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Box 90250
Durham, NC 27708-0250
136 Rubenstein Hall, Terry Sanford School of Public Policy
Durham, NC 27708


(919) 613-9279



David H. Schanzer
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 explores whether Congress should make domestic terrorism a crime on the Policy 360 podcast:




David Schanzer is a professor of the practice at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy University and director of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. He teaches courses, conducts research and engages in public dialogue on counterterrorism strategy, counterterrorism law and homeland security.

Schanzer is the lead author of two National Institute of Justice studies:  The Promise and The Challenge and Promise of Using Community Policing Strategies to Prevent Violent Extremism (2016) and  Anti-Terror Lessons of Muslim Americans (2010). He has served 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 70 op-ed articles on these subjects that have appeared in newspapers around the country and on-line.