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Ian Anderson, BA ’07, MPA ‘09

Recent MPA grad puts his specialized skills to use as Reseach Director for the Project on Violent Conflict

Ian Anderson, a 2009 graduate of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, recently began the job of research director for the newly created Project on Violent Conflict (PVC). As research director, he will continue to work with PVC co-directors Dr. Victor Asal and Dr. R. Karl Rethemeyer on a number of federally funded projects from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Defense (DoD). Anderson began this work with Dr. Asal in 2005 as an undergraduate researcher working on the Big Allied and Dangerous 1 (BAAD) project, a dataset containing organizational and network data for 395 terrorist organizations operating from 1998-2005. As an undergraduate, he was awarded funding from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a DHS Center of Excellence, in their undergraduate research program. This funded his continued work on BAAD, as well as personal research projects on terrorist targeting and tactics. Anderson has also has the opportunity to present this work at multiple DHS-sponsored conferences, and recently had a paper he co-authored, titled “The Softest of Targets: A Study on Terrorist Target Selection” published in the Journal of Applied Security Research (JASR).

Anderson received his Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Homeland Security from Rockefeller in May of 2009. While a student, he served as president of the Public Affairs Student Association (PASA) for the 2008-2009 academic year. He attended the University at Albany as an undergraduate, graduating with a BA in Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations. Anderson’s research interests include terrorist organizational and network dynamics, intelligence analysis, terrorist targeting patterns, and geo-politics. Aside from his work in political violence research, he has been involved in politics at the local, state, and national levels.

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