Dr. Jerrold Post is Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology and International Affairs and Director of the Political Psychology Program at The George Washington University.At GW, Dr. Post teaches a graduate course on terrorism and political violence, as well as a course on leadership and decision making. He is Co-Founding Director of the George Washington University Institute of Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.


Dr. Post has devoted his entire career to the field of political psychology. Dr. Post came to George Washington after a 21 year career with the Central Intelligence Agency where he founded and directed the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior, an interdisciplinary behavioral science unit which provided assessments of foreign leadership and decision making for the President and other senior officials to prepare for Summit meetings and other high level negotiations and for use in crisis situations. He played the lead role in developing the "Camp David profiles" of Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat for President Jimmy Carter and initiated the U.S. government program in understanding the psychology of terrorism in the late 1970s. In recognition of his leadership of the Center, Dr. Post was awarded the Intelligence Medal of Merit in 1979, and received the Studies in Intelligence Award in 1980. He received the Nevitt Sanford Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Political Psychology in 2002, and the Jean Knutson Award for Distinguished Service to the International Society of Political Psychology in 2004.


A founding member of the International Society of Political Psychology, Dr. Post was elected Vice-President in 1994, and has served on the editorial board of Political Psychology since 1987. He has been nominated as a candidate for President, ISPP, 2005. A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1967). Dr. Post has been elected to Fellowship in the American College of Psychiatrists. He is a member of the American Association of Psychiatry and the Law. After serving as Chair, Taskforce for National and International Terrorism of the APA, (1994-2000), he was appointed (2004)Chair, Workgroup for Terrorism and Political Violence.


Dr. Post has published widely on crisis decision-making, leadership, on the psychology of political violence and terrorism, with special reference to terrorist group dynamics. He has authored eight book chapters on terrorist psychology and of the entry on terrorism and counter-terrorism in the Oxford Companion to Military History. .In his writings, he recently has been addressing weapons of mass destruction terrorism: psychological incentives and constraints, suicide terrorism, and information systems terrorism (cyber terrorism.).He is the co-author of a study of the politics of illness in high office, When Illness Strikes the Leader: The Dilemma of the Captive King,Yale University Press, 1993, andPolitical Paranoia: The Psycho-politics of Hatred,Yale, 1997. He is editor and author of The Psychological Assessment of Political Leaders, With Profiles of Saddam Hussein and Bill Clinton, Univ. of Michigan Press, 2003 and (with Barry Schneider) of Know Thy Enemy: Profiles of Adversary Leaders and their Strategic Cultures, Air Force Counter Proliferation Center, 2003, is author of Leaders and Their Followers in a Dangerous World: The Psychology of Political Behavior, Cornell Univ. Press, 2004, and is editor of The Al-Qaeda terrorism Manual Air Force Counter Proliferation Center, 2005. He is currently developing a book on The Mind of the Terrorist, under contract with St. Martinís Press.


Dr. Post received his B.A. magna cum laude and M.D. from Yale. He received his post-graduate training in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the National Institute of Mental Health. He has also received graduate training at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

After the invasion of Kuwait, Dr. Post developed a political psychology profile of Saddam Hussein. His analysis of Saddam has been featured prominently in the national and international media. He provided his analysis of Saddam's personality and political behavior in testimony at the hearings on the Gulf crisis before the House Armed Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He served as a psychiatric expert on terrorist psychology for the Department of Justice in the 1997 trial of an Abu Nidal terrorist, and in July 2001 testified as an expert witness in the federal trial in New York of one of the Osama bin Laden terrorists responsible for the bombing of the US embassy in Tanzania.


In the spring of 2000, Dr. Post was invited on two occasions to brief the Defense Science Board on the psychology of terrorism, with implications for CBW terrorism.In 1999-2000 he served as consultant to the USG Y2K Commission. He has received foundation support for research on terrorist psychology from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and for a study of the psychology of weapons of mass destruction terrorism involving interviews with incarcerated Middle East terrorists from the Smith-Richardson Foundation.



Since 9/11, he has testified before the House National Security subcommittee hearings on bio-terrorism, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on terrorist psychology and motivation, and before the UN International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria at a specially convened session on nuclear terrorism on the psychology of nuclear terrorism.In 2002 he presented a keynote address to the Europe conference of international police on counter-terrorism in Copenhagen, presented to the terrorism expertsí conference in Haifa, Israel in January 2003, and was asked to brief the Israel military leadership on current concepts of counter-terrorism. He was a member of the Terrorism Expert panel that met in Oslo in June 2003 to prepare a white paper for the UN General Assembly, and served as a member of a terrorism expert panel convened by the Sandia National Laboratory. He served as chair of the committee on the Psychological Roots of Terrorism for the March, 2005 Madrid International Summit on Terrorism and Democracy. He is a frequent commentator on national and international media on such topics as leadership, leader illness, treason, the psychology of terrorism, suicide terrorism, Slobodan Milosevic, Yasir Arafat, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.††



Jerrold M. Post, M.D.

1957 E Street, NW†† Suite 502 E

The Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University

Washington, DC 20052