CREATE Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism Class of 2016

By Jennifer Maravillas 

The University of Southern California’s Center of Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) hosted its annual Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism July 31 – August 5, 2016. 

The program, designed to challenge international counter-terrorism leaders and enhance their analysis, coordination, and response capabilities to the evolving terrorism threat is the first of its kind. It has been structured specifically for public sector professionals and policymakers and employs an interdisciplinary academic and experiential learning environment. 

“The course is an excellent opportunity to connect with people from other disciplines and other agencies and help establish much needed collaboration,” says Dr. Erroll Southers, CREATE’s Director of International Programs. The class of 2016 represented a diverse group of law enforcement agencies and organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Long Beach Police Department, Los Angeles Airport Police, US Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security and others. 

“I applied to the program for both professional and personal interests in addressing the threat of global terrorism” said Susan Rossi Managing Director with California Power Exchange Corporation. Sgt. Kelly Carpenter from Brea Police Department added, “The opportunity to develop critical connections and partnership in the field of counter-terrorism made this course appealing.” 

The program includes a mixture of site visits and lectures from leading counter-terrorism experts. Students met with security operations officials at various locations including Universal Studios, Port of Long Beach, Los Angeles Metro Rail Operations and Los Angeles International Airport where Police Chief Patrick M. Gannon shared a unique perspective on the 2013 LAX airport shooting.  Speakers included Boaz Ganor author of Global Alert- The rationality of Modern Islamist Terrorism, Ron Iden Senior Vice President and Chief Security officer of Disney and keynote speaker Chris Fussell former Navy SEAL and coauthor of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World and others. 

This dynamic course offers attendees first-hand experience to the interdisciplinary approaches to counter-terrorism. “The program is going into its ninth year and has been running extremely well.” said Southers. This success is largely due to the unique ‘behind-the-scenes’ site visits, lectures by world leaders in the field of counter-terrorism and the invaluable networking opportunities.

CREATE’s Executive Program in Counter-Terrorism has received a lot of expressed interest from the east coast and hopes to expand this program into a bicoastal opportunity.

To view more images from this year’s class click here.