Assistant Professor and Chair, Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism
Benjamin P. Nickels, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism. In this capacity, Dr. Nickels oversees curriculum and program development in the area of transnational threats focusing on effective practices that promote civil-military cooperation, respect for democratic values, and safeguard of human rights.
Prior to joining the Africa Center, Dr. Nickels was a faculty researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland College Park.
At START, Dr. Nickels conducted research on the effectiveness and impacts of counter-terrorism measures. His work included case studies on counter-terrorism measures against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the threat of homegrown Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Nickels holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago. He has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, as well as a Chateaubriand fellow and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) researcher in France. He has taught courses on counter-terrorism, political violence, and Muslim intellectual history. Dr. Nickels also has worked as an analyst and supervisor for a defense contractor in the U.S. Department of the Army.
Areas of Expertise
Counter-Terrorism, Countering Extremism, Irregular Warfare, Identity Conflict, North Africa