Caerus Associates is a research and analysis firm.

We push the boundaries of social and data science to help clients understand and thrive in complex, dynamic environments.


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Understanding data, understanding clients

While many in the world of data science see data as only ones and zeros, Caerus sees data for what it is: a digital representation of a social process. All systems—whether complex, frontier, or linear—have their own data generating process, create unique data signatures, and require social understanding for meaningful analysis. Borrowing from computer science, we describe our work as ‘full stack social science.’ Our services and software tools help clients understand, adapt, and operate in complex and conflict-affected areas around the globe.

Insights, not anomalies

Finding patterns and anomalies is not as important as finding meaning. Caerus combines technical and subject matter expertise with field experience and deep knowledge of the needs of national security stakeholders to translate analytic findings into meaningful insights for decision-makers. Our analytical design approach brings this into focus to specify models, validate findings, and support decision-makers.

Our Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Erin M. Simpson is a leading specialist in identifying data and research requirements for complex environments. She has lectured extensively on emerging technologies, data design, and the role of intelligence in irregular warfare at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), Defense Intelligence Agency, MIT’s Lincoln Labs, Google Ideas, Georgetown, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining Caerus, Dr. Simpson served as the Strategic Advisor to ISAF’s Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team, where she regularly advised senior military commanders throughout Afghanistan on issues related to campaign metrics, strategic assessments, local-defense forces, and illicit networks. Before deploying to Afghanistan she served as an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Marine Command and Staff College in Quantico, VA.

Dr. Simpson holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Kansas.

Our Founder

Dr. David Kilcullen is the Founder and Chairman of Caerus Associates and is a bestselling author and scholar, and a former professional soldier and diplomat. Building on his experience as a strategist and soldier, he was motivated by the idea that conflict is dynamic and hyper-local. Dr. Kilcullen founded Caerus Associates in 2010 to help organizations and communities thrive in complex environments—especially those affected by natural disasters and conflict.

Before founding Caerus, he served 25 years as a light infantry officer in the Australian Army. He then served with the U.S. State Department, where he was chief strategist in the Counterterrorism Bureau, Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, and Senior Advisor for Counterinsurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.