John Sawyer

Sawyer John
Director of Strategic Corporate Research Relationships
University of Maryland
Former Investigator

John P. Sawyer is the Director of Strategic Corporate Research Relationships, where he is expanding the unique partnership between the University of Maryland and Lockheed Martin as well as growing the volume and visibility of other corporate research collaborations. John joined the Division of Research after six years as a senior researcher and the Special Projects program manager for START. In this role, he was responsible for developing and managing innovative research projects and unified research programs, fostering and maintaining collaborative and sponsor relationships, and transitioning START research into operational and analytical tools for government and nongovernment clients.

Sawyer has served as a lead investigator or senior researcher on several large government-funded research and data collection projects. With various START colleagues, he designed and implemented the data collection protocols for the Profiles of Incidents involving CBRN by Non-State Actors (POICN) – the most rigorous and comprehensive open-source database of politically-motivated incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials, longitudinal perpetrator profiles and CBRN-related technology characteristics – and the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) – the most detailed open-source database on the attributes of American violent and nonviolent extremists.

Sawyer has studied a range of terrorism research subjects, including the effects of competition within ethno-nationalist constituencies; effects of regime type on internationalization of terrorism; the threat of WMD terrorism posed by apocalyptic/millenarian cults; influences on the radicalization process of violent Islamist extremists; and unintended effects of states’ influence operations against violent groups. He is an expert in qualitative and quantitative research design and analysis, and has taught the analytical methods course for Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program.

Sawyer also draws on his prior experience as a business development consultant to manage the variety of projects within Special Projects and ensure compliance with federal, state and university laws and directives.                                                                                                                         



Professional Experience:
  • University of Maryland, Director of Strategic Corporate Research Relationships, 2016-present
  • University of Maryland, (A) Director, Special Projects Division, 2013-2016
  • University of Maryland, Program Manager/Senior Researcher, 2010-2016
  • Georgetown University, Adjunct Professor, 2011
  • University of Maryland, Project Manager/Senior Researcher, 2010-2012
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County, Visiting Lecturer, 2010
  • University of Maryland, Co-Lead Investigator, 2009-2010
  • Queen’s University-Belfast, Visiting Research Associate, 2007-2008
  • Center for a New American Security, Graduate Researcher, 2007
  • Georgetown University, START Predoctoral Fellow, 2007-2008
  • London Ventures International, Senior Consultant, 2006-2009