Programs - Issues Talk

The International Risk Podcast

Dana Motley is the founder of Motley Matrix Business Solutions, providing business intelligence, cyber investigations and social media analysis. She brings 12 years of experience in intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance technologies, social media intelligence, Open Source Intelligence, digital marketing, media relations, and partnered with a lifetime of volunteer work dedicated to opening doors in the name of endeavors that support equal opportunity within the security industry. She's also very passionate about supporting efforts to counter online extremism, and acting as an advocate against coded bias and countering the integration of gender and racial biases into intelligence technologies.
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Current News

FBI Columbia Citizens Academy Alumni Association

Children and Youth in Crisis

Curtis Joe has been working with youth and families for over 20 years. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and master’s degree in Leadership and HRM from Pfeiffer University. Curtis started his career with The Relatives in Charlotte NC where he spent 13 years in many capacities. 10 of those years in a leadership role. Curtis has made an impact on countless children, young adults, and families, as well as on child welfare, education, and family support systems, and workforce development.  Curtis has successfully created a culture for the continuum of services for the youth and young adult population by linking affordable housing while focusing on strategic community economic development, education, and public safety initiatives. Curtis fosters an environment of teamwork and ensures that strategy is clearly defined while overseeing performance and maintaining morale. Curtis was appointed to the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness Board of Directors in January 2017 and currently sits on the National Safe Place Advisory Board. He enjoys spending time with his family, and his favorite past-times include golfing, riding his Harley, and watching his Philadelphia Eagles.​
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Outer Space Peace on Earth with Dr. Simonetta Di Pippo

We know that January 20 was tough. Still, our Issues Talk with Dr. Simonetta di Pippo, Director of the U.N. Office of Outer Space Affairs, spoke with us that morning and brought much information to our future. So much is and will be done via satellites and the Space Station and whatever else is out there in Outer Space. It is fascinated that a major part of investigations of major crimes will start with data from satellites to NASA and Homeland Security and to our most revered FBI.

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Journey Towards Recovery, Life After a Suicide (x 2)

Dennis Gillan is a national thought leader on the topic of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Advocacy. He travels internationally speaking, raising awareness, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Dennis has been deeply touched by suicide after the losses of two of his brothers to suicide 11 years apart. After years of sitting on the sidelines, he jumped into helping those in need by working on the suicide prevention hotline when he lived in Chicago. After moving to South Carolina, Dennis got involved with several non-profits that take on mental health issues and this allows him to lobby lawmakers and raise awareness by sharing his story. Dennis did a TEDx talk on loneliness and recently started his own non-profit called the Half a Sorrow Foundation. You can find out more here: www.halfasorrow.org.

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Women Leaders: Born or Self-Made?

Introducing Ellen Hurwitz, a 3-time University President and Board Officer of American Women for International Understanding.

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Elder Abuse

In March, Mr. William Lightfoot presented an Issues Talk on Elder Abuse. Below is the link to the recording. Unfortunately, elder abuse is notably common in South Carolina, especially in nursing homes. This issue is one that the FBI has been monitoring nationally. It is one of the issues identified in our Memorandum
of Agreement with our FBI SC Field Office. We can work on it. If you are interested in doing so, please contact me. We'll pull together a team, a strong united front to address this issue.  Betty Houbion

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Human Trafficking in the Time of COVID

Introducing Rob Spectre, a New York-based Founder and Director of ChildSafe.ai, the artificial intelligence platform protecting kids online. He is a 13-year veteran of software startups such as SugarCRM, Boxee, and Twilio. Before founding Childsafe.ai, Rob spent a year as a technical consultant for counter-human trafficking units across the United States. Learning from those law enforcement partners, Rob creates machine learning software that starves the macroeconomy fueling modern slavery of its wealth, anonymity, and distribution. A software engineer by trade and a historian by training, Rob also serves youth organizations HackNY and DoSomething.org as an advisor, plays in a punk rock band, and is the loudest Red Sox fan in New York.​
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S1E7 COVID-19 and Online Incubation of Domestic Violent Extremism

 In the United States, the period of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been marked by sociopolitical militancy that has no parallel in our time. Increasingly aggressive rhetoric by racially or ethnically motivated domestic violent extremists (REMVEs) has led to threats and lethal violence against law enforcement personnel, government officials and private-sector employees. Much of the source of this violence comes from adherents of “accelerationism”, which is the view that our system cannot be reformed, but must instead be brought to a premature end by a host of social, political and economic crises. According to accelerationists, the latter will help accelerate the system’s demise, and thus become the harbinger of an age of radical social change. This presentation will discuss the threat of American accelerationism and bring to light the online communities that birthed it and continue to sustain it today.

Presenter’s Bio: Joseph Fitsanakis, Ph.D., has written extensively on intelligence collection (SIGINT and HUMINT), information security, cyber-espionage and sub-state political violence. He is the author of Redesigning Wiretapping: The Digitization of Communications Interception (2020), among other books. Dr. Fitsanakis has published research on intelligence agencies in the United States, southern Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, with particular focus on China and North Korea. His writings have been translated into several languages and referenced by media outlets such as The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, ABC and Newsweek. Before joining Coastal Carolina University in 2015, Dr. Fitsanakis built the Intelligence and Security Studies program at King University, where he also directed the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies. Dr. Fitsanakis is also Deputy Director of the European Intelligence Academy and Senior Editor at intelNews.org, an ACI-indexed scholarly blog that is cataloged through the United States Library of Congress.
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Hello. Glad to meet you.

Introducing SAC Columbia, Susan Ferensic. Her background is absolutely impressive, starting with her time in the U.S. Army prior to joining the FBI. Learn More.

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Elder Fraud and Abuse

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. With AARP as your partner, you’ll learn how to proactively spot scams, get guidance from our fraud specialists if you’ve been targeted, and feel more secure knowing that we advocate at the federal, state, and local levels to protect consumers and enforce the law.   


Kathy Stokes is a nationally recognized leader in the consumer fraud arena. As Director of Fraud Prevention Programs with AARP, Kathy leads AARP’s social mission work to educate older adults on the risks that fraud represents to their financial security. Since 2019, she and her team have vastly expanded AARP’s leadership in this space, including the creation of a new victim support program, a multi-year campaign to end the use of gift cards in fraud, and the formation of a national effort to fundamentally transform how our country addresses consumer fraud. Kathy currently serves on the advisory council to the Board of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators and on the advisory council to the Senior Issues and Diminished Capacity Committee of the North American Securities Administrators Association.

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FBI SC Field Office News Page Link:  https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/columbia/news
FBI Most Wanted Homepage:  https://www.fbi.gov/wanted
FBI News:  https://www.fbi.gov/news

FBI Director, Christopher Wray, Speech:  Working with Our Private Sector Partners to Combat the Cyber Threat