Dr. Russell Palarea is the Founder and President of Operational Psychology Services, LLC. Through his company, Dr. Palarea provides investigative consultation, operational training, and program development on threat assessment, counterterrorism, and insider threat. His clients include Fortune 500 companies, Federal government agencies, law enforcement, global security firms, and university threat assessment teams.
Through his company, Dr. Palarea serves as the contract Consulting Operational Psychologist for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS). He was brought to DS in 2012 to co-create the State Department’s Threat Management Program, and currently consults on investigations of threats and violence against State Department leadership, facilities, and personnel worldwide. He also consults with the DS Insider Threat Program, and is an instructor for the DS Training Academy, and a presenter for the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC).
From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Palarea served as a Staff Operational Psychologist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), where he consulted to the NCIS Threat Management Unit, Counterterrorism Department, and Insider Threat Program. He provided psychological consultation on a wide variety of investigations, including homicides, suicides, cold cases, stalking, workplace violence, domestic violence, school violence, sexual assaults, arsons, sabotage, insider threat, and counterterrorism. Additionally, Dr. Palarea conducted case consultations and training for the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. Dr. Palarea has also consulted for several Department of Defense groups, including the Fort Hood Task Force (addressing targeted violence prevention) and the Psychological Autopsy Working Group.
Dr. Palarea is an internationally recognized expert in targeted violence prevention. He has provided training to numerous U.S. law enforcement and national security agencies, including Diplomatic Security, NCIS, FBI, CIA, NSA, NRO, DIA, AFOSI, US Marshals, Federal Air Marshals, and Customs & Border Protection. Additionally, he has served as an instructor for multiple U.S. Government agency training academies, including the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), CIA University, and Department of Defense Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA). His international experience includes training law enforcement and security agencies, and presenting at law enforcement conferences in South America, Canada, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region, and throughout Europe.
Dr. Palarea has conducted research on stalking, workplace violence, and assessment of communicated threats with the Los Angeles Police Department Threat Management Unit, US Capitol Police Threat Assessment Section, Nebraska State Patrol, and Lincoln Police Department. His doctoral dissertation assessed the perpetration of stalking behaviors as a risk factor for future violence in domestic violence cases. His journal publications have appeared in Behavioral Sciences & the Law, Violence & Victims, Journal of Forensic Sciences, and Journal of Threat Assessment. Additionally, he has co-authored book chapters on psychiatric diagnoses and the offender-victim typology of stalking in Meloy’s The Psychology of Stalking, crisis negotiations in Kennedy & Zillmer’s Military Psychology, and ethics in crisis negotiations in Kennedy & Williams’ The Ethics of Operational Psychology.
Dr. Palarea holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology from UCLA, and a Masters and Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Forensics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He currently serves as the President of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) and is a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management. His other professional memberships include the American Psychological Association (APA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS).