Michael Jensen

Research Director and Senior Researcher, START
University of Maryland

Dr. Michael Jensen is the Research Director and a Senior Researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, where he leads the center’s team on domestic radicalization and manages data collection for the Global Terrorism Database. He has led or co-led more than $4.5 million in research funded by the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the European Union. Currently, he leads the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, which is a first-of-its kind database on the radicalization characteristics of U.S. extremists.

Jensen is the co-editor of the Realism Reader with Colin Elman and his research has appeared in numerous chapters, research reports, and articles, including those in Criminology and Terrorism and Political Violence. Jensen has provided commentary and analysis on political violence and terrorism prevention for the world’s leading news media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Associated Press, and he given numerous invited presentations to leading national and international counterterrorism and terrorism prevention organizations, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS); Pretrial and Probation Services Office, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; National Counterterrorism Center; Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate; National Advocacy Center; International Association of Chiefs of Police; North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Anti-Defamation League; and United States Institute of Peace.

In addition to his research, Jensen has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on terrorism and international security for the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland, the Department of Political Science at Syracuse University, and the Department of Political Science at Arizona State University. Prior to joining START in 2012, Jensen earned his Ph.D. in political science from Arizona State University and was a post-doctoral fellow in the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and the Associate Director of the Consortium on Qualitative Research Methods (CQRM). 


  • Arizona State University, Ph.D., Political Science
Professional Experience:
  • University of Maryland, START, Senior Researcher, 2012-present
  • George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, Adjunct Professor, 2012-present
  • University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Instructor, 2012-2014
  • Syracuse University, Associate Director, Consortium on Qualitative Research Methods (CQRM), 2009-2011
  • Syracuse University, Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Post-doctoral Fellow, 2009-2011

Selected Publications

Boko Haram Recent Attacks (Background Report)

News References