Homegrown Violent Extremism Expert
Dr. Southers is a sought-after expert, author, researcher and award-winning professor of homegrown violent extremism (HVE) and counterterrorism. He has testified before the full Congressional Committee on Homeland Security as a subject matter expert, most recently at the only hearing on the Boston Marathon Bombing. He has also provided briefings to the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State.
He is a regular speaker at similar forums around the world, notably the annual World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. His TEDx Talk, “Homegrown – Educating Communities About Violent Extremism,” offered a nuanced and holistic approach to understanding the increasing danger facing the homeland. Dr. Southers is also the author of Homegrown Violent Extremism, the definitive book on HVE in America, published by Routledge.
Security Assessment Consultant
Dr. Southers consults and contributes to security projects around the world addressing critical infrastructure protection and the security of public institutions and venues. His expertise was solicited for a “best practices guide” on counterterrorism for sporting and entertainment venues. He was the first American invited to evaluate the terrorism countermeasures for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he also led the security risk assessment for the proposed NFL stadium in Inglewood, California. Dr. Southers is the Managing Director for Counter-Terrorism and Infrastructure Protection for the international security consulting firm TAL Global Corporation, managing security risk assessments, executive searches for security administrators, emergency preparedness and response plans, and TAL Global’s state-of-the art “Enhanced Emergency Exercise” (EEE) training program.
Dr. Southers has also been engaged in school violence prevention and security since 1996. He was the consultant for the California Association of Independent Schools, National Association of Independent Schools and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Arnold’s All Stars Afterschool Program.” Recently, he managed the security assessment, emergency preparedness and training for the Community Education Building (CEB) in Wilmington, Delaware, the institution for several charter schools.
Public Safety Specialist
Dr. Southers has served at all levels of law enforcement, culminating as Assistant Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence at the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Police Department. In that role, he helped pioneer the randomized, game-theoretic security protection strategy ARMOR, which was ultimately implemented for use by the Federal Air Marshals Service, U.S. Coast Guard, and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
He previously enjoyed the distinction of FBI Special Agent, as the undercover agent in several classified counterterrorism operations and also as a member of the Bureau’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. Dr. Southers started his law enforcement career at the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), where he was assigned to a variety of special details, notably the Gang Unit, where he later became a California Superior Court-qualified gang expert.
World-Renowned Academic Practitioner
An award-winning faculty member at the University of Southern California (USC), Dr. Southers’ unique interdisciplinary knowledge provides students and institutions with rigorous academic research informed by decades of real world experience. At USC, he developed the Executive Program in Counterterrorism and served as a Professor of Practice in National & Homeland Security at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. He was named the 2013 and 2014 Outstanding Adjunct Professor of the Year, and in 2014, he received the Outstanding Doctoral Project Award.
Dr. Southers is also a Visiting Fellow and member of the Professional Advisory Board of the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel; a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Homeland Security Project; a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs; a member of the Advisory Committee for the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA) at Rutgers University; and member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.