Dr. Michael J. Williams holds a PhD in social psychology with emphases on social influence, persuasion, and program evaluation. He has co-led evaluations of programs designed to counter violent extremism: including one in collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department, and the first evaluation of a U.S. domestic CVE program (funded by the National Institute of Justice). A former National Science Foundation graduate research fellow, and former Senior Advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), his background includes training, led by the American Evaluation Association, on sustainability evaluation, evaluating coalitions, systems evaluation, and developmental evaluation.
In addition to DHS, Dr. Williams has consulted with White House staff, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Public Safety Canada regarding design and evaluation of both local and national CVE frameworks. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, and his own publications include “A utilization-focused guide for conducting terrorism risk reduction program evaluations,” and “Expansion and replication of the theory of vicarious help-seeking.”
His forthcoming publications include the first college textbook of its kind: “Countering violent extremism: Designing and evaluating evidence-based programs.” In addition, he wrote the technical chapters for the “Compendium of good practices and lessons learned in evaluating the effectiveness of CVE programming,” produced by Public Safety Canada, for the United Nation’s Global Counter Terrorism Forum.