Barnett S. Koven

Barnett S. Koven is a Senior Researcher at the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. He is also an Affiliated Scholar at the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University. Koven received his Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. in Political Science at the George Washington University, and a B.A. in International Affairs and Latin American and Hemispheric Studies. He also holds a Certificate in Conflict Analysis from the United States Institute of Peace and a Certificate in Advanced Security in the Field from the United Nations System Staff College.

His dissertation examined under what conditions development assistance reduces or exacerbates insurgent violence, both where it is implemented and in geographically proximate areas. This research, which involved extensive archival investigation, practitioner interviews, fieldwork and the construction of original quantitative datasets, covered Iraq, Peru and Colombia. This inquiry, including over a year of overseas fieldwork, was funded by two grants from The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and a third from the George Washington University. In addition to his dissertation research, Koven also works on other issues pertaining to gray zone conflict, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, countering violent extremism, counter-narcotics, security cooperation, weapons availability and conflict onset, post-conflict reconstruction and the material and non-material sources of military power. A complete list of journal articles, book chapters and policy publications can be found on his personal website:

Beyond academia, Koven is also the Vice President and Director of Events at the Godparents of the Children of Instituto Mundo Libre, a non-profit organization providing safe housing, rehabilitation and vocational training to homeless children in Peru. In addition, he is an Advisor at Concordia, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding public-private partnerships. Finally, Koven is a Board Member at Mindot, a non-profit educational platform for developing the next generation of local leaders and agents of social change.