About Our People

The National Center for Critical Incident Analysis was started by a diverse group that includes experts in medicine and public health, law enforcement and national security, sociology and journalism.

Ford Rowan


Ford Rowan is the chairman of the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis, an independent, privately funded, civilian research entity that supports the National Defense University in Washington. He is the author of a study on lessons from the 2001 anthrax attacks and co-author of What is to be done? Emerging Perspectives on Public Responses to Bioterrorism (2002) and Crisis Prevention, Management and Communication (1991).

Rowan is a founder of the crisis management consulting firm of Rowan & Blewitt Incorporated in Washington, D.C. He has advised on the September 11th air disasters, alleged financial fraud, restatements of earnings, environmental crimes, free trade issues, chemical safety, mad cow disease, SUV rollovers, silicone breast implants, the aftermath of the Valdez oil spill and five explosions at chemical plants and refineries.

He is a former national security correspondent for NBC News who covered the war in Lebanon, the Watergate trials, and Three Mile Island. He was the host of the weekly PBS program, International Edition, in the mid 1980s. Rowan also practiced communications law in Washington and is the author of Broadcast Fairness, a 1984 analysis of the impact of regulation on news coverage. In 1978 he wrote TechnoSpies which described the computer network that became the Internet.

Rowan taught part-time for 13 years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, for four years at the University of Southern California and three years at George Washington University. He earned his law degree at Georgetown and masters degrees from Johns Hopkins (behavioral science), American University (political science) and Syracuse (interdisciplinary social science). He earned a doctorate in public administration from the University of Southern California. Rowan is vice chair of the Board of the Santa Fe Institute.

Stephen Prior, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Prior trained as a life scientist with qualifications in microbiology and biochemistry. His research interests focused on microbial physiology resulting in over 20 years research experience in a wide range of multinational and biotechnological environments. He has been the Project Manager for US Department of Defense contracts that exceed $500 million and has experience in management of large, multi-disciplinary teams operating in international collaborative efforts. He has spent over 15 years working in the commercial biotechnology industry and has proven skills in the identification & appraisal of technology, project management & business development including focused growth of biotechnology and pharmaceutical projects from initial research to licensed products.

Dr. Prior is an acknowledged leader in the field of medical defense against the threat posed by biological weapons and bioterrorism who, since 1986 has advised and worked closely with government and commercial defense staffs world-wide to develop integrated strategies of medical countermeasures for BW defense. He has wide experience over the past decade in the defense industry, including appointments with the UK Ministry of Defense, NATO, and the U.S. Department of Defense. He has a unique knowledge of the issues relating to the threat posed by biological weapons, the role of medical countermeasures in countering the threat and the requirements to implement an effective strategy for defense in the military and civilian population. He was recently selected to the ‘Homeland Security 100’ as one of the most influential people in the United States for his role in helping to define a comprehensive strategy to combat the emerging terrorism threat to the nation. Dr. Prior is the founding Research Director of the National Center for Critical Incident Analysis and a Distinguished Research Professor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.

Frank Ochberg, M.D.


Frank M. Ochberg, M.D., is co-founder of CIAG and a member of the CIAG Coordinating Committee. Additionally, he is chair of the executive committee of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma; founding board member of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies; and member of the National Center for PTSD Educational Advisory Committee.

He graduated cum laude from Harvard University; received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University; completed his internship in medicine and surgery at the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco, his residency in psychiatry at Stanford University, and a fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry at the University of London.

Ochberg was editor of the first text on treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is widely published in a number of areas including victimization and traumatic stress, conflict and conflict resolution, terrorism and hostage negotiations.

He has served as a consultant to the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service and the National Security Council. He was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health and director of the Michigan Mental Health Department.

At Michigan State University, he is clinical professor of psychiatry, adjunct professor of criminal justice, and former adjunct professor of journalism.

Ochberg developed, with colleagues, the Dart Foundation; the Dart Center; the Michigan State Victims and the Media program; the Dart Award for Excellence in Reporting on Victims of Violence; Global Youth Connect (a young persons’ human-rights organization); Gift From Within (a charity for persons with PTSD); the Michigan Victims Alliance; and the Committee for Community Awareness and Protection (responding to serial-killer threats). For the latter activity, he is the first physician to receive the Law Enforcement Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution.

As a Red Cross volunteer, Ochberg has helped families at sites of earthquakes, floods, fires and aircraft disasters. He represents the Dart Foundation and directs their support of programs for victims around the world.

Founding Members

Donald Bassett, M.S.C.M.
Bert Brown, M.D.
Sandro Cinti, M.D.
Peter Huessy
James Lammers, J.D.
L. Kirk Lewis
Gen. Charles Link
Barbara Monseu
Frank Ochberg, M.D.
Stephen Prior, Ph.D.
Ford Rowan
Gen. Edward Rowny
Bruce Shapiro
Steve Gorelick

Please note that most of these founding members are retired and no longer are active in the NCCIA. We appreciate their help over the years.