Dr. Jeffrey McIllwain

Headshot of Jeffrey  McIllwain

Associate Professor

School of Public Affairs
Office: AH 4114

Dr. Jeffrey McIllwain is an associate professor of criminal justice and public administration in the School of Public Affairs and faculty fellow in the Weber Honors College at San Diego State University (SDSU). He joined SDSU’s School of Public Affairs in 2000 and served as the co-founder and former co-director of the university’s Graduate Program in Homeland Security and as the former director of the undergraduate International Security and Conflict Resolution Program. Dr. McIllwain also serves as a fellow and an adjunct faculty member in the Irregular Warfare Program at Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), the war college for the U.S. Special Operations Command, and as a violence and religion, organized crime, and contemporary history subject matter expert for the U.S. Marines. A historian and social scientist, Dr. McIllwain’s research focuses on the theory of organized crime and dark networks and the history of crime, criminal justice policy, and international and homeland security. His most recent book, Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study (with Joseph Albini), was a 2014 nominee for the outstanding book award by the American Society of Criminology. He is currently researching the role and function of organized crime in war and intelligence operations, the global history of organized crime, and organizing crime as a means to survive, evade, resist and escape totalitarian regimes. A winner of many teaching awards, Dr. McIllwain currently teaches courses on warfare, military history, intelligence, organized crime, drug trafficking, policing transnational threats, dark networks, and emergency management. He brings his whole-of-government, interdisciplinary approach to many applied research projects related to border security, transnational crime, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response with partners on the public, private, and NGO sectors on the local, national, and global levels. Dr. McIllwain teaches summer study programs on WWI, WWII, the Holocaust, and the Cold War in England, France, Belgium, and Poland. He previously taught study abroad programs throughout Mexico on subjects like border security and counternarcotics. Dr. McIllwain earned his Ph.D. in Administration of Justice from The Pennsylvania State University, his M.A. in U.S. diplomatic history from The Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University, his M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary, and his B.A. in International Relations, Social Science, and History at The University is Southern California. He completed graduate certificate study in policing and counterterrorism at An Garda Siochana College in the Republic of Ireland and undergraduate certificate study in Roman history from the University of Cambridge, England.

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