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Dr Benjamin P. Nickels


Assistant Professor, Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism, Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS), National Defence University (Washington)

Benjamin P. Nickels is Assistant Professor of Transnational Threats and Counter-Terrorism at the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS) of the National Defence University in Washington.

Dr Benjamin P. Nickels is Associate Professor and Academic Chair for Transnational Threats and Counterterrorism at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS).  In this capacity, Dr Nickels partners with African civil society and government leaders on global security solutions that promote human rights, democratic values, and civil–military relations.  He has worked with security professionals on the ground in 18 African countries and several European nations.

Dr Nickels’ research focuses on terrorism and counterterrorism, political violence, and human security in the Sahel, North Africa, and the Horn, as well as security cooperation in Africa and the role of U.S., European, and other international actors.

Prior to joining ACSS, Dr Nickels was faculty researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), where he analyzed the impacts of counterterrorism campaigns against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), homegrown Islamist terrorism in the United Kingdom, and other threats.

Fluent in French and familiar with Arabic, Dr Nickels has lectured in French and English at government meetings, international forums, and leading academic institutions, including the Ecole normale supérieure (Paris) and Harvard University. He publishes frequently and serves as regular contributor on Sahel and North African security for Sada, a journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Dr Nickels is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fulbright scholarship to Morocco and a Chateaubriand fellowship in France. He holds a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago.

Areas of Expertise

Counterterrorism; Countering Extremism; Irregular Warfare; Identity Conflict; Democratization; Regional and International Security Cooperation; Sahel; North Africa; Horn of Africa


>> More about Dr Nickels on the ACSS website