Portrait of Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Lead Principal Investigator, Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at the American University


Dr. Cynthia Miller-Idriss is Professor in the School of Public Affairs and in the School of Education at the American University in Washington, DC, where she directs the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) in the Center for University Excellence (CUE). Dr. Miller-Idriss also serves as Director of Strategy and Partnerships for the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR) in the United Kingdom, and is a member of the international advisory board for the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) in Norway, Oslo.

A globally-recognized expert on far-right youth and preventative interventions, Dr. Miller-Idriss is the author, co-author, or co-editor of six books, including Hate in the HomelandThe New Global Far Right, published by Princeton University Press in October 2020. In addition to her academic work, Miller-Idriss writes frequently for global mainstream audiences, with recent by-lines in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CNN, The Hill, Politico, The Guardian, Le Monde, Salon, and more. She appears regularly in the media as an expert source and political commentator, including regular appearances on Fareed Zakaria GPS and other CNN news programs, NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, NBC's Evening News with Lester Holt, C-SPAN's Washington Journal, NBC's The Today Show, ABC's Good Morning America, and in global news outlets in over a dozen countries, including BBC News, Deutsche Welle, France 24, al Jazeera and more.

Dr. Miller-Idriss has testified before the U.S. Congress and has briefed the UN Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee on white supremacist extremism and white nationalist terrorism, and frequently serves as a keynote speaker and expert panelist on trends in domestic violent extremism and white supremacist extremism to global academic and policy communities.

Prior to her arrival at American University in August 2013, Dr. Miller-Idriss was a tenured faculty member at New York University, and also taught previously at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) in Sociology and German Area Studies from Cornell University.