Program on Extremism Launches at GW

Led by Seamus Hughes and Lorenzo Vidino, the program will focus on research and policy solutions.

Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes
Counterterrorism experts Seamus Hughes and Lorenzo Vidino recently joined GW to head the newly-created Program on Extremism. (William Atkins/GW Today)
June 22, 2015

The George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it will establish the Program on Extremism, a first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at providing analysis on and solutions to countering violent and non-violent extremism. 

The program will focus on various forms of extremism, mainly in the United States, with the goal of conducting research and developing policy solutions that resonate with policymakers, civil society leaders and the general public. The new program will bring together a team of experts, including government officials, scholars, former extremists and counter-extremism practitioners, who will provide firsthand assistance to families grappling with radicalization.

“The current terrorist climate calls for a dedicated and sustained effort grounded in empirically based research,” said Frank Cilluffo, director for the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Counterterrorism experts Lorenzo Vidino and Seamus Hughes will lead the program as director and deputy director.

Dr. Vidino is an expert in terrorist networks in the West and governmental counter-radicalization policies. He is the author of various books, including “The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West” published in 2010. Dr. Vidino is a graduate of the University of Milan Law School and Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 

Mr. Hughes previously worked at the National Counterterrorism Center and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee focusing on issues related to terrorism and Countering Violent Extremism.

The recently established Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at GW integrates the activities and personnel of the Homeland Security Policy Institute and the GW Cybersecurity Initiative. The center builds on the longstanding track record of these two entities and engages in policy-relevant research and analysis on critical issues and challenges related to cybersecurity, counterterrorism and homeland security.  The center is governed by a board of directors and a policy and research advisory committee. Its work is supported by a group of non-resident senior fellows.