime duty. As a DoD civilian, James helped establish the Academy for Defense Intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and later led the DoD Joint Military Intelligence Training Center through remodeling of joint intelligence training. In his final assignment with DIA, he served as the functional manager for the International Affairs career specialty. He established first-ever professionalization of the specialty leading to development of career and professional, education and training, and certification requirements. James has been a higher education learning leader since 2006 as an adjunct professor of criminal justice and political science courses for two universities.