Senior Director, Research and Policy

Dr. Nick Armstrong is the Senior Director for Research and Analytics at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and adjunct faculty in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

As a member of IVMF’s executive team, Armstrong leads the Institute’s insights function of more than two dozen applied social scientists, data scientists, and solution engineers, supporting global service delivery to 25,000+ military-connected individuals annually. He leads a broad portfolio of externally sponsored social and policy research, program evaluations, and data-sharing efforts with public, private, and social sector partners. Armstrong also oversees IVMF’s internal data solution team—responsible for all aspects of enterprise analytics, business intelligence reporting, data architecture, and governance. He is also founding co-director of the new Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement, launched in 2019 in partnership with the Maxwell School.

Prior to joining IVMF in 2014, Armstrong was a research fellow with the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law. There he directed projects on security sector reform, disaster resilience, and wartime contracting, and oversaw the development and launch of a new graduate certificate program in post-conflict reconstruction.

Armstrong has authored and co-authored publications in a broad range of academic outlets including Armed Forces & Society, Frontiers Psychology, Translational Behavioral Medicine, Journal of Intervention & State building, and Homeland Security Affairs. He has also led commissioned studies for organizations such as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and IBM Center for the Business of Government, among others. Armstrong has secured funding from numerous public and private philanthropic sources including the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Navy, Washington State Dept. of Veterans Services, Americans for the Arts, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, New York State Health Foundation, and Smith Richardson Foundation, among others. His media coverage includes appearances on C-SPAN, PBS, and Government Matters and in news outlets such as NPR, Federal News Radio, CBS Radio, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

A U.S. Army veteran, Armstrong served eight years (2000-2008), with nearly three years deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, achieving the rank of Captain. Among several leadership and staff positions, he was selected for the roles of Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commanding General, and then Speechwriter and Special Assistant to the Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)—the most deployed unit in the U.S. military. His distinctions include two Bronze Star Medals, the Combat Action Badge, and the Ranger Tab.

Armstrong is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S.) and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University (Ph.D., M.P.A.). He has also completed executive education training in advanced data analytics from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.