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ABS Group Global Government Sector Appoints Independent Subject Matter Expert Dr. Jennifer Hesterman to Support the Expansion of Soft Target Security Capabilities

July 25, 2022

ABS Group Global Government Sector Appoints Independent Subject Matter Expert Dr. Jennifer Hesterman to Support the Expansion of Soft Target Security Capabilities

ABS Consulting Inc. (ABS Group) Global Government Sector is pleased to announce that Dr. Jennifer Hesterman has joined as an independent subject matter expert to aid ABS Group as it expands its capabilities in security for soft targets. Dr. Hesterman brings practical experience supporting both government and private sector interests and will serve as a key advisor to ABS Group's security practice.  

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman

Dr. Jennifer Hesterman is a recognized expert in security strategy and tactics for soft targets including public gathering spaces, houses of worship, election polling places and open spaces.

"Dr. Hesterman brings a wealth of security knowledge to our team at a pivotal time. Attacks on vulnerable soft targets are on the rise and present complex security challenges," said Jake Stenzler, Vice President of Government for ABS Consulting. "We continue our mission of assisting key government agencies with the responsibility of protecting public places from potential terrorist attacks, supporting the necessary security needs to reduce vulnerabilities and ultimately protect our communities."

As a subject matter expert, Dr. Hesterman has presented over 70 keynotes, guest speaking and training events in the US and abroad for the ASIS International, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DOD), state and local law enforcement, Fortune 100 companies, Major League Baseball and numerous associations.

The author of three books on the subject, Dr. Hesterman’s "Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack" was the ASIS Security Industry Book of the Year for 2015. ASIS awarded the second edition the same honors for 2019. She has also authored "Soft Target Crisis Management" (2016) and "The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus" (2013), as well as 26 journal articles.

Dr. Hesterman is a retired Air Force colonel who served in three Pentagon tours and in multiple command positions in the field. Her last assignment was Vice Commander at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, where she led installation security, force support, and the 1st Helicopter Squadron, and was the primary escort for the President and other heads of State on the airfield. She is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service medal with 5 oak leaf clusters and the Global War on Terrorism Service medal.

After her military retirement in 2007, Dr. Hesterman worked as a cleared contractor in Washington, DC performing operational research on international and domestic terrorist organizations, transnational threats, organized crime, human, drug and weapon trafficking and the terrorist and criminal exploitation of the Internet.

She advises the Homeland Security Training Institute at the College of DuPage in Chicago, the Crisis Response Journal in the UK and two DHS Centers of Excellence. She is the security lead on a 3-year contract to deploy security best practices within the Department of Transportation. In addition to providing assessments for churches, schools, shopping venues, airports, stadiums and businesses, she designs and instructs graduate-level security courses for the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Department of Defense.

In 2003, she was a National Defense Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. where she studied the terror-crime nexus; her resulting book, Transnational Crime and the Criminal-Terrorist Nexus, won the Air Force Research Award for 2004. She is a 2006 alumnus of the Harvard Senior Executive Fellows program and was a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University from 2016-2018.

She holds a doctoral degree from Benedictine University, Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University.

About ABS Consulting

ABSG Consulting Inc. (ABS Consulting) is part of ABS Group of Companies, Inc. (, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ABS (, one of the world’s leading marine and offshore classification societies. The subsidiary was recently named one of America’s Best Consulting Firms of 2022 by Forbes. With over 50 years of risk management and safety experience, ABS Consulting provides data-driven risk and reliability solutions and technical services that help clients confirm the integrity, quality and efficiency of critical assets and operations. Headquartered in Spring, Texas, ABS Consulting operates with more than 1,000 professionals across the globe serving the marine and offshore, oil, gas and chemical, government, power and energy and industrial sectors.

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