Senior Lecturer of Information Sciences and Technology
Academic Program Coordinator, Homeland Security MPS
Ph.D., Political Science (International Relations/Comparative Politics), Penn State 1997
M.A., Political Science (International Relations), Penn State 1984
B.A., History with honors, Penn State 1982
Dr. Peter K. Forster is Associate Dean for Online and Professional Education and a member of the graduate faculty, in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State. He is member of IST’s Multidisciplinary Initiatives in Naturalistic Decision Systems (MINDS) Center and the Center for Enterprise Architecture working on risk and crisis management including using simulations and tabletop exercises to improve command and control. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations), has affiliate status with the School of International Affairs, and is the co-chair of the NATO/OSCE Partnership for Peace Consortium Combating Terrorism Working Group (CTWG) which brings academics and practitioners together to develop policy recommendations on counter-terrorism strategy and tactics.
Dr. Forster’s primary areas of research and teaching interests are terrorism/counter-terrorism, risk and crisis management, international relations and national security and homeland security. Most recently, Forster helped develop and facilitate a tabletop exercise involving representatives from 40 countries to address the Foreign Terrorist Fighter threat (listen to a discussion: (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3ooaueBkDnrZkxWYUJkZGVfcG8/view?usp=sharing)). Since 2010, he has been the principle investigator on a grant exploring integrating processes and technologies to improve law enforcement’s situational awareness of major issues such as human trafficking. He also oversees a research project on improving the understanding of how extremist organizations’ recruit, vet, and integrate Americans in cyberspace. During his career, Dr. Forster has been involved in security sector reform initiatives including defense institution building in the Caucasus and South Central Europe as well as consulting on national distance education initiatives in Central Asia and the Caucasus. He is the co-author and contributing author to books on NATO’s military burden sharing and intervention including most recently Multinational Military Intervention, Stephen J. Cimbala & Peter K. Forster and Policy, Strategy & War: The George W. Bush Defense Program, Stephen J. Cimbala ed. and Cognitive Systems Engineering Michael D, McNeese & Peter K. Forster, eds. (forthcoming). He has published articles on technology and terrorism, understanding distributed team cognition, homeland security, and American foreign policy and interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus. His current research focus is evolution of terrorists’ use of on-line and mobile technologies in a variety of aspects including the development of a tabletop exercise to identify indicators and warnings of foreign terrorist fighter threats.
Dr. Forster has extensive experience in online education including program design, development, and implementation. He consulted on developing national online programs in Central Asia and corporate program nationally and internationally, and continues to teach online for Penn State. Prior to joining IST, Peter worked in a number of administrative position with Penn State’s World Campus contributing to original plan that saw Penn State transition to online learning environment and subsequently to its strategic development.
Dr. Forster teaches courses on crisis and risk management, cyber-crime, terrorism, and war; counter-terrorism, the impact of information on 21st century society, war and conflict, and the international relations of the Middle East.