Stephen Flynn

Professor of Political Science, Co-Director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, Director of the Center for Resilience Studies
education Ph.D., 1991, International Relations
Tufts University
Mailing address 225M RP
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Stephen E. Flynn is the founding co-director of the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security and a professor of political science at Northeastern University.

Dr. Flynn is the author of the critically acclaimed The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (Random House, 2007), and the national bestseller, America the Vulnerable (HarperCollins, 2004). He is a senior research fellow at the Wharton School’s Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania.  Since 9/11 he has provided testimony on twenty-eight occasions on Capitol Hill.

Professor Flynn is one of the world’s leading experts on transportation security and infrastructure and community resilience issues. Prior to September 11, 2001, he served as an expert advisor to U.S. Commission on National Security (Hart-Rudman Commission), and following the 9/11 attacks he was the principal advisor to the bipartisan Congressional Port Security Caucus.  Dr. Flynn also advised the Bush Administration on maritime and homeland security issues and after the November 2008 election of President Barack Obama, served as the lead policy advisor on homeland security as a part of the presidential transition team.  He is currently a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s  Homeland Security Project Panel, co-chaired by former 9/11 commissioners, Governor Tom Kean and Congressman Lee Hamilton.

Prior to his joining the faculty at Northeastern University, Dr. Flynn served as President of the Center for National Policy.  He was selected to lead the Center after spending a decade as a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Before that, Dr. Flynn served in the Coast Guard on active duty for 20 years, including two tours as commanding officer at sea.  He received several professional awards including the Legion of Merit, and retired at the rank of Commander. As a Coast Guard officer, he was assigned to the White House Military Office during the George H.W. Bush administration and as a director for Global Issues on the National Security Council staff during the Clinton administration.  He is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where he was also a member of the faculty from 1988-1991 and 1994-2002.  Flynn was a guest scholar in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution from 1991-92, and in 1993-94 he was an Annenberg Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Flynn is a frequent media commentator and has appeared on Meet the Press, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, the Charlie Rose Show, and CNN. Five of his articles have been published in the prestigious journal, Foreign Affairs. Excerpts of his books have been featured in Time, as the cover story for U.S. News & World Report, and as the subject of two CNN documentaries.

Selected Publications


The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation (New York: Random House in cooperation with the Council on Foreign Relations, 2007)

America the Vulnerable: How Government is Failing to Protect Us From Terrorism with a New Afterword (New York: Harper Perennial House in cooperation with the Council on Foreign Relations, 2005)

America the Vulnerable: How Government is Failing to Protect Us From Terrorism(New York: HarperCollins House in cooperation with the Council on Foreign Relations,2004)

Selected Honors & Awards

Honorary Doctorate of Laws, Monmouth University, 2009

Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 1994-95

Annenberg Scholar-in-Resident, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 1993-94

Council on Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellowship, Foreign Policy Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, 1991-92

Edmund A Gullion Prize, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1988, for highest academic achievement

Veterans of Foreign Wars Prize, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1982, for highest academic achievement in the Humanities

The Daughters of American Revolution Prize, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1982, for highest academic achievement in American History

Professional Awards

The Infrastructure Security Partnership Annual Award for Distinguished Leadership in Critical Infrastructure Resilience, 2010

Top 25 Most Influential People in Security 2009, Security Magazine Maritime Security Service Recognition Award, 2005, presented by the Maritime Security Council for outstanding leadership in raising the standards of maritime security worldwide

Alumni Achievement Award, U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, 1999, for recognition of the graduate within the past 20 years who has an outstanding record of achievement and promise of lifelong distinction.

Legion of Merit Medal, 2001

Meritorious Service Medal, 1992

U.S. Coast Guard Commendation Medal, 1993

U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal, 1986

Professional Associations & Affiliations

Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations

Member, U.S. Naval Institute