Erroll Southers

Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies

DPPD, University of Southern California

USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Lewis Hall 312
Los Angeles, California 90089-0626

Dr. Erroll G. Southers is the Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he is also a Professor of the Practice in National & Homeland Security.

Previously, Dr. Southers also served as: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Deputy Director in the California Office of Homeland Security; Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department (the nation’s largest airport police department); and President Barack Obama’s first nominee for Assistant Secretary of the Transportation Security Administration.

Before this, Dr. Southers was a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also worked seven years as a police officer with the Santa Monica Police Department. Lecturing at Joint Chiefs of Staff Antiterrorism Seminars and testifying before Congress on homeland security matters, Dr. Southers was recognized in Security Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Industry Thought Leaders in the United States and is a recipient of the Earl Warren Outstanding Public Service Award.

Dr. Southers is the author of Homegrown Violent Extremism, a book investigating radicalization, recruitment and ideological trends in domestic terrorism and extremism. Dr. Southers is co-chair of the USC Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board. He is also: a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors; a Senior Fellow of the UCLA School of Public Affairs; and a Visiting Fellow of the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. He holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees from USC and earned his BA from Brown University.

Throughout his career, Dr. Southers has received dozens of awards and acknowledgements, including:

  • American Society for Public Administration Earl Warren Outstanding Public Service Award
  • Security Magazine’s Top 25 Most Influential Industry Thought Leaders in the United States
  • The Los Angeles Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Airport Security at LAX
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society Honorary Inductee, Whittier College
  • USC Widney Alumni House Award
  • Certified in Homeland Security Program Top Achiever Award
  • International Organization of Black Security Executives Leading Edge Award
  • Rio Hondo Police Academy Outstanding Cadet Award

Publications