Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel and counterterrorism expert.
She is an award winning author, instructor and practicioner. Her book, Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack, is the ASIS Book of the Year for 2015 and bestseller. The awards committee declared that her book is a "must for every security manager's bookshelf" and "easy to read, easy to digest - new information that MUST reach all of our citizens."
The first comprehensive work written on the soft target topic, the author critically examines our psychological vulnerabilities, assesses emergent terror threats, and analyzes specific soft targets such as churches, schools, hospitals, malls, sporting and recreational events.
The book also provides hardening tactics and deterrence and mitigation activities gleaned firsthand by Dr. Hesterman from living in global hotspots and participating in military operations. Based on her work as a military planner, the author developed and presents new soft target hardening concepts such as Effects Based Hardening (EBH), a methodology to assist resource constrained organizations in effectively applying their efforts in areas yielding the most risk mitigation.
The book is written for everyone - soft target venue leaders such as school principals, hospital administrators and church leaders, as well as security professionals. Any citizen without a security background can pick up this book and assess the security at their own church, school or recreational venue to make better decisions for themselves/families.
Citizens have the right to understand the threat and their vulnerability, and how to protect themselves/families! Security information doesn't scare people - it educates and makes them stronger and force multipliers for resource constrained law enforcement and first responders.
Despite escalating criminal violence against places of worship, study and leisure in the U.S., there is hesitation to explore susceptibility to soft target terrorist attacks. This book starts the national dialogue about our vulnerability and is a "must-read" for those who secure, own and operate soft target facilities - and citizens who want to partner to protect themselves and families from attack.
We all deserve to worship, learn, heal, rest and play without fear of attack.
Podcast with Police Magazine, August 2013:
Exceptional 21 year military career: promoted 5 years ahead of peers, retired Colonel. Final position was Vice Wing Commander, Andrews Air Force Base, MD, home of Air Force One; responsible for installation security, force support and the 1st Helicopter Squadron, escorted POTUS, VPOTUS and other heads of state, regular interface with national press. Three Pentagon tours, Capitol Hill and think tank experience, commanded at multiple levels. Post military work includes full time instruction and department chair for the homeland security program at a major university (2007-2011), and contract analyst and instructional work in support of various U.S. Government agencies (2007-present). She is currently a senior fellow for a cyber and homeland security think tank at a major university and on two Boards of Directors for major security organizations.
Dr. Hesterman also lived in the Middle East for two years.
Soft Target Hardening ♦ International Terrorist Organizations ♦ Transnational Organized Crime & Threats ♦ Terror Financing ♦ Domestic Terrorism ♦ Threat Nexus ♦ Terrorist and Criminal Exploitation of the Internet ♦ Leader Development for Intelligence, Law Enforcement and Military Communities
Doctorate of Higher Education and Organizational Change, Benedictine University, Springfield, IL 2014
Senior Executive Fellows Program, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 2006
National Defense Fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DC 2003-2004
MS, Military Operational Art/Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL 2000
MS, Applied Behavioral Science (emphasis in Organizational Development), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 1995
BS, Geography (emphasis in remote sensing and political geography), Penn State University, University Park, PA 1986
MILITARY EDUCATION: Air War College (year seminar); Air Command Staff College, Squadron Officer School (both in residence)
Dr. Hesterman has authored 22 magazine articles and 6 book chapters for Johns Hopkins University SAIS, George Washington University, and others prestigious academic organizations.
Soft Targets and Crisis Management: What Emergency Planners and Security Professionals Need to Know, September, 2016
Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack; ASIS Book of the Year. Bestseller. Taylor and Francis/CRC Press, December 2014
"The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime, and Terror Groups" - Taylor and Francis/CRC Press, April, 2013.
SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Forty events since 2007 for the FBI, ASIS, SSI, MOCIC, GovSec and local law enforcement.
- College of DuPage, Illinois, HSTI, forthcoming, Day-Long Webinar “Domestic Terrorism”
- ASIS Dallas, September 25-27, 2017, conducted two security sessions and one leader development session
- Florida Gang Investigators Association, August, 2017, “Emergent Threats”
- ASIS School Safety and Security Council, June, 2017, “Countering Violent Extremism”
- Ingram Micro Safe and Secure Roadshow, May, 2017, Atlanta, GA, “Soft Target Attacks”
- College of DuPage, Illinois, HSTI, March, 2017, Live Day-Long Webinar “Countering Violent Extremism”
- Panel member for 3 sessions at ASIS 2016 in Orlando
- Conducted Security Roundtable with senior security executives, ISC West, April, 2016
- Live event, College of DuPage, Illinois, March, 2016, “Soft Targets"
- ASIS Security Webinar, October, 2015: “Soft Target Hardening”
- ASIS Women in Security Webinar, October, 2015: “Achieving Balance and Professional Success”
- Nebraska Infrastructure Protection Conference, Omaha, September, 2015: “Soft Target Hardening”
- ASIS Middle East, Dubai, UAE, February, 2015: “Soft Target Hardening”
- Al Udeid Air Base, March 2015, “Achieving Balance and Professional Success”
- ASIS Chapter 255, Doha, Qatar, September, 2014: “Soft Target Hardening”
- Podcast, POLICE Magazine, August, 2013, “The Terrorist-Cartel Nexus”
- Counter Terrorism Summit, Durham, NC, June, 2013: “The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus”
- GOVSEC, Washington DC, May, 2013: “The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus”
- 6th Annual Wisconsin State Counter Terrorism Conference, April, 2013: “Emergent