Gannon University Faculty Member Co-Authors Book for Risk Managers
Posted: February 24, 2017
David Smith is the director of the insurance and risk management
program at Gannon University's Dahlkemper School of Business, so
you would expect him to have experience in the insurance industry.
Smith has held positions in underwriting, product development and
market intelligence during his long insurance career, but he also
had a concurrent career in the U.S. Army Reserve that included 10
years as both a combat and a strategic military intelligence
officer. This provided the opportunity for active duty for training
periods as an analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency and as
an instructor at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort
It was there that he met Mark Silinski, Ph.D., a man whom Smith
said, "is an outstanding terrorist profiler." Silinski is also the
co-author of Smith's first book, "The Manager's Guide to Terrorism,
Risk, and Insurance: Essentials for Today's Business."
The book, currently available in an electronic edition from
Rothstein Publishing, has been ranked in the top 100 business books
on Amazon.com and was designed for risk managers at companies and
risk management students.
"Most of the focus has been forensic, or responding to the risk.
We weren't sure risk managers were looking at the kinds of threats
that were happening, and we thought people could reduce their risk
by considering them," Smith said.
"One way to do that is with knowledge, and another by taking
steps to make your business or location a hard target rather than a
soft target. If everybody hardens yourself against exposure, your
risk is reduced. As [former Secretary of Homeland Security] Tom
Ridge says, 'terrorism has been with us for a while and it's not
going to go away.' Our approach is from the standpoint of loss
prevention, as opposed to how you react to a loss, which is what
the Navy SEALs can do."
The e-book contains two chapters, defining terrorism and loss
prevention. There is information on how terrorist cells work and
why recent attacks in San Bernardino and Brussels caught risk
managers by surprise.
An expanded print edition due this year will include additional
chapters on eco-terrorism, product tampering, and threats to
infrastructure and the environment, all of which can hurt the
economy according to Smith.
"We'll also discuss the use of barriers and electronic
surveillance, two elements of a basic security checklist for every
business," Smith said. "We'll discuss how to assess a site and look
at the progressive collapse risk."
The book is the culmination of a process that was set in motion
almost four years ago. Working on the book, Smith says, "has
improved my writing skills," but he's not eager to write another
one anytime soon. Still, he says, "we'll keep this one