Expertise: Open source intelligence; U.S. intelligence culture; Intelligence outsourcing; national security rhetoric, strategy, and change; Public alerts and warnings
Hamilton is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver specializing in communication and security.
From 2001 to 2005, he served in management positions for a Washington, DC-based provider of analytical support services to U.S. and international clients in the defense and intelligence sector.
Since 2005, he has been affiliated with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) – a U.S. Department of Homeland Security-funded Center of Excellence based at the University of Maryland.
Hamilton’s research investigates: 1) how discourse promotes and impedes the development of national security institutions that reflect the idealized principles of a democratic society; and 2) how communication theory can enable stakeholders including policymakers, officials, and citizens to better prepare for and respond to natural and human-induced disasters. His first book, No More Secrets: Open Source Information and the Reshaping of U.S. Intelligence (Forward by Senator Gary Hart), exemplifies the first of his research themes. This volume analyzes institutional and public discourse to explain how open source (publicly available) information policies and practices are developed, maintained, and transformed within the U.S. intelligence community.
The second theme of his research program is taken up in his latest collaboration with researchers from START. In July 2012, DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate awarded his research team nearly $1 million to determine how to most effectively write imminent threat messages that the public receives via mobile devices. This first-of-its-kind project will help authorities keep communities safe by exploring how to best alert people to immediate dangers such as hurricanes or terrorist attacks via Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)—a public safety system developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the nation’s wireless industry.
Selected Media Appearances
Hearsay Culture – Show #161, May 24, 2012, KZSU-FM Stanford University Radio
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Radio National, Sydney, Australia. Background Briefing, June 1, “Private Spooks”
“Keep wicked calm and carry the hell on”: Boston, terrorism and the rhetorical power of resilience. – Discussion Point, National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (with Dr. Lisa Keränen), June 21, 2013
Bean, H. (In Press). The paradox of open source: An interview with Douglas Naquin, Director, DNI Open Source Center, 2005-2012. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence.
Comor, E., & Bean, H. (2012). America’s “engagement” delusion: Critiquing a public diplomacy consensus. International Communication Gazette, 74, 203–220 (lead article).
Bean, H., Keränen, L., & Durfy, M. (2011). “This is London”: Cosmopolitan nationalism and the discourse of resilience in the case of the 7/7 terrorist attacks. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 14, 427-464.
Bean, H. (2009). Organizational culture and US intelligence affairs. Intelligence and
National Security, 24, 479-498 (lead article).