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