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CEHC Expands Faculty, Grows Expertise in Terrorism and Crisis Management

New CEHC faculty members, left to right, Eric K. Stern, Brandon Behlendorf, and Michael Young.

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 2, 2016) — The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) has enhanced its expertise with the appointment of three new faculty who are nationally and internationally respected researchers and practitioners in the fields of terrorism and crisis management. CEHC welcomes Eric K. Stern, Brandon Behlendorf, and Michael Young to its growing ranks of faculty.

"We are delighted to have recruited such an outstanding group of faculty as founding members of the new College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity" said CEHC Interim Dean David L. Rousseau. "These accomplished scholars are institution builders who are eager to assist in the development of new academic programs, the recruitment of the next round of faculty, and the launch of our research groups."

Eric K. Stern

Stern comes to CEHC from the Swedish Defense University, where he was a professor of political science and crisis management. He served as director of the Swedish National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training from 2004 to 2011. He is also editor-in-chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Crisis Analysis.

Stern has published extensively in the fields of crisis and emergency management, crisis communication, resilience, security studies, executive leadership, foreign policy analysis and political psychology. His book The Politics of Crisis Management: Leadership Under Pressure (2005) was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Herbert Simon Award.

In addition to his scholarly work, he has collaborated closely with a wide range of governmental agencies in the U.S. — such as the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, FEMA, the Coast Guard, and FBI — and overseas — including the U.K. Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, Slovenia, and S. Korea. He has also worked on research and training projects with the European Union Commission and with specialized agencies, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"Professor Stern is a perfect fit for the new College," said Rousseau. "His research in emergency management and crisis communication is respected by scholars across the globe and his dedication to applied learning and interactive education will prove critical for the development of our unique curriculum and active learning approach."

Brandon Behlendorf

Behlendorf arrives at UAlbany from the University of Maryland, where he was assistant research director for development and the senior researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). In the latter role, he conducted multi-method modeling and analysis on a range of security threats, including terrorist targeting strategies, maritime piracy, border security, nuclear trafficking and transnational criminal activity.

His work focuses on addressing these security threats by developing both empirical and computational approaches to foster new avenues of theory and drive new applications focused on operational end users. His approaches focus on three key topics: the geography of illicit networks; the complexity of response to security threats; and the legitimization of institutions through citizen-state interactions.

Behlendorf’s work has been funded by the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security, and the National Science Foundation, and published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, as well as numerous governmental reports and monographs.

"Brandon has a proven track record as a senior researcher at the START Center at Maryland," said Rousseau. "He has been instrumental in obtaining millions of dollars in grants for the Center and in producing cutting edge research in the areas of terrorism, piracy, border security and transnational crime. He will be a cornerstone of our external funding efforts."

Michael Young

Young, a new research associate, is a political scientist trained in international relations, theory and methods, as well as political psychology. He is the president and co-founder of Social Science Automation, Inc., and co-founder of Threat Triage LLC, which uses textual analysis to assess and prioritize threats.

An expert in the field of automated text analysis, he has been recognized for his development of Profiler Plus, a general purpose platform for automated text coding with a broad range of applications that include media, social network and political analyses, and assessment. He also developed WorldView, a method of enhanced cognitive mapping that aids the systematic study of belief system content and decision process.

Young holds hands-on experience with the U.S. intelligence community and spent 15 years performing research and training analysts that effectively assisted U.S. policymakers, planners, combatant commands, joint task forces, and special operations forces in assessing and forecasting foreign leadership behavior and decision-making in international situations of critical interest to the U.S.

His most recent article is “Increased Complexity Has Its Benefits.” with Margaret G. Hermann, in the October 2014 issue of Political Psychology.

"Dr. Young has a unique background that brings a special dimension to the research and teaching missions of the new College," said Rousseau. "We live in a 'big data' world, and Michael’s work on automated text analysis will allow us to explore threats, decision-making, intelligence, terrorism and disaster in important and innovative ways."

The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity

The University was named home to CEHC, the first-in-the-nation security college dedicated to enhancing the security of New York State, the nation and the world, by Governor Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State Address. Its mission is to support high-quality academic programs for undergraduate and graduate students, to produce new knowledge through innovative research, and to provide training and lifelong learning opportunities for professionals – all to help prepare for, protect against, respond to, and recover from a growing array of natural and man-made risks and threats in New York State and around the world.

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