Professor James Breckenridge Awarded Fellowship in Terrorism Studies by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C., announced that psychologist James N. Breckenridge, Ph.D., a professor of Psychology and Director of Training of the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP)-Stanford Consortium, has been named a 2007-08 Academic Fellow. Dr. Breckenridge will travel to Israel at the end of May for an intensive and multi-disciplinary study of the ways in which democratic nations can defend themselves from terrorism.

”Terrorism is the greatest threat today to the United States and to the advance of freedom throughout the world,” said Clifford May, President of FDD. ”The Academic Fellows program looks at this threat from a variety of viewpoints and exposes participants to concepts and practices that will of value to their teaching and research on terrorism-related topics.”

In addition to his role at PGSP, Dr. Breckenridge is the lead investigator on a variety of funded research projects investigating psychological aspects of terrorism and homeland security. He was also the Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Science Foundation, in collaboration with the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, to evaluate psychological measures for detecting deception and facilitating national security evaluations.

Most recently, Dr. Breckenridge along with PGSP colleague and psychologist Phil Zimbardo, Ph.D, launched the newly created national Center for Interdisciplinary Policy, Education, and Research on Terrorism (CIPERT)

The mission of CIPERT is to promote the scientific understanding of the causes and effects of all forms of political violence – from politically motivated hate crimes and intergroup hostility, to mass murder and genocide – and translate this understanding into effective policy, education, and research.

”My trip to Israel with the FDD comes on the heels of CIPERT’s launch, and will benefit the important research we are doing at CIPERT,” says Dr. Breckenridge. ”This trip will give me new tools to aid in our study of why people commit violent acts and how citizens can become more resilient to the threat of terrorism.”

The FDD Academic Fellows program provides an intensive learning experience for U.S.-based teaching professionals. The 2007 program, which will be conducted at Tel Aviv University, includes lectures by academics, military and intelligence officials, and diplomats from Israel, Jordan, India, Turkey and the United States. It provides hands-on experience through visits to police, customs, and immigration facilities, military bases, and border zones.

This year’s program includes 45 professors from colleges and universities across the United States. Previous FDD academic fellows have created new courses on terrorism and incorporated their learning into existing courses.

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