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David H. Schanzer
Associate Professor of the Practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security

Areas of Expertise


J.D., Harvard University (1989)

David Schanzer talks with Sanford's dean Kelly Brownell about the roots of violent extremism:


David Schanzer hosts a weekly podcast about Security Issues. It's called On Security. Here's a sample episode:


David Schanzer is an associate professor of the practice at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy University and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, a research consortium between Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI International. In these capacities, he teaches courses, conducts research and engages in public dialogue on counterterrorism strategy, counterterrorism law and homeland security.

Schanzer is the lead author of a widely cited National Institute of Justice study on domestic radicalization – “Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans” (2010) – and a report on “Improving Strategic Risk Management at the Department of Homeland Security,” published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government.  He is a member of the Countering Violent Extremism Leadership Forum and has been a Research Fellow for the National Intelligence Council. 

Prior to his academic appointments, Schanzer was the Democratic staff director for the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005. He previously served as the legislative director for Sen. Jean Carnahan (2001-2002), counsel to Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (1996-1998), and counsel to Sen. William S. Cohen (1994-1996).

His positions in the executive branch include special counsel, Office of General Counsel, Department of Defense (1998-2001) and trial attorney, United States Department of Justice (1992-94). Schanzer was a clerk for U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro and in the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States.

Schanzer is a graduate of Harvard College where he received an A.B. cum laude in government in 1985 and of Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review from 1987-1989. Schanzer has appeared on international, national and local radio and television discussing terrorism and homeland security and is the author of more than 40 op-ed articles on these subjects that have appeared in newspapers around the country and on-line.