Skip To The Main Content

Dr. Nancy Zarse

Nancy Zarse

Dr Nancy Zarse is a forensic psychologist and full professor in the Forensic Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She is lead faculty for Violence & Risk Assessment, Psychology of Terrorism, Hostage Negotiation, Psychology of Law Enforcement, and the Evaluation & Treatment of the Adult Offender. Dr. Zarse developed a class on Israel, focusing on terrorism, trauma, and resilience; she has led the 14-week course, which culminates in a 10-day study abroad trip, for 8 years. Dr. Zarse is a member of the FBI’s TLOC (law enforcement counterterrorism). She was appointed Sector Chief of Academia for the FBI’s InfraGard (private sector counterterrorism). Dr. Zarse serves as consultant to the FBI’s Countering Violent Extremism section, with Secret Clearance. She is one of three experts on a team awarded a $190k grant, by the Department of Homeland Security, for Countering Violent Extremism.

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, the maximum-security military prison. Her responsibilities included performing psychological evaluations, assessing risk of violence, providing individual and group therapy, leading hostage negotiation teams, providing staff training, and conducting violation hearings for maximum security military prisoners.

Dr. Zarse consults with and provides training to law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, Chicago Police Department, US Army Military Police, and Crisis Negotiation Associations, as well as schools, private law firms, and legal agencies like the Chicago Bar. She specializes in prevention, identification, assessment, and management of risk of violence. Dr. Zarse serves as resource staff for the FBI Hostage Negotiation Certification Course and FBI Interview & Interrogation Course. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Crisis Negotiators Association. Dr. Zarse has presented at many national and international forums on Violence Risk Assessment, Terrorism, School Violence, Survival Mindset, Workplace Violence, PTSD, Dealing with Trauma, Hostage Negotiation, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Suicide Risk Assessment, Vicarious Trauma, Stress Management, and HIV/AIDS. She was invited to teach two days on Hostage Negotiation and Survival Skills at the Prague (Czech Republic) Institute on Crime, Law, and Psychology.

Dr. Zarse has published articles on Hostage Negotiation, Israel, Police Values, Police Citizen Interactions, Occupational Stress, Political Assassinations, etc. Dr. Zarse has provided expert commentary on forensic issues in media interviews, including CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Forbes Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. She has been featured in documentaries, such as White Supremacy: Going Under; Kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard; and Crime on Campus.

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