Dr. Gina Ligon, associate professor of management at the UNO College of Business Administration, continues her groundbreaking efforts in counterterrorism research by recently acting as editor and providing an executive summary to a new white paper developed in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Special Operations Command.
Ligon’s commitment to national security research provides UNO with the unique privilege of working with government organizations and Joint Staff in the Pentagon to predict the influence of emerging terrorism threats. The white paper, titled “The Age of Disruption: How Power Shifts Create More Conflict,” emerges from an internal Pentagon think tank called the Strategic Multilayer Assessment Group (SMA).
Ligon has served as a contributor and author on SMA white papers since 2013. The recent paper is the first in the think tank’s history to feature a university logo on the masthead and the first time a university professor has acted as an editor for SMA. This relationship connects UNO with more than 30,000 members of the national security community and solidifies the university’s reputation of exceptional research.
“It’s a unique differentiator for UNO that we have this research. Faculty from all different disciplines are studying the same problem,” said Ligon. “Terrorist groups are communicating a lot online, creating a big data problem and opportunity. We hope to help U.S. Special Operations Command to get through that data quickly when they come across caches of it, and figure out how to prioritize the information they receive.”
Valuable research like this is reliant upon grant awards, which enable UNO’s talented professors to perpetuate the university’s trend of investigation and innovation. Because of professors like Ligon, supporting university research also contributes to the continued security and success of our nation.