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Graduate & Professional Studies

Allison McDowell-Smith

Director of the Master of Science in Counterterrorism (MSC) Program


  • PhD, Business Administration, Conc. Homeland Security, Northcentral University
  • MS, Criminal Justice, Niagara University
  • BS, Criminal Justice, Conc. Communication, Rochester Institute of Technology
Certifications & Licenses
  • Cybersecurity Seminar Faculty Leader, The Washington Center
  • Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference
  • MA Association of CJ Education (MACJE)
  • Conference Program Chair, Northeastern Association of CJ Sciences (NEACJS)
  • Criminal Justice Assessment & Curriculum Workshop by Dr. Barbara Peat

Industry Experience

Dr. McDowell-Smith is the Director of the Graduate Counterterrorism Program, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Nichols College and has previously worked as a Senior Research Fellow for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE). She helped establish ICSVE and has conducted research in regards to violent extremism both domestically and internationally.  Her research has led to scholarly publications regarding ISIS defectors; most recently in the Journal of Deradicalization. Further, she has briefed and trained individuals at the U.S. Embassy Brussels, U.S. Airforce Special Ops, and Belgium local police on ISIS recruitment strategies and de-radicalization processes.

Concurrently, she serves as a violent extremism expert editor to Defence and Intelligence of Norway and a digital fellow for the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. In addition to staying current in the field of violent extremism and counterterrorism, she has been an active Board Member of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Justice Education (MACJE) since their creation in 2012.

Sept. 22, 2018, Who.What.Why article: MSC Director Dr. Allison McDowell-Smith Shares Perspective on Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions

Courses Taught
  • MSC-705 Homegrown Violent Extremism
  • MSC-730 Capstone: Counter Violent Extremism Strategies