Rudy L. Hightower, II, MA is a retired US Navy Intelligence Officer currently enrolled as a National Security Policy doctoral candidate and serving as an instructor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University (OSU).
He formerly served as Project Associate in USAID’s Ukraine Parliamentary Development Project (PDPII) and as president/founder of OSU’s Policy Modeling and Simulation Group. At Ohio State, Mr. Hightower researches Black Sea regional security, democratization, and US reconstruction and stabilization operations. He teaches the OSU Rebuilding Failed and Weak States course and teaches Policy Analytics, Modeling, and Simulation workshops both in the USA and abroad.
Mr. Hightower also serves as a Resident Director of the OSU International Affairs Department’s Ukraine Study Abroad Program. He is the CEO/founder of Hightower & Hightower, LLC, a private consulting company focused on developing and implementing non-linear computer analytics, simulation, and visualization models of complex public policy issues.
In his former US Navy career, Lieutenant Commander Hightower served in US and overseas assignments conducting intelligence analysis and reporting, and crafting Joint Intelligence Support to Military Operations policy and strategy. Prior to his retirement, he served as Intelligence, Reconnaissance, and Surveillance (ISR) Manager for the Commander Third Fleet Staff (C3F) and led the staff team that designed and implemented ISR management policies and simulation programs. As the senior Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Commander Hightower managed the entire Intel training curriculum and training budget for Pacific-based Strike/Fighter squadrons. He also led the Intel Cell in the first US Commander-in-Chief Pacific (USCINCPAC) Deployable Joint Task Force Augmentation Cell (DJTFAC). Lieutenant Commander Hightower led the USS MIDWAY Intelligence Department’s Imagery Division that processed and analyzed cockpit photography for 3,300 combat aircraft missions during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He has also written extensively on classified Asian military capabilities.
Mr. Hightower earned a master’s degree (M.A.) from the Naval Postgraduate School in National Security Affairs; a bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in Education from Southern Illinois University; a Basic Spanish Linguist Certification from the Defense Language Institute; and an associate degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. His international travel experience includes living in Japan for two years and visiting 18 countries. His unclassified publications include: Oceanic Sovereignty and the Law of the Sea: Fishery-Based Conflicts (1998), Keep Your Eyes On Ukraine (2008), Iterative Storytelling in Public Policy: A systems thinking approach (2012), and The Declarations of Independence: the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (2014).
Mr. Hightower’s PhD research travel has sent him to Ukraine over a dozen times, including on-the-ground observation of the 2013 EuroMaidan pro-democracy protests. Thus, he now serves as a Central Ohio subject matter expert and public speaker on the Ukraine-Russia Crisis. He has conducted numerous live presentations to television, radio, community group, and webcast audiences.
Mr. Hightower’s personal interests include teaching kickboxing, writing movie screenplays, and fishing from a kayak, though not often catching any fish.