Schanzer Co-directs New Institute for Homeland Security Solutions

Federal, state and local officials gathered in Research Triangle Park Sept. 2 to mark the establishment of a new institute focused on social science and policy research to strengthen homeland security. David Schanzer, visiting associate professor of the practice of PPS and Joe Eyerman, director of the RTI Security Program co-direct the institute.

The Institute for Homeland Security Solutions (IHSS) will conduct applied social science research to improve detection, analysis and understanding of homeland security threats and to enhance response and recovery efforts.

The new institute is an outgrowth of Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, a joint endeavor between Duke, UNC and RTI International. Schanzer directs TCTHS, which is affiliated with Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Funded by $7.5 million from the Department of Homeland Security, IHSS will be managed as collaboration among RTI International, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Military Foundation.

“The Institute for Homeland Security Solutions will provide a springboard for social science research on security issues at our universities and in the Research Triangle Park,” said Schanzer. “IHSS is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the emerging consensus that addressing the difficult security challenges of the 21st century—including terrorism, natural disasters or infectious disease—will require not only new technologies, but also deeper understanding of how individuals, groups and organizations behave.”

Funding for the initiative was secured by U.S. Rep. David Price, chairman of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security of the House Appropriations Committee, as part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations funding bill.

“This new institute will help make the Research Triangle and North Carolina a national leader in homeland security applied research,” said Price, whose district includes the Research Triangle.

The institute will focus on developing near-term solutions to practical, real-world homeland security challenges, including critical policy and operational implications of new technologies and information analysis tools. It will fund projects conducted by consortium members, and will also seek partnerships with other universities, research organizations and the private sector.