Dr. Jahanbani professional photo

Dr. Nakissa Jahanbani

Assistant Professor Combating Terrorism Center



Dr. Jahanbani is an Assistant Professor and Researcher at the Combating Terrorism Center and the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy. She teaches an introductory course on terrorism, SS465 (Terrorism: New Challenges). At the CTC, she studies various aspects of Iran’s network of proxy militias. She is currently working on a project that looks at the evolution of Iran’s relationship with its proxies in Iraq and Syria over time.  

Her broader research agenda focuses on how states partner with violent non-state actors, such as rebel and terrorist groups, and how these organizations, in turn, are affected by these relationships. Her dissertation project focuses the causes and consequences of states supporting rebel groups. Dr. Jahanbani received her PhD and MA in Political Science from the University at Albany, and her BA in International Studies from the School of International Service at American University. Visit Dr. Jahanbani’s website at https://www.nakissapjahanbani.com/. 

Publications & Presentations

Jahanbani, Nakissa and Charmaine Willis. 2019. “The Ballot or the Bomb Belt: The Roots of Female Suicide Terrorism Before and After 9/11.” Small Wars & Insurgencies 30 (6-7): 1117-1150.  

Asal, Victor, Nakissa Jahanbani, Donnett Lee, and Jiacheng Ren. 2018. “Mini-Games for Teaching Political Science Methodology.” PS: Political Science & Politics 51 (4): 838-841.  

Jahanbani, Nakissa, Charmaine Willis & Donnett Lee. 2018. “What We Wish We Knew: Reflections of Brand-New Teaching Assistants,” Journal of Political Science Education 14 (3): 409-413. 

Jadoon, Amira, Nakissa Jahanbani, and Charmaine Willis. July 20, 2020. “Rising in the East: A Regional Overview of the Islamic State’s Operations in Southeast Asia.” West Point, NY: Combating Terrorism Center.  

Jahanbani, Nakissa. “Reviewing Iran’s Proxies by Region: A Look Toward the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa,” CTC Sentinel 13 (5).  

Jadoon, Amira, Nakissa Jahanbani and Charmaine Willis. April 2018. “Challenging the ISK Brand in Afghanistan-Pakistan: Rivalries and Divided Loyalties.” CTC Sentinel 11:8. 


Jahanbani, Nakissa. “What Iran Foreign Minister’s Attempted Resignation Reveals About Today’s Iranian Politics.” The Globe Post, April 5, 2019.  

Jahanbani, Nakissa. “Iran’s Regional Influence Spreads with Militia Recruitment in Afghanistan.” The Globe Post, August 22, 2018.  

Jahanbani, Nakissa, Charmaine Willis, and Donnett Lee. “Career advice: how to be a graduate teaching assistant.” Times Higher Education, July 26, 2018.  

Selected Conference Presentations: 

Jahanbani, Nakissa. “Lethality Patterns of Shia-Islamist Rebel Organizations.” Presenter, American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, August/September 2019, Washington, DC.  

Asal, Victor, Shikshya Adhikari, and Nakissa Jahanbani. “Predictors of Insurgent Political Parties.” Presenter, International Studies Association Annual Convention, March 2019, Toronto, Canada.  

Willis, Charmaine and Nakissa Jahanbani. “For Love of Nation or State? A Spatial Analysis of Ethnic Separatism in the Philippines.” Presenter, American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, August/September 2018, Boston, Massachusetts.  

Rethemeyer, R. Karl, and Nakissa Jahanbani. “Predictors of Insurgents Organizations that Receive State Funding.” Presenter, International Studies Association Annual Convention, April 2018, San Francisco, California.