Dr. Erroll G. Southers is an internationally recognized expert on counterterrorism, public safety, infrastructure protection, and homeland security. He is the Director of the Safe Communities Institute at the University of Southern California, where he is also a Professor of the Practice in National & Homeland Security.

Dr. Southers is the Managing Director for Counter-Terrorism & Infrastructure Protection at TAL Global, an international security consulting firm. There he directs security assessments addressing transportation modalities, stadium venues, and educational and cultural institutions.

Dr. Southers with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Previously, Dr. Southers served as: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Director in the California Office of Homeland Security; Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department (the nation’s largest airport police department); and President Barack Obama’s first nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Transportation Security Administration.

LAWA-mdBefore this, Dr. Southers was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also worked seven years as a police officer with the Santa Monica Police Department. Lecturing at Joint Chiefs of Staff Antiterrorism Seminars and testifying before Congress on homeland security matters, Dr. Southers was recognized in Security Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Industry Thought Leaders in the United States and is a recipient of the Earl Warren Outstanding Public Service Award.

He is a Senior Fellow of the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a Visiting Fellow of the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. Dr. Southers lectures throughout the world and has been interviewed on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, NPR and a variety of other news programs. He holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees from USC and earned his BA from Brown University.

Dr. Southers has appeared in numerous documentary series and shows. He stars in the Bravo reality TV show Spy Games, serving as an “assessor” on a panel of judges. He also hosts Price Projection Room, a podcast about film and television featuring conversations with USC scholars and media industry leaders discussing visual storytelling, media literacy, diversity, and the public good.


Awards and Acknowledgements

Throughout his career, Dr. Southers has received dozens of awards and acknowledgements, including:

  • USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Robert Biller Outstanding Faculty Award
  • American Society for Public Administration Earl Warren Outstanding Public Service Award
  • Security Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Industry Thought Leaders in the United States
  • The Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Airport Security at LAX
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society Honorary Inductee, Whittier College
  • USC Widney Alumni House Award
  • Certified in Homeland Security Program Top Achiever Award
  • International Organization of Black Security Executives Leading Edge Award
  • Rio Hondo Police Academy Outstanding Cadet Award

Erroll Southers and President Barack Obama