Jenni Hesterman

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (retired), served in three Pentagon tours, and commanded in the field multiple times during her distinguished military career. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she was responsible for installation security, force support, and the 1st Helicopter Squadron, and regularly escorted the President and other heads of State on the ramp.


Since her retirement in 2007, Dr. Hesterman has continued serving as a cleared professional, studying international and domestic terrorist organizations, transnational threats, and organized crime. She is one of very few analysts specializing in the threat nexus, detecting the liaising, sharing or mirroring of operational tactics and financing methods between nefarious groups. Dr. Hesterman tracks terrorist exploitation of social networking, nonbank and Internet auction sites and studies the Dark Web. She is the subject matter expert on soft target vulnerabilities and hardening tactics for schools, churches and hospitals.


An academic author for Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, her textbooks Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack (2014) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime and Terror Groups (2013) are used in over 150 university security programs worldwide. Dr. Hesterman is instructor and course designer for government law enforcement and security organizations and a sought after speaker, with over thirty keynote and guest speaking events. She is also a contributing editor for The Counter Terrorist Magazine.


Dr. Hesterman serves an advisor for Watermark Risk Management International; a senior analyst for The MASY Group; is on the Advisory Board for the Government Security Conference and a member of the ASIS Crime and Loss Prevention and School Security Councils.

She has a doctoral degree from Benedictine University, and also holds Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University. In 2003, she was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. where she immersed herself in a year-long study of the nexus between organized crime and international terrorism. She is also a 2006 alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program.

Dr. Hesterman currently lives in an undisclosed location in the Middle East.