Episode 49: Exploring the Center for Critical Intelligence Studies at Rutgers University

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Rutgers became a federally-designated Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) through a grant award from the Defense Intelligence Agency in January 2015. Since that time, Rutgers University-New Brunswick has established a popular, new minor in Critical Intelligence Studies in collaboration with the SAS political science department; executed a number of certificate programs in intelligence/national security for undergraduate and graduate students across the University; hosted conferences on the most pressing issues in the field; and developed programs to prepare students for potential careers within the Intelligence Community. CCIS continues the work of managing and implementing all existing and new endeavors related to the IC CAE Program.

Join Analysis Bureau Chief Dean Baratta as he discusses this novel program with its advisor Ava Mejlesi and how it leverages ties with a variety of agencies to conduct research, develop practical initiatives, and provide educational and career opportunities for Rutgers students through increased opportunities for interaction with law enforcement and intelligence professionals.




Acting Director | Rutgers Institute for Violence Prevention & Community Safety
Program Advisor | Center for Critical Intelligence Studies

Ms. Majlesi has had a long and successful career at Rutgers University, both as a student and as an administrator. After receiving her B.A., summa cum laude, from Rutgers College, Ms. Majlesi was admitted to Rutgers School of Law–Newark, where she served as co-editor-in-chief of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter and received her J.D. Ms. Majlesi is admitted to the bar in New Jersey and New York.

Upon graduation, Ms. Majlesi was retained as a research associate for the Institute on Education Law and Policy, where she worked on several projects. These projects included research and analysis of school districts under mayoral control within US cities, and creating a curriculum to educate school principals on New Jersey education law. 

In 2008, Ms. Majlesi joined the Rutgers School of Law–Newark development office, and was later promoted to director of development, a position which she held from 2010-14. During her tenure, Ms. Majlesi also received her Masters in Public Administration, summa cum laude, from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration. Her thesis, entitled Policing New Jersey’s Urban Areas during Times of Economic Crisis, included an examination of policing techniques utilized in three of New Jersey’s major cities—Newark, Trenton and Camden.

As a result of her diverse background, Ms. Majlesi was asked to join the task force that established the Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, and was later named the Institute’s associate director.

Ms. Majlesi was named Acting Director for the Institute for Violence Prevention and Community Safety in October 2017. As program advisor for the Center for Critical Intelligence Studies, she develops educational programs and manages the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE) program. She also serves as the academic advisor for the minor in Critical Intelligence Studies, which is housed within the Rutgers SAS Political Science Department. She has taught several of the Rutgers IC CAE courses, including: Current Issues in Intelligence and National Security; Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Response, and Homeland Security; and Introduction to Critical Intelligence Studies.