Dr. Jennifer Hesterman

Vice President, Education Services

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is Watermark’s Vice President of Education Services, overseeing Watermark’s portfolio providing educational and training support to the government and private sector.

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel who served in three Pentagon tours and in multiple command positions in the field. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she was responsible for installation security, including the protection of Air Force One.

After retiring in 2007, Dr. Hesterman started work as a private contractor in Washington, DC, studying international and domestic terrorist organizations, transnational threats, soft target hardening, organized crime, and the terrorist and criminal exploitation of the Internet. Dr. Hesterman designs and instructs graduate level security courses for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency and the Department of Defense. She also advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage in Chicago, the Crisis Response Journal, and three DHS Centers of Excellence.

Dr. Hesterman 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 and was a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University from 2016-2018.

An award-winning author, her book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack was the ASIS Security Book of the Year for 2015, and the second edition won the same award in 2019. The book was also named Taylor and Francis Social Sciences Book of the Year in 2019. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013). Dr. Hesterman is dynamic and sought-after public speaker for ASIS, FBI, DHS, ASIS, DoD, state and local law enforcement agencies, Major League Baseball, among others.

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