Terrorism expert list

Florida International University has a number of professors who study ISIS, international relations, foreign policy and other issues related to the recent terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East and are willing to offer their insight to media and the public. This list is being updated continuously.

Members of the FIU Media Relations team are available to assist in contacting experts:

Political Science/International Relations
Eric Lob
Eric Lob is an assistant professor in the FIU Department of Politics and International Relations  and affiliate faculty in the Middle East Studies Program. He has a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Lob’s research focuses on development and politics in the Middle East, specifically, how state and non-state actors in the region further their political interests domestically and internationally. He has conducted extensive research on social and political currents of modern Iran. Lob teaches courses in international relations of the Middle East, politics of the Middle East, political violence and revolution, and elementary Arabic language. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, including Egypt, Iran, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Syria, Turkey and Yemen. He is proficient in Arabic, Persian and French.

Markus Thiel
Markus Thiel is the director of the FIU European and Eurasian Studies Program, director of the Miami Florida Monnet Center of Excellence, and an associate professor in the FIU Department of Politics and International Relations. He has a Ph.D. in international studies from the University of Miami. Theil’s areas of expertise include the politics of the European Union and Western Europe, as well as its political sociology and identity. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international relations, comparative Western European politics, European Union Politics, international relations of Europe, and international organizations. He has published several books, articles and book chapters, including The Limits of Transnationalism: Collective Identities and EU Integration (2011). Thiel can speak to the French and European/EU government reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks, or consequences for immigration/refugee policies.

Alexander Barder
Alexander Barder is a professor of political science in the FIU Department of Politics and International Relations. He has a Ph.D. in political science from John Hopkins University. Barder teaches courses in international relations theory, development of international thought, and U.S. foreign policy. His areas of expertise include international relations theory, international historical sociology, and how international hierarchy affects the formation of domestic states. Before joining FIU, Barder was a professor at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Barder can speak about the current geopolitics of the Middle East and Europe, and U.S. and French foreign policy in the wider Middle East. He is fluent in French.

Frank Mora
Frank Mora is the director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. Prior to coming to FIU, Mora served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere. During the last twenty years Mora worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, U.S. Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the National Democratic Institute, U.S. State Department, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Southern Command. Mora is the author or editor of five books and numerous academic and policy articles, book chapters, and monographs on hemispheric security, U.S.-Latin American relations, civil-military relations, Cuban politics and military, and Latin American foreign policy. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Public Service Award, Department of Defense (2011). He can discuss how the recent terrorist attacks in Paris will affect U.S. foreign policy and the upcoming presidential election. Mora has a Ph. D. in international relations from the University of Miami. He speaks Spanish.

Eduardo Gamarra
Gamarra is a professor of political science in the FIU Department of Politics and International Relations and affiliate faculty of FIU’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Cuban Research Institute. Gamarra’s area of expertise includes campaigns, elections and public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over the course of his career, Gamarra has been a consultant to multilateral agencies, foundations, non-governmental institutions, executive branch agencies, legislatures, judiciaries, police institutions, and armed forces throughout the Western Hemisphere. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. Gamarra can discuss the impact of the Paris terrorist attacks on U.S. foreign policy, as well as the domestic implications in the U.S. and Latin America. He is fluent in Spanish.

Modern Languages
Ferial Maya Boutaghou
Ferial Maya Boutaghou is an assistant professor of Arabic and French in the FIU Department of Modern Languages and affiliate faculty of the FIU Women’s and Gender Studies Center. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Arabic literature, Arabic language and culture, and French literature and civilization. She has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Limoges (France). As the language of the Qur’an, Arabic is widely used throughout the Muslim world, and it is one of the official languages of the United Nations. French is the working language of many international organizations, including the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO and the International Olympic Committee. Geopolitically, French is considered the world’s second official language with more than 30 governments have French as the official language. Maya Boutaghou can speak to the significance of both Arabic and French language and culture in today’s global society. She is fluent in Arabic and French.

Social Media
David J. Park
David J. Park is an associate professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He received his Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include new media technologies, media production and policy, cultural economy and international communication. As a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar to the Caribbean, conducted research in Argentina through a Tinker-Nave grant and worked at ENDA Tiers-Monde in Senegal, West Africa. He can speak on how social media was used in the coordination of the terrorist attacks and its role in the aftermath.