Brian Michael Jenkins

Brian Michael Jenkins
Senior Adviser to the RAND President


M.A. in history, University of California, Los Angeles; B.A. in fine arts, University of California, Los Angeles

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Brian Michael Jenkins is a senior adviser to the president of the RAND Corporation and author of numerous books, reports, and articles on terrorism-related topics, including Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? (2008, Prometheus Books). He formerly served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND. On the occasion of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, Jenkins initiated a RAND effort to take stock of America's policy reactions and give thoughtful consideration to future strategy. That effort is presented in The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism (Brian Michael Jenkins and John Paul Godges, eds., 2011).

Commissioned in the infantry, Jenkins became a paratrooper and a captain in the Green Berets. He is a decorated combat veteran, having served in the Seventh Special Forces Group in the Dominican Republic and with the Fifth Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam as a member of the Long Range Planning Task Group and received the Department of the Army's highest award for his service.

In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton appointed Jenkins to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. From 1999 to 2000, he served as adviser to the National Commission on Terrorism and in 2000 was appointed to the U.S. Comptroller General's Advisory Board. He is a research associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute, where he directs continuing research on protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks.

Selected Publications

Jenkins, Brian Michael, The Origins of America's Jihadists, RAND Corporation (PE-251), 2017

Jenkins, Brian Michael, Stray Dogs and Virtual Armies: Radicalization and Recruitment to Jihadist Terrorism in the United States Since 9/11, RAND Corporation (OP-343), 2011

The RAND Corporation, The Long Shadow of 9/11: America's Response to Terrorism, RAND Corporation (MG-1107), 2011

Jenkins, Brian Michael, Unconquerable Nation: Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves, RAND Corporation (MG-454), 2006

Paul Wilkinson and Brian Michael Jenkins, eds., Aviation Terrorism and Security, Frank Cass Publisher, 2006

Brian Michael Jenkins, Plagues and Their Aftermath: How Societies Recover from Pandemics, Melville House Publisher, 2022

Jenkins, Brian Michael, Countering al Qaeda: An Appreciation of the Situation and Suggestions for Strategy, RAND Corporation (MR-1620), 2002

Davis, Paul K., Brian Michael Jenkins, Deterrence and Influence in Counterterrorism: A Component in the War on al Qaeda, RAND Corporation (MR-1619), 2002

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ABC; Adnkronos International, Italy; Associated Press; CBS; CGTN America Online; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor; CNBC; CNN; C-SPAN; Houston Chronicle; International Institute for Counter-Terrorism;; KCBS-AM; KCRW; KNBC-TV; KNX-AM; KPCC-FM AirTalk; KQED, Forum; Lawfare; Legal Talk Network; Literary Hub; Los Angeles Times; Maclean's On Campus; Marketplace; MSNBC; NBC;; Newsweek Online; PBS, Open Mind; San Francisco Chronicle; Santa Fe Public Radio; Time Magazine; USA Today; U.S. News & World Report; Vox; WAMU, The Diane Rehm Show, Washington Journal

Commentary: Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Baltimore Sun; Boston Globe; CATO Unbound; Chicago Tribune; The Cipher Brief; CNN; Defense One; Foreign Affairs; Foreign Policy; Fox News Channel;; The Globe and Mail; The Guardian; The Hill; Homeland Secur; Inside Science; Insurance Journal; Los Angeles Times; The Mark News; Mercury News; Mineta Transportation Institute; National Journal; Newsday; New York Daily News; Orange County Register; Orlando Sentinel; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; The Providence Journal; The Ripon Forum; San Diego Union-Tribune; San Francisco Chronicle; Slate; United Press International; USA Today; U.S. News & World Report; Vanguard; Washington Post; Washington Times

Video Interviews: Unconquerable Nation; Anti-Terrorism Expert Discusses Preventing Attacks; Brian Jenkins on Homeland Security