Key Personnel


Key Headquarters Personnel

Dr. Louise Shelley, Founder and Director


Judy Deane, Deputy Director


Kasey Kinnard, Financial and Outreach Coordinator


Dr. Mahmut Cengiz, Research Faculty

Sharon Melzer, Senior Fellow

David Luna, Senior Fellow for National Security

Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Jo-Marie Burt, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

Dr. Edward Huang, Associate Professor, Volgenau School of Engineering,

Dr. Al Fuertes, Associate Professor, School of Integrative Studies

Dr. A. Alonso Aguirre, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy

Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

Dr. Maurice D Kugler, Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

Dr. Naoru Koizumi, Associate Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government

Dr. Ararat Osipian

Visiting Scholars




Dr. Louise Shelley, Founder and Director

Dr. Louise Shelley is the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair and a University Professor at George Mason University. She is in the Schar School of Policy and Government and directs the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) that she founded. She is a leading expert on the relationship among terrorism, organized crime and corruption as well as human trafficking, transnational crime and terrorism with a particular focus on the former Soviet Union. She also specializes in illicit financial flows and money laundering. She was an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellow.  Her newest book written while on the Carnegie Corporation and Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship, Dark Commerce: How a New Illicit Economy is Threatening our Future, on illicit trade, the new technology  and sustainability was published  with Princeton University Press in November 2018.

Dr. Shelley received her undergraduate degree cum laude from Cornell University in Penology and Russian literature. She holds an M.A. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. She studied at the Law Faculty of Moscow State University on IREX and Fulbright Fellowships and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. She held a Fulbright and researched and taught on crime issues in Mexico. She has also taught on transnational crime in Italy. She is the recipient of the Guggenheim, NEH, IREX, Kennan Institute, and Fulbright Fellowships and received a MacArthur Grant to establish the Russian Organized Crime Study Centers and recently completed a MacArthur grant studying non-state actors and nuclear proliferation. In 1992, she received the Scholar-Teacher prize of American University, the top academic award of the university.

Her previous books include Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism, published by Cambridge University Press, and Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective (Cambridge 2010). She has also authored Policing Soviet Society (Routledge, 1996), Lawyers in Soviet Worklife,and Crime and Modernization, as well as numerous articles and book chapters on all aspects of transnational crime and corruption. She is also an editor (with Sally Stoecker) of Human Traffic and Transnational Crime: Eurasian and American Perspectives.

From 1995-2014, Dr. Shelley ran programs in Russia, Ukraine and Georgia with leading specialists on the problems of organized crime and corruption. She has also been the principal investigator of large-scale projects on money laundering from Russia, Ukraine and Georgia and of training of law enforcement persons on the issue of trafficking in persons as well as wildlife trafficking She has testified before the House Committee on International Relations Committee, the Helsinki Commission, the House Banking Committee, the House Financial Services Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Task Force on Terrorist Financing on transnational crime, human trafficking and the links between transnational crime, financial crime and terrorism. Professor Shelley served on the Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade and Organized Crime of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and was the first co-chair of its Council on Organized Crime.   Professor Shelley is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She has spoken at various international fora and at many universities both in the United States and abroad on transnational crime, terrorism, human trafficking, illicit trade and corruption. Additionally, she often appears on television and radio, including appearances on CNN, NPR’s Marketplace and Takeaway, PBS, A&E, the History Channel, C-span, Tavis Smiley,  Kojo Nnamdi and 60 Minutes as well as in the European media such as BBC, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Die Welt.

Click here to view Dr. Louise Shelley’s résumé.

Click here to view Dr. Louise Shelley’s profile on the Schar School of Policy and Government website.

Click here to view Dr. Louise Shelley’s website.


Judy Deane, Deputy Director

Judy Deane joined George Mason University’s Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center as a Senior Policy Fellow in November 2012, and became deputy director in 2014.  During her time with TraCCC, she has served as project manager for TraCCC projects on wildlife crime in South Africa and Tanzania, and on illicit antiquities trade from Iraq and Syria.  She has been lead researcher on projects on corruption in Russia and Ukraine.

Judy is a retired Foreign Service Officer, specializing in Central Europe and Eurasia.  In addition to her Washington assignments she served in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Mongolia and Russia.  From 1999 to 2006 she worked in the Europe and Central Asia Division of the World Bank, focusing on economic development and peace-building issues in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.  From 2007 to 2012 she was Senior Development Officer at American Councils for International Education, an international non-profit dedicated to international exchanges and language training.

Judy received her BA in Economics from the University of Connecticut and holds a Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Yale University and a Master of Sciences in Strategy from the National War College.  She is fluent in Russian, French and German and also speaks some Czech and Polish.

A long-time Arlington resident, Judy is active in community affairs, especially in the fields of homelessness and mental health.   Since 2010 she has been a member of the Arlington County Community Services Board (CSB) — the community group that oversees county services in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and intellectual disabilities.  She co-chairs the CSB subcommittees on Adult Mental Health, Mental Health Services for Young Adults, Mental Health Group homes and the Program of Assertive Community Treatment.  She has been a volunteer with the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) since 1997 and won their Volunteer of the Year award in 2003.



Kasey Kinnard, Financial and Outreach Coordinator

Kasey Kinnard joined the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) in August 2014 as its Grant Administrator and Outreach Coordinator. She provides fiscal support and oversight for TraCCC’s research and programs on corruption and organized crime, and coordinates TraCCC’s educational and outreach activities for scholars, policymakers and public sector clients. Her research interests include human trafficking, wildlife crime, corruption and their effects on international development. She was co-author on the chapter “The Convergence of Illicit Wildlife Trade with Other Forms of Criminality.” In Wildlife Crime: From Theory to Practice, and the paper, “Proper Methodology and Methods of Collecting and Analyzing Slavery Data: An Examination of the Global Slavery Index.” She has served as researcher and grant administrator for TraCCC projects on wildlife crime in South Africa and Tanzania, and on illicit antiquities trade from Iraq and Syria.

Kasey holds a M.A. from George Mason University in International Commerce and Policy and B.S. from Indiana State University. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in South Africa as a community and education resource volunteer, conducting teacher training and community development. She remains involved and connected to the region through multiple projects and the non-profit she runs, focused on girls’ health and empowerment. Kasey speaks English and some IsiZulu.


Dr. Mahmut Cengiz, Research Faculty

Dr. Mahmut Cengiz is a research scholar at Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC). He is a leading expert on transnational crime, corruption, terrorism, money laundering, and terrorist financing as well as human trafficking and smuggling of nuclear materials with a particular focus on the Middle East. He specializes in the relationship between crime and conflict in peacekeeping missions. He is also a security expert on policies related to crime and terror issues.

Holding two masters and two doctorate degrees in Turkey and in USA, Dr. Cengiz has a broader academic and teaching background on international relations, sociology, and public policy. He is the author of four books, a number of articles, and book chapters regarding organized crime, smuggling, terrorist financing, and trafficking issues. His recently published book (2015), combines theory and field experience and discusses many illicit trade issues in the Middle East. He recently has studied transnational threats in the Middle East in terms of conflict in Syria and ISIS, the role of regional drug criminal networks, the interest of terrorist organizations in WMD, and the effects of corruption over the instability in the Middle East. Dr. Cengiz has spoken at various international fora on transnational crime, terrorism, and corruption.

Recent Publications of Dr. Cengiz

Cengiz, Mahmut (2015), Türkiye’de Organize Suç Gerçeği ve Terörün Finansmanı [The Reality of Organized Crime and Terrorist Financing in Turkey], Ankara: Seckin Publication House
Cengiz, Mahmut (2011), Turkish Organized Crime: From Local to Global, Saarbrücken: Verlag Dr. Müller
Cengiz, Mahmut (2011), “Smuggling of Nuclear Materials in the Former Soviet Union,” Turkish Journal of Police Studies Volume 13, Issue 1
Cengiz, Mahmut (2010), “Various System Methodologies to Analyze Theft and Smuggling of Nuclear Material Cases,” Turkish Journal of Criminology Volume 1, Issue 2.


Dr. Sharon Melzer, Senior Fellow

Dr. Sharon Melzer has expertise in criminology, transnational crime, and illicit trade and has held positions in academia and government. She has been with TraCCC at George Mason University since 2016.  Before joining George Mason, she served as a Senior Advisor for Transnational Threats and Illicit Trade/Franklin Fellow with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).  While at the State Department she organized and chaired the United States Government Interagency Working Group to Combat Illicit Tobacco and co-chaired, with the United Kingdom’s Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC), the OECD tobacco sub-group of the OECD’s Task Force – Charting Illicit Trade. She also held an Adjunct Faculty appointment with the Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.  Currently, she also serves as a Strategic Policy Specialist with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Prior to her return to Washington, Dr. Melzer served as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at the State University of New York (SUNY) – College at Plattsburgh. During her academic career, she has taught courses on organized crime, white-collar crime, human trafficking, terrorism, transnational crime, research methods, criminological theory, introduction to criminology and the criminal justice system, and designed, directed, and implemented SUNY Plattsburgh’s first Study Abroad in Criminology program. While completing her doctorate, she was an adjunct professor/lecturer at American University and Marymount University.  Dr. Melzer has published in various outlets and presented her work at national and international conferences. She has provided service to several national professional organizations, including serving as an Executive Director of the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime (IASOC).  While at Penn State, she also held a joint position as a Research, Evaluation, and Financial Analyst with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Dr. Melzer’s research interests include the illicit trade in tobacco, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, counterfeit goods, and threat financing. She holds a PhD in Justice, Law and Society with a concentration in Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption from American University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Science degree in Criminology from Florida State University, and Bachelors of Arts in Administration of Justice and History from the Pennsylvania State University.

David M. Luna, Senior Fellow for National Security

Mr. Luna is a Senior Fellow for National Security with the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. Mr. Luna is a globally-recognized strategic leader. A disruptive innovator for social impact, he is a visionary, thought leader, and a leading voice internationally on the full spectrum application of convergence strategies and net-centric approaches across today’s global threat landscapes and markets.

A former U.S. Diplomat and national security official, Mr. Luna is a frequent speaker on transnational threats, international affairs, geopolitical risks, illicit trade and the global illegal economy (“dark side of globalization”) including transnational organized crime, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing, IPR enforcement, counterfeit and pirated goods, cybersecurity/cybercrime, environmental crime, and smuggling/trafficking crimes that impact the US homeland, and destabilize global security and world order.

With over 21+ years of Federal Service in the U.S. Government, Mr. Luna held numerous senior positions with the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), including directorships for national security, transnational crime and illicit networks, and anti-corruption and good governance; and served as an advisor to the Secretary’s Coordinator for the Rule of Law.  Mr. Luna also served as an Assistant Counsel to the President, Office of the Counsel to the President, The White House; Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary, Congressional and Inter-Governmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor; and Law Clerk and Special Assistant to the Minority Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Special Committee on Investigations.

Mr. Luna previously served as the President (Chair) of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade; Chair and Vice Chair of the APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group, U.S. Coordinator, APEC ACT Pathfinder Dialogues on Fighting Corruption and Illicit Trade; co-Chair of the U.S.-China Anti-Corruption Working Group of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) on Law Enforcement; Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade and Organized Crime (and Member of the Human Trafficking Task Force); co-Chair G-7 Experts Group on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade; U.S. Coordinator, Dialogues on the Crime-Terror Nexus and Dismantling Transnational Illicit Networks; U.S. Representative, Global Forum on Fighting Corruption II-VI; and other diplomatic initiatives and public-private partnerships on anti-crime and global security.

Mr. Luna is the CEO and President of Luna Global Networks & Convergence Strategies LLC – a new global advisory consultancy that is helping to advance and harness new energies, partnerships, and a new coalition to mobilize greater collective action to counter illicit trade, illicit markets, and related converging security threats.  Mr. Luna is a co-Founder and Director of the NGO, The Conservation Project International.

Mr. Luna is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College and received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from The Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America.

Click here to view David M. Luna’s website.