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Sasha O'Connell Executive in Residence & Director, THSP MS Program Department of Justice, Law & Criminology

Contact
Send email to Sasha O'Connell
SPA - Justice, Law and Criminology
Degrees
Ph.D, Public Administration, American University; MPA, American University; BA, Political Science, Barnard College

Bio
Sasha Cohen O’Connell, PhD is an Executive in Residence in the Department of Justice, Law & Criminology, School of Public Affairs (SPA), American University where she currently teaches cyber policy at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Additionally, she serves as the Director of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Master’s program at SPA as well as a Senior Advisor to the National Security Sector of Guidehouse LLC. O'Connell's career in public service includes time in academia and the executive branch. She has spent the majority of her career at the FBI where she served most recently as the organization's Chief Policy Advisory, Science and Technology and as the Section Chief of Office of National Policy for the FBI's Deputy Director where she led policy engagement with the National Security Council on a wide breadth of issues. Among other roles, O'Connell ran the FBI's Strategy Management Office where she led implementation of the Balanced Scorecard for the FBI's Director and served as Chief of the Executive Staff for the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division where she led strategic planning, performance evaluation, training, and communications for the Bureau’s criminal programs. During her time at the FBI O'Connell focused her energy on enhancing strategic, risk-based decision making; driving cross-programmatic strategic initiatives; building partnerships across government and private sector; and driving strategic communications and outreach to enhance the public's understanding of the role of federal law enforcement. As a founding board member of #NatSecGirlSquad, Ms. O'Connell mentors women entering the national security and law enforcement space and advises organizations on matters related to enhancing diversity in the national security space. O’Connell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Barnard College as well as an MPA and Doctorate in Public Administration from American University. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, dog and cat.
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For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Teaching

Spring 2020

  • JLC-496 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: Intro to U.S. Cyber Policy

  • JLC-696 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: U.S. Cyber Policy

Summer 2020

  • JLC-683 Cyber Threats and Security

Fall 2020

  • JLC-683 Cyber Threats and Security

  • JLC-696 Selected Topics:Non-Recurring: U.S. Cyber Policy

AU Experts

Area of Expertise

FBI strategy, risk management, organizational design and decision-making; workforce diversity in law enforcement/national security; U.S. cyber policy including encryption/”lawful access”

Additional Information

Sasha Cohen O’Connell is a former senior executive at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who is currently an Executive-in-Residence and the Director of the Terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Program at the School of Public Affairs, American University. She can comment on strategy, risk management, organizational design and decision-making in government with a specialty in federal law enforcement and the National Security Council. She has expertise in workforce diversity in law enforcement/national security and U.S. cyber policy to include encryption/”lawful access.” She has experience with print, online, and broadcast media. She most recently appeared on the Lawfare podcast where she discussed her experience as Chief Strategy Officer at the FBI with Ben Wittes. She is currently the host of the Mission Is Possible podcast which focuses on management issues in the national security field. She is a Board Member of #NatSecGirlSquad an organization focused on building competent diversity in the national security space.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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