Erik Iverson

  • BS, Foreign Service, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • MALD, The Fletcher School, Tufts University


Erik studies inter-organizational collaboration in crises and catastrophes. He combines organizational and operational research techniques to better understand how policy-makers can best prepare homeland security agencies and organizations to collaborate during complex crises. In addition to his scholarly research, Erik served as an independent consultant for a congressional task force on homeland security, the director and lead instructor of the Fletcher Graduate Writing program, and senior editor for academic journals at Tufts University and Harvard Law School. Erik’s research is uniquely informed by his experience as a policy practitioner, academic researcher, and first-responder. Prior to beginning his doctoral research at the Fletcher School, Erik served as special assistant to senior leaders at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency. During this time, he contributed to major initiatives including the White House Report on Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent Nationwide Plan Review. Later, as a Department of Homeland Security Fellow, he worked with an international team of scholars affiliated with the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland to conduct a comparative and multi-disciplinary analysis of radicalization processes around the world and across the ideological spectrum. In addition to this research, he has published on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and national security policy in academic journals and the popular press. Finally, Erik’s policy and research work is supplemented with five years of experience as a volunteer emergency medical technician in Washington, DC, and surrounding communities. This operational understanding of the challenges confronting first responders provides unique insight into questions of policy and scholarly research.

Curriculum Vitae - Erik Iverson

Areas of Expertise
  • Homeland Security
  • Terrorism
  • Complex Emergencies
  • Defense and Military Issues
  • Intelligence, Covert Action, National Security
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Business, International

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Fellowship Appointment, 2007-2010
  • Bradley Foundation PhD Dissertation Fellowship 2011
  • Terrorism Research Award, Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
  • Truman National Security Project Fellowship Appointment
  • DHS National Preparedness Task Force Commendation for Service
  • DHS Commendation for Contribution to Nationwide Plan Review
  • Scaife Foundation Award 2011/2010

Fields of Study
  • International Business Relations
  • International Security Studies

• "Disconnecting the Battle of Ideas from the Battle of Arms: Leadership, Strategy, and Ideology in the New Al Qaeda," Harvard International Review, May 11, 2008.
"A Revolution in Informational Affairs: Why al-Qaeda is Winning the War of Ideas and What We Can Do About It," Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Vol. 32.3 Special Edition 2008.
• "Jemaah Islamiyyah: Ideological Bridging and the Rise of Islamist Terror in Southeast Asia," Mentis Vita, Georgetown University [Winter 2006, VI.ii].

• Presented dissertation research, "Planning for the Unexpected: Towards a Theory of Networked Resilience," at the Southeast Conference for Public Administration annual conference, New Orleans, LA
• Presented paper on al-Qaeda alliance behavior, "'Till Death Do Us Part: A Critical Examination of al-Qaeda's Most Successful Alliance," at the UMass Boston Conflict Studies Conference
• Briefed General Fastabend (USA) on interagency collaboration at the Army Strategic Vision Workshop
• Delivered research brief to academic and professional audience at University of Maryland: "Islamist Radicalization in the United States: Developing an Integrated Approach to a Complex Problem"
• Presented "Red Team" counterterrorism brief to Boston-area law enforcement

"Turning off autopilot: Towards a sustainable drone policy," Harvard National Security Journal, NSJ Analysis: Featured Online Article, March 6, 2010.
Russell D. Howard and Erik Iverson, "Fight Al Qaeda's plan, not its ideas," The Christian Science Monitor, April 30, 2008, page 9 print edition, also available online.

PhD Dissertation
  • “Networked Resilience: A Theory of Inter-organizational Collaboration for Turbulent Environments”

Master's Thesis
  • Achieving Complex National Security Missions: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Design and Management of Collaborative Institutions

Dissertation Advisor(s)
• Dr. Stephen Flynn
• Professor Antonia Chayes
• Professor Robert Pfaltzgraff
• Professor William Martel (Chair)

Faculty Advisor(s)
William C. Martel

Teaching Experience
  • Served as lead instructor of a graduate-level writing program teaching mini-courses and workshops in both large lecture hall and seminar settings.
  • As Director of the Fletcher Graduate Writing Program, developed graduate level curricula and executive education workshops on writing for public policy.

Email Address

Mailing Address
The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 160 Packard Ave
Medford, MA, 02155