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. She also regularly escorted the President and other heads of state on the airfield. She was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service medal with five oak leaf clusters and the Global War on Terrorism medal.
Dr Hesterman is presently Vice President at Watermark Risk Management International and advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage. She is a renowned counterterrorism and soft target hardening expert, and designs and instructs graduate level security courses for the Defense Counter-intelligence and Security Agency.
She 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. She was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; is an alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program and was a fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University.
An academic author her book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack was the ASIS Security Industry Book of the Year for 2015. The second edition received the same honours in 2019 and was also the Social Sciences Book of the Year for publishers, Taylor & Francis. She also authored Soft Target Crisis Management (2016) and The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus (2013).
Dr Hesterman is a sought after public speaker and has supported over 70 events in the US and abroad for ASIS, FBI, DHS, DoD, state and local law enforcement, Fortune 100s, Major League Baseball, and various associations.