Stephen Recca, MA

Program Director, Homeland Security

Colorado Springs, CO

International intelligence officer. Critical thinker. Content provider.

  • MA, National Security, Naval Postgraduate School (1990)
  • BS, Economics, U.S. Naval Academy (1983)

Stephen Recca is the Program Director for Homeland Security within CTU’s Security Studies, and concurrently serves as the Deputy Director of the University and Agency Partnership Initiative for the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) Center for Homeland Defense and Security. His previous positions include security policy assignments with the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, Department of Defense, and in academia. From 1995-98, he served as Special Assistant and Speechwriter for the Secretary of the Navy and the Director of Central Intelligence. Following assignment to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Recca held the Inman Intelligence Chair at NPS, and returned to Europe in 2003 to serve as the Defense Department’s Chief Liaison to the German Federal Intelligence Service. From 2006 until April 2009, he directed the Center for Homeland Security at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where he managed graduate and undergraduate education programs, applied research, and an International Civil Security Seminar Program in partnership with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Recca serves on the Advisory Boards for the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Institute at Marian University, and for the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is on the editorial review board for three peer-reviewed journals: Homeland Security Affairs; Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy; and Journal of Homeland Security Education.

Academic Specialization/Focus at CTU

Homeland Security

Why are YOU IN?

The most successful higher education programs nurture and enable critical thinking. For homeland security, strengthening this skill is essential to understanding the breadth of issues in securing the U.S., and to visualizing – and solving – future challenges. Homeland security and the associated academic discipline are so new that we are just now beginning to ask the right questions about scope, content and context of this rapidly emerging field. These are the areas where academia can and must take the lead. Our graduates’ ability to think critically in stressful, potentially life-threatening environments is crucial. We have to get it right – and it begins and is reinforced in the classroom. Learn Stephen's CTU Story.

What is your teaching philosophy?

Graduate education must deliver both strong academic rigor and relevant practical application, and these two elements are complementary and mutually reinforcing. Content in a professional discipline should reflect the stated – and unstated/as-yet-unknown – needs of end-users: government agencies, non- governmental organizations and the private sector. Consequently, content continues to evolve in a dynamic process that requires insight into how and where the discipline is changing, and flexibility in adjusting and delivering a rigorous homeland security curriculum. In practical terms, the dynamic process means a majority of course content – primarily readings, case studies, and background material – is likely to change with each course iteration for the foreseeable future. CTU’s agile course developers and teaching faculty, with rich experience in homeland security professions and higher education, are the core elements in delivering a highly successful curriculum.

Aside from higher education, what else are you passionate about?

I enjoy community engagement at all levels, riding anything on two wheels, and strategic running.

Research interests
  • Homeland Security
  • International Security
  • Intelligence and National Security