William Braniff

Braniff William
Department Chair, START Director (on IPA)
Professor of the Practice, University of Maryland
University of Maryland

William Braniff is currently working with the Department of Homeland Security under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement, which is a temporary arrangement that allows non-federal employees to go on assignment for federal institutions. 

William Braniff is the Director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) and a Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland. He previously served as the director of practitioner education at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) and an instructor in the Department of Social Sciences. Braniff is a graduate of the United States Military Academy. Following his Company Command in the U.S. Army, Braniff attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where he received a master’s degree in international relations. Braniff then served as a foreign affairs specialist for the National Nuclear Security Agency. He lectures frequently for counterterrorism audiences including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Special Operations University, National Defense University, the Foreign Service Institute, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Diplomatic Security Service Antiterrorism Assistance Program, the United States Attorneys’ Office and for DHS Homeland Security Investigators. Braniff has also taken a keen interest in the field of terrorism and targeted violence prevention, and his input has been sought out by the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the FBI and the National Security Staff, and the National Counterterrorism Center.  He spoke at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in February 2015, and the United We Stand Summit in 2022. Braniff has testified before Congress on five occasions, and appears regularly in national and international news media. His research focuses on domestic and international terrorism, counterterrorism and terrorism prevention. He previously served as a member of the Editorial Board of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism-The Hague (ICCT), the RESOLVE Network Research Advisory Board, the Prosecution Project Advisory Board, the Hedayah Center International Advisory Board, the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) and a non-voting advisor to the Board of CHC Global. He is also a founding board member of We the Veterans, an organization of veterans and military families dedicated to strengthening American democracy in the face of violent extremism and polarizing misinformation.

Faculty Member

Summer/Winter Courses – START offers fully online summer and winter courses each year, which are open to any current degree seeking student or non-degree seeking individual.

Global Terrorism Studies Minor – This University of Maryland undergraduate program is designed to train the next generation of terrorism analysts, including students who plan to pursue graduate study related to terrorism as well as employment in the federal, state, local, non-profit, and/or private sectors.


  • Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, M.A., International Relations, 2006
  • United States Military Academy, B.S., 1999
  • Superior Civilian Service Award, Department of the Army, 2012
Professional Experience:
  • Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, 2018-Present
  • Executive Director, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, 2012-2018
  • Director of Practitioner Education, United States Military Academy at West Point, Combating Terrorism Center (CTC), 2007-2012
  • Foreign Affairs Specialist, National Nuclear Security Agency, Department of Energy, 2006-2007
  • Armor Company Commander, Armor Battalion Scout Platoon Leader, Armor Company Executive Officer, Armor Company Platoon Leader, United States Army, 1999-2004

Researcher on START Projects

Selected Publications

Beyond al-Qa'ida (Discussion Point)

News References

In Memoriam (News)
A Tale of Two Caliphates (Discussion Point)