Nancy Zarse PhD - Biography

Dr Nancy Zarse is a clinical psychologist and full professor in the Forensic Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.  Dr. Zarse is lead faculty for Hostage Negotiation, Violence & Risk Assessment, Psychology of Law Enforcement, Psychology of Terrorism, and the Evaluation & Treatment of the Adult Offender.  Dr. Zarse developed a class on Israel, culminating in a 10 day study abroad trip; it focuses on terrorism, trauma and resilience, within the history & culture of Israel, and includes international experts and government officials.  Dr. Zarse is a member of the FBI’s TLOC (Terrorism Liaison Officer Committee).  She has been appointed Sector Chief of Academia for the FBI’s InfraGard.

Dr. Zarse has served as a forensic psychologist at several high-profile prisons.  Previous positions include Chief Psychologist at two federal prisons, and the Director of Inmate Administration at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, which is the maximum security military prison.  Her responsibilities included leading hostage negotiation teams, conducting staff training, providing individual and group therapy, performing psychological evaluations, and conducting violation hearings for maximum security military prisoners.

Dr. Zarse consults with and provides training to several law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Chicago Police Department, and to legal agencies like the Chicago Bar Foundation.  Dr. Zarse is resource staff for the FBI Hostage Negotiation Certification Course and the FBI Interview & Interrogation Course.  She provides training on the Psychology of Terrorism, Suicide Bombing, and Violence Risk Assessment.  She is a member of the Threat Assessment Team.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Crisis Negotiators Association and the Domestic Violence Council of DuPage County.  Dr. Zarse has presented at many national and international conferences, on School Violence, Hostage Negotiation, Suicide Risk Assessment, Dealing with Trauma, PTSD in Vets, Extremist Groups in Prisons, Stress Management, and HIV/AIDS.  Dr. Zarse provides training on School Safety: Early Detection and Intervention.  Dr. Zarse has published articles on Hostage Negotiation, Police Values, Occupational Stress, Political Assassinations, with several in press including on Israel.

Dr. Zarse has provided expert commentary on forensic issues in media interviews, including CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Forbes Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune, among others.  She has been featured in national documentaries on Jaycee Dugard & the Stockholm Syndrome, and Crime on Campus.  Dr. Zarse was invited to teach at the Prague Summer Institute on Crime, Law, and Psychology, devoting a day each to Hostage Negotiation and Hostage Survival Skills.

Dr. Zarse received the 2010 and 2014 Distinguished Faculty award for Excellence in Teaching, and the 2011 and 2015 Distinguished Faculty award for Excellence in Public Service.  She was selected as a Carnegie Scholar in both 2010 and 2011.  She also received The Chicago School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. 

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