Public Service & Policy Analysis

INSCT’s national security and counterterrorism experts have extensive practical experience engaging complex and evolving security issues. They have worked at the highest levels of government, law enforcement, and the military. They are regularly called upon to testify before Congress, the UN, and world governments; to appear in local, national, and international news forums; and to write reports for think tanks, law organizations, federal agencies, private sector firms, and non-profits. 
  • Thanks to strategic growth and interdisciplinary understanding of the field, INSCT remains on the leading edge of security and counterterrorism research and policy analysis.
  • Our interdisciplinary approach leverages expertise in military planning, political science, public affairs, public management, diplomacy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, law, communications, economics, and more.
  • Our Distinguished Senior Policy Advisor is Gen. Montgomery Meigs (Ret.), former commander of NATO’s Bosnian peacekeeping force, former director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), and now visiting professor of Strategy and Military Operations at Georgetown University’s Center for Peace and Security Studies.
  • Other senior policy advisors are Mitchel B. Wallerstein, former dean of The Maxwell School and now President of Baruch College, City University of New York, and James B. Steinberg, current dean of The Maxwell School and former US Deputy Secretary of State. Research and practice associates are drawn from the US Department of Justice, US Marine Corps, Lockheed Martin, Albany Law School, and elsewhere.
  • Our scholars and practitioners take into account the changing patterns of global conflict and structural changes in world order to provide the most appropriate legal and policy advice to solve complex challenges.
  • Our evolving mission follows the contours of the changing threat landscape, from terrorism and rogue states to climate security, energy security, cybersecurity, and asymmetric warfare.
  • We study the balance between robust and soft power responses to security and counterterrorism threats and strongly emphasize the role of peacekeeping, conflict resolution, and rule-of-law-based post-conflict reconstruction.

INSCT Policy Advisors

Montgomery Meigs
Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs (Ret.), Distinguished Senior Policy Advisor
During a 35-year career in the US Army, Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, US Army (Ret.) served as Commander, US Army Europe (1998-2002). For the first year of that assignment, he also served as Commander of SFOR, NATO’s peacekeeping force in Bosnia. He also led the 1st Infantry Division in its deployment, enforcing the Dayton Treaty in Bosnia (1996-1997). In addition, he was Commander of the US Army Combined Arms Center and Commandant of the Army’s Staff College (1997-1998). He also commanded the Iron Brigade of the 1st Armored Division in Operation Desert Storm and served as a Senior Strategic Planner for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon (1987-1990) with responsibility for the National War Plan. His decorations include the US Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Bronze Star with “V” Device, and the Purple Heart …
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Following his retirement in 2003, Meigs was Tom Slick Visiting Professor of World Peace at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas-Austin; he served as the Louis A. Bantle Chair of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University; and he was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he taught courses on defense challenges in the 21st century and American strategic practice and conducted research on decision making in national security and on the process of disruptive technological innovation in defense affairs.From 2006 to 2008, Meigs was Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he assisted combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan in countering improvised explosive devices. He was Business Executives for National Security President and CEO in from 2010 to 2013.He is the author of Slide Rules and Submarines: American Scientists and Subsurface Warfare in World War II (National Defense University Press, 2002), and he has written numerous articles and editorials on military operations and strategy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his bachelor’s degree from the US Military Academy and a Ph.D. and master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
James B Steinberg
James B Steinberg, Dean, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
James B. Steinberg became the ninth Dean of the Maxwell School on July 1, 2011. He also holds the title of University Professor of Social Science, International Affairs, and Law.Steinberg is an internationally recognized expert in public affairs and foreign policy, most recently serving as US Deputy Secretary of State under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Prior to his appointment in the President Barack Obama administration, he served as Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs (2006-2009) and as Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC (2001-2005) …
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From 1996-2000, Steinberg served as Deputy National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton. During that period, he also served as the president’s personal representative to the 1998 and 1999 G-8 summits. Before becoming Deputy National Security Advisor, he was Director of the US Department of State’s policy planning staff and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Analysis in the US Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before joining the state department, he was a Senior Analyst at RAND and a Senior Fellow for US Strategic Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. From 1983 to 1985, Steinberg served as Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Principal Aide for the Armed Services Committee, and from 1981 to 1983, he was Minority Counsel for the US Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Previously, he was a Special Assistant to the US Assistant Attorney General (Civil Division); law clerk to Judge David Bazelon, US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit; and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.Steinberg is the author of and contributor to numerous books and articles on foreign policy and national security topics, including Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Presidential Power (Brookings Institution Press, 2008); Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 (Brookings Institution Press, 2006); and An Ever Closer Union: European Integration and Its Implications for the Future of US-European Relations (RAND, 1993).
Mitchel B Wallerstein
Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein, President, Baruch College, City University of New York
Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein became the President of Baruch College, City University of New York in August 2010. Before this appointment, Wallerstein was Dean of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, from 2003-2010, where he also held an appointment as professor of Political Science and Public Administration.Before joining the Maxwell School, Wallerstein was Vice President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, IL, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations. From 1998 to 2003, he directed the foundation’s Program on Global Security and Sustainability, which provides more than $85 million in grants each year for initiatives in international peace and security, conservation and sustainable development, population and reproductive health, human rights, and issues related to globalization …
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In 1993, Wallerstein was appointed by President Bill Clinton as US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counterproliferation Policy and as Senior Defense Representative for US Trade Security Policy. During his five-year tenure in the US Department of Defense, he examined nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation issues, and he helped to found—and subsequently he co-chaired—the Senior Defense Group on Proliferation at the NATO. In January 1997, then-US Secretary of Defense William J. Perry awarded Wallerstein the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, and he subsequently received the Bronze Palm to that award in April 1998 from Secretary William Cohen.Before his government service, Wallerstein was the Deputy Executive Officer of the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering. The Academies are congressionally chartered, non-profit organizations that advise the government on policy matters involving science and technology. While at the NRC, he directed a series of highly acclaimed studies on science, technology, and national security.In addition to his seven years on the faculty of Syracuse University, Wallerstein’s academic career has included a term as Distinguished Research Professor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC and five years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as appointments at Holy Cross College, the Elliott School of George Washington University, the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.Wallerstein is the Past President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. The author of numerous books, articles, monographs, and research studies, he holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Political Science from MIT, a Masters in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

  • Public Service News & Events

    • disaster risk

      Professor Emeritus William C. Banks is among the authors included in a groundbreaking handbook for the emerging fields of disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction (DRR) law. The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (Cambridge, 2019) is edited by Katja L. H. Samuel, Marie Aronsson-Storrier, and Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller. Banks’ chapter—”Improving Disaster Risk Mitigation: Towards a ‘Multi-Hazard’ Approach to Terrorism”—is co-authored with Samuel and Daphné Richemond-Barak, of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. The new handbook introduces concepts of DRR, especially DRR law; highlights the critical need for broader cross-sectoral engagement on DRR issues; looks…

    • national emergency

      President Donald J. Trump has made it known that he would declare a “national emergency” at the US/Mexico border in order to secure funds to build a southern border wall, an effort to augment funds that Congress has appropriated for border security in a bill that the president is expected to sign. The national emergency declaration would be unusual in this case, as the southern border crisis lacks the immediacy of a catastrophe such as Sept. 11, 2001. The declaration also may be unconstitutional, and it probably will be challenged in the courts. National security expert Professor Emeritus William C. Banks has…

    • Southern Border Crisis

      Opinion: Declaration would defy Congress and abuse power By William C. Banks (Newsday | Feb. 10, 2019) President Donald Trump has described the congressional negotiations over his request for $5.7 billion to fund a Southern border wall as a “waste of time.” He has repeatedly insisted that he can and will build the wall after declaring a national emergency at the border. If the president proceeds, he will undermine the role of Congress in our constitutional system and make a mockery of the uses of this extraordinary emergency power as exercised by modern presidents. Rhetoric and politics aside, consider a…

    • Emergency Powers

      Symposium on Presidential Emergency Powers: Legal Overview (C-Span | Jan 18, 2019) On Jan. 9, 2019, the Brennan Center for Justice and the R Street Institute hosted a symposium in Washington, DC, to consider the history, application and scope of presidential emergency powers. This portion of the symposium featured legal and policy experts—including INSCT Founding Director William C. Banks—who provided an overview of the range of executive powers that could be used by the president. The Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program Director Liza Goitein also addressed President Trump’s potential application of emergency powers to build a wall along…

    • Veterans Research

      (Military Times | Jan. 5, 2019) Here’s something everyone can agree on: The way the public views veterans isn’t always accurate. Take the assumption that all veterans have served in combat and have post-traumatic stress disorder, for example. Or that people only go into the military because they can’t get into college. Those are just a couple of the “persistent, recycled myths” about veterans that Syracuse University researchers addressed during a session at the Student Veterans of America National Conference Friday, using both federal data and an 8,600-person survey of the military community to debunk some of the most common…

    • Lockerbie Disaster

      Staring into the ‘bowels of hell’: Lockerbie disaster 30 years on and the ongoing transatlantic search for justice In an exclusive interview marking the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing, Michael Alexander speaks to an American terrorism expert whose university is marking the loss of 35 of its students in the attack – and hears the ‘hellish’ memories of several journalists who covered the aftermath. (The Courier | Dec. 21, 2018) Cruising at a height of 31,000 feet and packed with students embarking on the long journey home to America for Christmas, passengers on board New York-bound Pan Am flight…


Student Projects

INSCT guides graduate student capstone and similar projects that are developed for real-world clients, including federal committees, non-profit organizations, and private contractors.


Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported two capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation. The student teams are pictured below, outside the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, in June 2018.

MPA Workshop 2018


Under the guidance of INSCT Director William C. Banks and Director of Research Corri Zoli, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, worked on the following Countering Violent Extremist (CVE) projects:

  1. A multi-institutional partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to create recommendations for the DHS Secretary for Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities and the K-12 Community with relation to CVE-related academic programs and research.
  2. A continuation of the collaboration with the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) examining member states’ implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014) to examine the domestic implementation of UNSCR 2178 and challenges among member states; to explore and compare emerging CVE laws and policies; and to track Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) flows and returnees.

On April 28, 2017, students in INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center presented research findings in the workshop “Understanding Interdisciplinary Responses to International Terrorism & Violent Extremisms” at SU College of Law. The students’ work was the culmination of a semester-long partnership with Emory University, George Washington University, and the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Strategic Partnerships with Colleges and Universities.

Workshop topics included the role of the UN in crafting international counterterrorism policy; women’s leadership roles in terrorist organizations; the importance of anti-extremist K-12 educational programs; cross-cultural perspectives on CVE programs that work in other countries; the experience of vulnerable communities with CVE in the US; the challenge of implementing counterterrorist and counter-extremist laws and statutes; and the role of “hard” and “soft” power CVE mechanisms, including drones.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three PAI 752 capstone projects for the Institute for Defense Analyses and RAND Corporation, as well as for the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder Center (report prepared by students Chris Davis, Jason Mehta, Kristiana Nelsen, Kevin O’Brien, and Devon Seymour). The photo below shows students in Washington, DC, preparing to visit clients IDA and RAND.


Below, INSCT alumna Jane Yoona Chung (MPA/MAIR ’16) leads a presentation by students in INSCT’s National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center to their clients, representatives of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)—including David Scharia, Senior Legal Officer, CTED (seated at right)—on May 2, 2016.

The students presented research on how UN member states from various regions are complying with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), which calls on member states to prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting, or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts.”


Below, under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Under the guidance of Professor William C. Banks, students in the National Security and Counterterrorism Research Center, a working laboratory for law and other graduate students interested in contemporary security issues, created three interrelated reports that addressed criminal, administrative, and prosecutorial strategies to halt the international flow of terrorism, as well as countries’ compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014). The client was the UN CounterTerrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). In March 2015, 18 students representing SU Maxwell School and the College of Law presented their reports to the CTED at the UN headquarters in New York City.


Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three capstone projects for clients the Institute for Defense Analyses, RAND Corporation, and Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


Under the guidance of INSCT Faculty Member Ines Mergel, Maxwell School MPA students Alys Alley, Mariko Mori, Amanda Vitullo, and Janelle Wallace worked with the New York State Office of Emergency Management to produce a report called Social Media Monitoring for Emergency Managersconducting interviews with emergency management professionals throughout the US to extract current SM monitoring practices. In Spring 2015, students presented their findings to a meeting of emergency managers at the SU College of Law.



Under the guidance of Assistant Director Keli Perrin, INSCT supported two projects:

  • Managing Cybersecurity Threats to the Smart Grid” for Iberdrola USA.
  • “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Regulatory Landscape (A State-by-State Comparison)” for the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security, and Military Affairs.

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).

Under the guidance of Professor Robert Murrett, INSCT supported three projects:

  • A report and briefing on the impact of 2012 and 2013 defense budget decisions (for the Institute for Defense Analysis).
  • A report and briefing on non-military support for security operations (for the RAND Corporation).
  • Data collection and analysis of Central New York veterans’ medical needs (in partnership with the Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center).

Building Police Capacity in Indonesia & The Philippines: An Analysis of Military and Civilian Models

Six MPA students (Amy Bonilla, Chris DeMure, Marineth Riano-Domingo, Pat Manley, Cesar Sevilla, and Quinn Warner)—advised by Professor William C. Banks, in collaboration with Dana Abro at the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICTAP), US Department of Justice, and the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI)—analyzed military and civilian policing models, developed a gap analysis for current police assistance programs in Indonesia and the Philippines, and drew from police reform efforts in both countries to recommend a list of best practices.


Assessing the Terrorist Threat

In this report of the New America Foundation’s National Security Preparedness Group by Peter Bergen of CNN and Bruce Hoffman, the authors note that although the threat of another attack by al-Qaeda is less severe than the catastrophic proportions of a 9/11-like attack, it is more complex and more diverse than at any time over the past nine years. Maxwell School M.P.A. students contributed to the research in this report.

“Post-9/11 Jihadist Terrorism Cases Involving US Citizens & Residents.”

Students worked with the New America Foundation and Peter Bergen of CNN to prepare this report and database.


Integrating USAID and DOS: The Future of Development and Diplomacy

A report for the Project on National Security Reform Issue Team examining how the foreign assistance function can be consolidated within the US Department of State, making it more effective.


Securing America’s Passenger Rails: Analyzing Current Challenges and Future Solutions

This report is included in the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Homeland Security Digital Library, which is a targeted collection of documents that are expected to influence homeland security policy and strategy development.


Chemical Security in New Jersey: An Overview of Planning, Information Sharing, and Response.”

This study was submitted to the US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security to provide its members with an overview of New Jersey’s current state of preparedness for responding to a chemical catastrophe.

  • Appendices
  • The US House of Representatives passed HR1680 on Oct. 23, 2007, regulating sales of ammonium nitrate. The INSCT/MPA Workshop “Legal Controls on Explosive Materials” (see below) also contributed to this effort.

Are We Ready: A Practical Examination of the Strategic National Stockpile in Response to Public Health Crises“Report prepared for US House of Representatives House Committee on Homeland Security, used in the drafting H.R. 3197, the Secure Handling of Ammonium Nitrate Act of 2006.

Other Projects

  • “National Security Leaks”
  • “Whistleblower Protection Act”
  • “Triage During Mass Casualty Events”
  • “Amending the HIPAA to Mandate Disclosure For the Creation of a National Health Alert Network

Legal Controls on Explosive Materials“A report prepared for US House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security Democratic Staff.

Other Projects:

  • “Northern Border Security”
  • “US National Security Strategy”
  • “Terrorist Financing”
  • “Outsourcing War”
  • “National Security, Technology, and Expectations of Privacy”
  • “Responding to Disasters in the Homeland: The Role of the Military and Federal, State, and Local Government Actors”
  • “The USA PATRIOT Act: How Can We Prevent Terrorism and Protect Civil Liberties”
  • “Securing the US Homeland”
  • “Securing the US Border”
  • “The Treatment of Detainees in the War on Terrorism”
  • “Background Papers on the Information Sharing and Homeland Security Conference”
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
  • “Commentary on Enemy Combatant Cases”
  • Conflict Behavior in Muslim States” (2013). By Carolyn Abdenour, Emily Schneider, and Courtney Schuster (all LAW ’13), with the assistance of INSCT Research Assistant Professor Corri Zoli.
  • Libya in Conflict: Mapping the Libyan Conflict” (2012). By René Moya (LAW ’12) and Mikala Steenholdt (LAW ’12), with the assistance of professors David M. Crane and Corri Zoli.
Contact Contact

Keli Perrin
INSCT Assistant Director | 315.443.2284

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