Senior Defence Scientist, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
Stephan studied Slavic Philology (KU Leuven) and International Affairs (Master's degrees from the Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva; and the School for International and Public Affairs of Columbia University, New York). He passed both qualifying exams (International Relations and Comparative Politics) for the Ph.D. program in Political Science at the University of California at Los Angeles with distinction in 1991. Since then he has been indistinctively ABD but he still plans to finish his Ph.D. within the next decade (or so).
Stephan's academic career got sidetracked by a professional career which he started at the RAND Corporation in 1989 as a Sovietologist. After successfully terminating this research topic he stayed on at RAND as a defence and security analyst for 10 years, first in Santa Monica and then in Leiden, where he last served as Programme Director for Defence and Security (2000-2005). His work at RAND was interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Ebenhausen, Germany – 93-96); and the Western European Union's Institute for Security Studies (Paris, France – 96-99).
Currently, Stephan is Senior Defence Scientist at the The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (2005-now). He also teaches at Webster University in Leiden and at military academies throughout Europe.
From a start as a Soviet specialist, Stephan has branched out into a number of different directions all related to strategic orientation and navigation in international relations (writ large). He has published widely, currently most actively in the application of new ideas such as (meta-)foresight, portfolio analysis, capabilities-based planning, and strategic design for national and European security policy planning in the broadest sense, but with a special focus on defense and security planning.