Information for

Eurasia Foreign Area Officers (FAOs)



M.A. Degree Program

Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS)



The M.A. Degree Program for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS), administered by CREECA, provides interdisciplinary area studies training for emerging professionals and future leaders in business, development, government, journalism, law, publishing and the military. Since its inception in 2001, the M.A. Degree Program in REECAS has trained a number of Eurasian Foreign Area Officers (FAOs), who are now serving in leadership roles in the US military, as defense attaches in US embassies in Eurasia, and at other agencies within the Department of Defense.

Why Wisconsin for FAOs?


In addition to our excellent faculty, wide range of area studies courses, proven record in language training, and extensive networking opportunities, UW-Madison has a lot to offer Eurasia FAOs:


Here is a little bit about our current FAOs.


Captain Courtney Olson is currently working on her MA in REECAS from UW-Madison, learning Kazakh in addition to Russian. She has traveled extensively and participated in FAO internships in the US Embassy in Russia and Bulgaria. She has served as a Sustainment Brigade Company Commander, a Battalion Logistics Officer, and a Signal Company Executive Officer, among other combat assignments. Her interests include Eastern Europe and the Balkans, traveling and volunteering with myTeamTriumph. CPT Olson also holds a BA in Communication from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point (2005).



Major Dan Singleton is currently working on his MA in REECAS from UW-Madison, learning Turkish in addition to Russian. He has traveled extensively and participated in FAO internships in the Latvian Ministry of Defense and the US embassy in Azerbaijan. He has served as Sunni Reconciliation Section Chief and Scout Platoon Leader, among other combat assignments. His interests include Central Asia, cyber warfare, and just war theory. MAJ Singleton also holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2003).


Our REECAS alumni, including many FAO alums, are leaders in their fields.


Dr. Daniel L Burghart, is a professor of National Security and Eurasian Studies at the National Defense Intelligence University in Washington, DC. A specialist in Russian, CIS and Central European Affairs, Burghart has a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois, an M.A. in Political Science and Graduate Certificate in Russian Area Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in Russian and International Studies from the University of Surrey. Over his 30 years of service in the Army, he served in a variety of Foreign Area Officer assignments before retiring as a Colonel in June 2003. 


Lieutenant Colonel Tracy Roou is a Eurasia FAO who received her MA in REECAS from UW-Madison in 2002. She is currently Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in Uzbekistan. LTC Roou welcomes inquiries from prospective FAOs about the MA degree program in REECAS at UW-Madison. 


Lieutenant Colonel Steven Johnson is currently Executive Officer to the Director for International Affairs, Missile Defense Agency in Ft. Belvoir, VA. A career Army officer with extensive international experience focused on Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, LTC Johnson has served as Eurasian Regional Manager for the Missile Defense Agency, as Operations Officer to the Arms Control Inspection Unit, Defense Threat Reduction Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, and as Chief of the Government of Iraq Operations Lane as part of United States Forces in Iraq. LTC Johnson received his MA in REECAS from UW-Madison in 2004.


For More Information

Contact Jennifer Tishler, Graduate Program Advisor and CREECA Associate Director:


Jennifer Tishler
Center for Russia, East Europe,and Central Asia
210 Ingraham Hall
(608) 262-3379

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