Photo of Martha Crenshaw FBA

Martha Crenshaw FBA (NC ’67)

Esteemed globally for her research on terrorism, Martha Crenshaw FBA is a political scientist and scholar who serves as a professor of political science at Stanford University since 2007, as well as senior fellow emerita at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Crenshaw earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Newcomb in 1967. In 1973, she obtained her Ph. D. from the Department of Government at the University of Virginia. She is one of the pioneering scholars in terrorism studies, and has written extensively on the issue of political terrorism. She served as the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought at Wesleyan University, where she was on faculty from 1974 to 2007. During this time, Crenshaw served on the Executive Board of Women in International Security, as President and Councilor of the International Society of Political Psychology, and as a Guggenheim Fellow. Following her move to Stanford, Crenshaw worked as a lead investigator with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism at the University of Maryland from 2005 to 2017. In 2011, Crenshaw published Explaining Terrorism, a collection of her previously published work. She also published Countering Terrorism with co-author Gary LaFree in 2017. Recently, Crenshaw authored a report for the U.S. Institute of Peace, “Rethinking Transnational Terrorism: An Integrated Approach.”

Crenshaw is the 1989 recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award from the Newcomb Alumnae Association. She has served on several committees of the National Academy of Sciences and was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) in 2015. Crenshaw is also the recipient of the International Studies Association International Security Studies Section Distinguished Scholar Award, and an honorary doctorate from Ghent University. She serves on the editorial boards of the journals International Security, Security Studies, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Orbis, and Terrorism and Political Violence. Crenshaw is currently affiliated with the National Counterterrorism, Innovation, Technology, and Education Center.