Gary Ackerman is Research Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence based at he University of Maryland. He is responsible for managing START research projects, exploring new avenues for research, and establishing collaborative research relationships with other institutions. Mr. Ackerman concurrently holds the post of Director of the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies, a private research and analysis institute. Prior to taking up his current position as Research Director, Mr Ackerman was Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Research Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, and he earlier served as the Chief of Operations of the South Africa-based African-Asian Society. He received his MA in International Relations (Strategic Studies – Terrorism) from Yale University and his Bachelors (Law, Mathematics, International Relations) and Honors (International Relations) degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Originally hailing from South Africa, Mr. Ackerman possesses an eclectic academic background, including past studies in the fields of mathematics, history, law, and international relations, and has won numerous academic awards. His research encompasses various areas relating to terrorism and counterterrorism, including terrorist threat assessment, terrorist technologies and motivations, terrorism involving chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) weapons, terrorist financing, environmental extremism, and the modeling and simulation of terrorist behavior. Mr Ackerman is also co-editor of "Catastrophic Jihad," a forthcoming book exploring the nexus of jihadist terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.