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Center for Critical Intelligence Studies


  • Ava Majlesi, J.D.

    • Ava Majlesi
    • Ava Majlesi
    • Title: Director of the Center for Critical Intelligence Studies

    Ava Majlesi is the Director of the Center for Critical Intelligence Studies (CCIS), and Associate Director of the Miller Center on Policing and Community Resilience. She is Associate Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Political Science and also serves as Program Director for the Rutgers Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC CAE), a designation and grant award the University received in January 2015, and Program Director for the minor in Critical Intelligence Studies through the Political Science Department at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. She was a recipient of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences 2022 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Education.

    Professor Majlesi has had a long and successful career at Rutgers University, both as a student, an administrator, and member of the faculty. After graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers College, Majlesi was admitted to Rutgers Law School, where she served as co-editor-in-chief of the Women's Rights Law Reporter. After receiving her law degree, Majlesi joined the Institute on Education Law and Policy as a research associate, conducting research and analysis of school districts under mayoral control within U.S. cities, and creating a curriculum to educate school principals on New Jersey education law.

    Majlesi joined the Rutgers Law School advancement office in 2008, and was later promoted to director of development, a position she held from 2010–2014. During her tenure, Majlesi also received her master's degree 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. She served as associate director for the Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security prior to taking on her current roles at the University.

    Professor Majlesi maintains admission to the bar in New Jersey and New York.


    • Bachelor of Arts, Rutgers College
    • Master of Public Administration, Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration
    • Juris Doctor, Rutgers Law School

    Courses Taught:

    • Introduction to Critical Intelligence Studies
    • Critical Thinking and Analytic Writing in the Intelligence Community
    • Research in Critical Intelligence Studies
    • Internship in Critical Intelligence Studies
    • Current Issues in Intelligence and National Security
    • Moral and Ethical Dilemmas in Emergency Preparedness, Disaster Response, and Homeland Security

About CIS

CIS Careers