Demarest professional profile

COL Heidi Demarest

Professor & Deputy Head


Colonel Heidi Demarest is the Department Head and an Associate Professor of American Politics. She is a 2001 graduate of the United States Military Academy and completed her Ph.D. in political science at Harvard University in 2011. Heidi served as the Director of the American Politics Program from 2015-2019 and as the U.S. Military Academy’s Liaison Officer to the Department of the Army in the Pentagon in 2018-2019. LTC Demarest was the Deputy Brigade Commander of the Army’s offensive cyber brigade at Ft. Meade, MD from 2013-2015. Heidi has served as the military assistant to the Combined Joint Task Force Political Advisor in Afghanistan and commanded a company of Soldiers responsible for emplacing and maintaining the National Security Agency’s classified communications networks. She pursues research interests in defense budgeting, defense acquisition practices, bureaucratic politics, and the interaction between the Army and Congress.

Ongoing Research Projects

Book Chapter: “Congress, the Budget, and National Security” 

Executive agencies are powerless to resource programs to implement a strategy absent a congressional appropriation.  This chapter briefly describes the primary congressional participants responsible for resourcing national security, including professional committee staffers, personal staff, and individual Members.  Despite the legislative branch’s constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense, significant impediments exist to exerting legislative voice and influence over the direction of national security.  Among them, Congress faces an inevitable asymmetry of information with executive agencies, particularly in the complex, opaque Department of Defense.  Congress has also maintained a static committee structure since the National Security Act of 1947 that defeats a holistic perspective on national security and the ability to identify and evaluate trade space.  Finally, constituents’ particularized interests over the short term disincentivize many Members from considering and providing oversight of long-term strategic choices proposed by federal agencies. The chapter makes recommendations to confront each of these obstacles to the congressional reresourcing national security. 

Publications & Presentations

Demarest, Heidi and Robert Schub. “How Militarized Cyber Technology Affects Interstate Bargaining.” Panel presentation.  American Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., September 29, 2019. 

Demarest, Heidi B. and Erica Borghard, eds. US National Security Reform: Reassessing the National Security Act of 1947.  New York:  Routledge, 2018. 

Demarest, Heidi B. US Defense Budget Outcomes: Volatility and Predictability in Army Weapons Funding.  New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018. 

Demarest, Heidi B. “From Combat to Corrections: The Effects of Military Service on Correctional Officers.” Panel presentation. Interuniversity Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, November 3-5, 2017. 

Demarest, Heidi B. “Does Army Engagement with Congress Affect Budgets? A Qualified ‘Yes’.” Panel presentation. Southern Political Science Association Annual Meeting, January 12-14, 2017.  

Demarest, Heidi B. “The Budget Paradox: Simultaneous Stability and Volatility in the Army’s Budget.” Panel presentation. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, April 7-10, 2016. 

Brockmann, Heidi A. and Scott Handler.  “Cyberspace: Governing the Global Commons.”  Thinking Beyond Boundaries: Transnational Challenges to U.S. Foreign Policy.  Ed. Hugh Liebert, 2015. 

Brockmann, Heidi A., James T. Golby, and Michael L. Harrison, eds.  To Uphold and Defend:  An American Politics Companion.  New York:  McGraw-Hill Education, 2013. 

Brockmann, Heidi A.  “Should U.S. Defense Spending be Reduced Dramatically?” Taking Sides: Clashing Views in American Foreign Policy, 6th ed.  Ed. Suzanne C. Nielsen and Scott P. Handler.  New York:  McGraw-Hill, 2013. 

Brockmann, Heidi A.  “The Budget Paradox:  Simultaneous Stability and Volatility in the Army’s Budget.”  Diss. Harvard University, Cambridge, 2011.   

Brockmann, Heidi A.  “The Efficacy of Engagement:  Congress and the U.S. Army.”  Panel presentation.  Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society Biennial Meeting, October 21-23, 2011. 

Brockmann, Heidi A.  “The Army’s Engagement with Congress.”  Panel presentation.  International Studies Association Annual Convention, February 17-20, 2010.