Faculty Bios

Dr Joe DiRenzo III

Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, Innovation and Research to Commander Coast Guard Atlantic Area

Coast Guard Chair, Joint Forces Staff College

Dr. DiRenzo is Coast Guard Atlantic Area’s Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, Innovation and Research and the Coast Guard Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk Virginia.  Dr. DiRenzo is a retired Coast Guard officer, who also spent nine years in the Navy, in both the submarine and surface warfare communities. In 1991 he transitioned to the United States Coast Guard and was assigned to USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC 721) where he served as Combat Information Center Officer, then Operations Officer.  In 1993 he was assigned as Executive Officer of USCGC VASHON (WPB 1308) homeported in Roosevelt Roads Puerto Rico, and was the primary Boarding Officer for 14 narcotics and 10 migrant interdictions. In 1995 he was assigned to Commander Greater Antilles Section (GANTSEC) as a Search and Rescue Controller coordinating over 300 cases. In 1996 Dr. DiRenzo was selected as the first Chief of Frontier Shield Intelligence Detachment (FSID intelligence driven interdictions increased 171% during his tour, while interoperability with Customs, DEA, INS and the FBI improved substantially.

In 1997 Dr DiRenzo screened for command and was detailed to USCGC JEFFERSON ISLAND, homeported in Portland Maine Following his change of command in May of 1999 Dr.  DiRenzo was detailed as the inaugural Coast Guard Liaison Officer assigned to the CONSTELLATION Battle Group (CRUDESGRU ONE staff) and PELELIU ARG (PHIBRON ONE staff) deployed to the Arabian Gulf.  In this role her served as the Maritime Interdiction Officer for both staffs and was the primary post seizure analyst/Intelligence Collector for 10 oil smuggling interdictions. 

In 2000 Dr. DiRenzo was detailed to the Atlantic Area staff Portsmouth Virginia, serving initially as the Operation’s Division Regional Strategic Assessment Coordinator, then as the Anti-Terrorism Coordinator.  In his role as the AT Coordinator following the attacks of 9-11, Dr. DiRenzo drafted numerous policy documents related to maritime terrorism, coordinated anti-terrorism operations with the Navy and participated in numerous infrastructure vulnerability and risk assessment studies, including those related to CBRNE. Following his retirement from the Coast Guard in 2003, in returned to the Coast Guard as the Senior Port Security Specialist, than Assistant Chief of Operational Planning.  He assumed Division Chief status in 2011 of the newly created LANT-7 division responsible for all Operational Analysis work including modeling & simulation, risk, interaction with the Coast Guard research and Development program and the DHS Science and Technology University program’s 12 DHS Academic Centers of Excellence.   In October of 2013 he was named the Senior Advisor for Science, Technology, Innovation and Research to Commander Coast Guard Atlantic Area

As the Coast Guard Chair at the Joint Forces Staff College he serves as a resource for the faculty, especially JAWS, routinely lectures in the Homeland Security course and provides liaison for Coast Guard related issues and unit visits.  He has been the Coast Guard Chair for three years.

Dr. DiRenzo is one of the most published authors in the history of the Coast Guard. A five-time winner of the service’s prestigious JOC Alex Haley award he has published over 250 articles since his retirement on various maritime terrorism and port security topics in publications such as the Naval War College Review, Marine News, the Maritime Reporter, PROCEEDINGS, the American Legion magazine, National Defense and Undersea Warfare. He has lectured at numerous military and law enforcement venues involving maritime transportation security issues and was the keynote speaker at Dalhouise University’s 2007 Maritime Security Conference. In 2010 he was the he was the co-winner, with his co-author retired Vice Admiral James Hull,  of the U.S. Naval Institute National Essay contest.  His team at LANT-7 has also won the internationally recognized INFOS Wagner Prize in collaboration with the University of Southern California.

Dr. DiRenzo  is a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, holds a Master’s in Business Administration from California Coast University, and is a graduate of both the Naval War College and Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Homeland Security Specialization) in 2007 at Northcentral University in Prescott AZ.  He currently teaches for both American Military University and Northcentral University on National Security, Homeland Security and Terrorism issues. He has lectured at the Naval War College, Dalhouise University, Purdue University, West Point, the Naval Academy and the Canadian Forces College.

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