START interns Justin McKillop and Amanda Whiting were recently given the opportunity attend a Symposium held by the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in Washington, D.C.
The event served as an important cross-collaboration opportunity between START and fellow Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence CREATE, which is based at the University of Southern California. Its mission is “to improve the Nation’s security through the development of advanced models and tools for the evaluation of the risks, costs and consequences of terrorism and to guide economically viable investments in homeland security.”
The Symposium was held on June 13th and 14th at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, and was titled “Risks to Transportation Security.” Speakers included Chief Risk Officer of the TSA Kenneth Fletcher, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, as well as three panels discussions titled “Terrorist Threat: Understanding the Dynamics,” “Adaptive Adversary: Challenges for Modeling and Predicting Extreme Behavior” and “Insider Threat: Challenges of Detection and Mitigation.”
According to Whiting, “I enjoyed seeing presentations by START researchers Herbert Tinsley, Omi Hodwitz, William Braniff and Brooke Liu. It was a unique opportunity to see them in a professional setting outside of the START office.”
McKillop and Whiting were originally asked to attend the event as note takers, but before the first day was over, were asked to present their observations to the group.
“We got to speak to a room full of important stakeholders,” said Whiting. “It was such a neat experience, and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to participate.”