A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START Research Team to Develop Risk Communication Training Program

Kathleen Smarick, Special Advisor to the Director at START, and Kate Izsak, START's Education Director, will head a two-year effort that will develop, deliver and evaluate a program focused on training U.S. local leaders on effective risk communication practices related to homeland-security threats. Funded by a $542,556 contract from the Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the training curriculum will reflect the best scientific understanding of effective risk strategies and practices.

Ultimately, the project will provide guidance to local leaders on how best to engage their communities to ensure that warning communications, when issued, will be understood and believed and that communications will prompt appropriate responses from the public. Other team members include:

  • Brooke Liu, Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • Dennis S. Mileti, Professor Emeritus from the Department of Sociology at University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Monica Schoch-Spana, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Ben Sheppard, Lecturer at George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs