Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel who served in three Pentagon tours and commanded in the field multiple times. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she led installation security, force support, and the 1st Helicopter Squadron, and regularly escorted the President and other heads of State on the ramp. She is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service medal with 5 oak leaf clusters and the Global War on Terrorism medal.
After her military retirement in 2007, Dr. Hesterman started working as a private, cleared contractor in Washington, DC, studying international and domestic terrorist organizations, transnational threats, organized crime and the terrorist and criminal exploitation of the Internet. She is presently Vice President, Watermark Risk Management International, a member of the Board of Directors for the International Foundation for Protection Officers, and advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage in Chicago. She recently served a two year appointment as a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University.
Jenni holds a doctoral degree from Benedictine University, Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University, and a Bachelor of Science from Penn State University. In 2003, she was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. where she studied the terror-crime nexus. She is a 2006 alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program.
An academic author for Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, Dr. Hesterman’s book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack was the ASIS Security Industry Book of the Year for 2015. The second edition was published in December, 2018 and was selected as ASIS Security Industry Book of the Year for 2019 and Social Sciences Book of the Year for Taylor & Francis publishing house. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013). She has also written over 30 journal articles, book chapters and magazine essays. Dr. Hesterman teaches graduate level security courses for the Federal government and is a sought after public speaker for the FBI, DHS, ASIS, DoD and state and local law enforcement agencies. She is on the ASIS School Safety and Security Council.
An outdoor enthusiast and explorer, she enjoys adventure travel and has visited 54 countries, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Most notably, she climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in July, 2017, and stood at the top and bottom of the earth (South Pole in January, 2018 and North Pole in June, 2019). While living in the Middle East from 2013-2015, she taught English to Palestinian refugees, young women who are now studying in universities throughout the world. She is married and has a daughter, Sarah (21) who is a renowned human rights activist and studies abroad.