Dr. Itamara V. Lochard is the Senior Researcher of the International Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, a certified mediator and DoD Information Operations expert. She regularly briefs/advises U.S. combatant commanders and presents current research on non-state groups, governance, technology and conflict to the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense Highlands Forum. She has examined the para-state function of these entities since 1988, most notably at the African Studies department of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), as well as at the Institute of International Studies (IIS) and North America Forum at Stanford University.
She analyzes the organizational patterns, areas of cooperation, strategies and tactics of ~1,700 non-state groups that have been active since at least 1996 – including insurgents, militias, terrorists, complex criminal organizations, organized gangs, malicious cyber actors and strategic non-violent actors. These groups are cataloged in a database Dr. Lochard created and maintains since 2003 that merges several existing large datasets and incorporates complex criminal organizations and organized gangs. By conducting individual research on each group and overlaying them with governance data on states since 1996, she empirically demonstrated in 2005, 2008 and 2012 that these groups exist in all four quartiles of aggregated governance scores, clustering in quartiles 2 and 3 for one set of groups, and in quartiles 1, 3 and 4 for the remainder. Dr Lochard posited this demonstrates such groups' need for a basic level of infrastructure to survive.