Matt Olsen is the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. In that capacity, he leads the Department of Justice’s mission to combat terrorism, espionage, cyber crime, and other threats to the national security. From 2011 to 2014, Olsen served as the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Prior to leading NCTC, Olsen was the General Counsel for the National Security Agency. For 18 years, Olsen worked at the Department of Justice as a career attorney and in a number of leadership positions. He served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General for national security and was Special Counselor to the Attorney General. In 2006, Olsen helped establish the National Security Division and served as the first career Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
Carrie Johnson is NPR's National Justice Correspondent. She covers a wide variety of stories about justice issues, law enforcement, and legal affairs for NPR's flagship programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Johnson regularly appears on the NPR Politics Podcast. Prior to coming to NPR in 2010, Johnson worked at the Washington Post for 10 years. Earlier in her career, she wrote about courts for the weekly publication Legal Times. Her work has been honored with awards from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the Society for Professional Journalists, and SABEW.
Panel 1: An Evolving Domestic Extremism Landscape
Thomas E. Brzozowski currently serves as the Counsel for Domestic Terrorism in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to taking up his present position, Tom was an Assistant General Counsel in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. He also is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Law School and continues to serve as a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss is a professor in the School of Public Affairs and in the School of Education at the American University in Washington, DC, where she directs the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL). Dr. Miller-Idriss regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress and briefs policy, security, education and intelligence agencies in the U.S., the United Nations, and other countries on trends in domestic violent extremism and strategies for prevention and disengagement. She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books, including her most recent book, Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right.
Carrie Cordero is the Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow and General Counsel at CNAS. She spent the first part of her career in public service, including as counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security; senior associate general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; and attorney advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice. She is previously Director of National Security Studies and Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law, and currently is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council and an Advisory Board Member of the Tech, Law & Security Program at American University Washington College of Law.
Seamus Hughes is the Deputy Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. Hughes has authored numerous academic reports on extremism in America and published a critically acclaimed book, Homegrown: ISIS in America. He regularly provides commentary to media outlets, including The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, BBC, PBS, and CBS’ 60 Minutes. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions.
Adam Goldman reports on the F.B.I. for The New York Times and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for national reporting on Russia’s meddling in the presidential election. Previously, he covered national security for The Washington Post and worked on the investigative team at The Associated Press, where he and his colleagues revealed the New York Police Department’s Muslim spying programs. Their reporting on the department won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Adam is the coauthor of “Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD's Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden's Final Plot Against America.”
Panel 2: The Shifting Global Terrorism Landscape
Katrina M. Mulligan is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC), a portfolio that includes special operations, irregular warfare, counterterrorism, counter-narcotics, and information operations policy issues. She also assists the Assistant Secretary of Defense for SOLIC on oversight of special operations peculiar administrative matters on behalf of the Secretary. Katrina was previously the acting Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress. She also served in senior roles in the National Security Division in the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and at the National Counterterrorism Center.
Samantha Vinograd is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Counterterrorism and Threat Prevention and Senior Counselor for National Security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She was previously a CNN National Security Analyst, a Senior Advisor at the Biden Institute, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. She began her career under President George W. Bush as the Deputy U.S. Treasury Attaché to Iraq, and she subsequently served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council as Director for Iraq, Director for International Economics, and Senior Advisor to the National Security Advisor.
Dr. Daniel Byman is a professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute. He has written extensively on a terrorism, counterterrorism, and other security issues. His latest book is Spreading Hate: The Global Rise of White Supremacist Terrorism (Oxford, 2022). He is the author of several other books on counterterrorism, state sponsorship of terrorism, and conflict and terrorism in the Middle East.
Dr. Lorenzo Vidino is the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. An expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, his research over the past 20 years has focused on the mobilization dynamics of jihadist networks in the West; governmental counter-radicalization policies; and the activities of Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organizations in the West. He is the author of several books and numerous articles, including The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, and The Closed Circle: Joining and Leaving the Muslim Brotherhood in the West.
Eric Schmitt is a senior writer covering terrorism and national security for The New York Times. Since 2007, he has reported on terrorism issues, with assignments to Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa, Southeast Asia among others. He is the co-author, with The Times’s Thom Shanker, of “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” published in 2011. Mr. Schmitt has shared three Pulitzer Prizes. In 1999, he was part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of the transfer of sensitive military technology to China. In 2009, he was a part of a team of New York Times reporters awarded the Pulitzer for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in 2017, he was part of a Pulitzer team that examined how Russian President Vladimir Putin projects power openly and covertly. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Thom Shanker was named director of the Project for Media and National Security in June 2021, after a nearly quarter-century career with The New York Times, including 13 years as Pentagon correspondent covering the Department of Defense, overseas combat operations and national security policy. Most recently, he had served as Deputy Washington Editor for The Times, managing coverage of the military, diplomacy and veterans’ affairs. Mr. Shanker is co-author of “Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda,” published in August 2011 by Henry Holt & Co. The book became a New York Times best seller.