arnett S. Koven is the Training Director, a Senior Researcher, and the Political Instability, Counterterrorism and Gray Zone Portfolios Lead at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence. He is also the Founder and CEO of BSK Consulting, L.L.C., a boutique consultancy specializing in practitioner education and mixed-methods (quantitative and qualitative) research in support of national security practitioners and policy-makers. In addition, Koven is a Fellow at the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University, a Professorial Lecturer in Political Science & International Affairs at the George Washington University (GWU), an Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the UMD, an Adjunct Presenter at the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School and a Quantitative Social Scientist at Performance Systems, LLC. He received his Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A. in Political Science, as well as a B.A. in International Affairs and Latin American and Hemispheric Studies from the GWU. Koven 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.

Koven has conducted extensive overseas research in conflict and post-conflict zones. His work employs cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative methods to answer pressing defense and homeland security questions. Specifically, he focuses on issues pertaining to counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, countering violent extremism, counter-narcotics, gray zone conflict, security cooperation, organized criminal violence, weapons availability and conflict onset, post-conflict reconstruction, and the material and non-material sources of military power. Koven has received research funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. Department of State, the DHS and the National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the GWU and the UMD. A complete list of journal articles, book chapters and policy publications can be found here.

In addition to his aforementioned academic affiliations, Koven regularly instructs Combating Terrorism Seminars at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, SC. He has also lectured during Joint Special Operations University’s Special Operations Forces Interagency Collaboration Course, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Advanced Counterterrorism Analyst Course and overseas as part of the Diplomatic Security Service’s Global Anti-terrorism Training Assistance/Special Program for Embassy Augmentation and Response Executive Forum on Foreign Terrorist Fighters Consultation. In addition, Koven has taught at the National Reconnaissance Office as part of the Executive Master of Public Management Program. Moreover, he is also a frequent presenter during the various lecture series and conferences curated by the Strategic Multi-layer Assessment Branch of the DoD, as well as to myriad other U.S. government and university audiences. Finally, Koven routinely provides terrorism analysis on national and international media broadcasts.

Beyond academia, Koven is 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, 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. Finally, he is an Advisor at Concordia, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding public-private partnerships.


Areas of Interest

  • Violent Groups and Movements
  • Crime and Terrorism
  • Counterterrorism
  • Countering Violent Extremism


  • Ph.D.
    Political Science, The George Washington University, 2017
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