Jena Gunter
Institute for Policy & Social Research

Pulitzer-winning journalist to give keynote at security conference on crime-terrorism nexus

Tue, 04/03/2018

LAWRENCE — An award-winning Washington Post reporter who has covered the Pentagon and national security developments, intelligence agencies, Russian disinformation issues and treatment of veterans will give a keynote address as part of a security conference at the University of Kansas.

The annual event will bring together scholars and practitioners for the Crime-Terror Intersections and Intelligence-Led Responses conference, set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. April 19 in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union.

Washington Post reporter Dana Priest will give her keynote address at 11:15 a.m. Priest has won two Pulitzer Prizes, in 2008 for her reporting on the neglect of veterans at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and in 2006 on the CIA's secret prisons and other counterterrorism operations.

"The topic of the 'crime-terror' nexus has generated considerable political and academic interest due to its significant implications for our strategies aimed at combating organized crime and terrorism," said Mariya Omelicheva, a KU professor of political science and the conference's organizer. "We hope to shed new light on some of the recent manifestations of the 'nexus' and the government experiences with addressing it."

The conference is sponsored by the Office of Graduate Military Programs, the Center for Global & International Studies, the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, or CREES, the Institute for Policy & Social Research. The conference is funded by the Office of Naval Research Minerva initiative, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence Grant and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Research Excellence Fund.

"This is our fourth year to work with CREES and Mariya for the security conference, but it is our first year to do so as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence," said Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs at KU. "The crime-terror intersection is an important national security issue, and we are honored to host this outstanding group of academicians and practitioners."

The conference's full agenda is available here. Attendance is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided to the attendees who register before Monday, April 9. 

The morning panel will showcase groundbreaking research on the changing nature and types of terrorist-criminal connections and the new challenges they pose to the governments' efforts to fight organized crime and terrorism. The afternoon panel will illuminate ways in which the U.S. government and intelligence community have tackled the complex issue of the terrorist-criminal intersections.

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