Michael Dorn

Safe Havens_Michael Dorn

  • Conference keynotes
  • Safety, security, culture, climate and emergency preparedness assessments, training and consulting
  • Bullying prevention expert
  • Student supervision expert

Executive Director Michael Dorn is one of the most respected, widely recognized, highly credentialed, and trusted school safety experts in the world. During his campus safety career of more than forty years, Michael’s work has taken him to numerous regions including Mexico, Honduras, Canada, Vietnam the U.K., Kenya, South Africa, Israel, and Mozambique. Michael has coordinated school safety security, climate, culture, and emergency preparedness assessments for more than 8,000 public, charter, faith-based, boarding, independent schools in a dozen countries. Michael has provided post-incident assistance for more than 300 school crisis events including assistance to law firms, school systems, state agencies, and insurance carriers for twenty active shooter and targeted school shooting incidents in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As but two examples of the types of incidents he has been called to provide assistance for, Michael led the team of 23 SHI Analysts who conducted the school safety, security, climate, culture, and emergency preparedness assessment of 254 schools and support facilities for the Broward County Public School System in the wake of the February 14, 2018, attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. Michael also served as the project lead for a security assessment for an independent Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya after the school was ranked as the number one soft target for terrorism in Kenya by the U.S. State Department. Following the deadly West Gate Mall attack. Published by four major publishing houses, Michael has authored and co-authored 27 books on school safety including Innocent Targets – When Terrorism Comes to School, the peer-reviewed 450 page Jane’s Safe Schools Planning Guide for All Hazards and Staying Alive – How to Act Fast and Survive Deadly Encounters which was released by Barron’s in May of 2014. Michael is a co-author of a 600-page university textbook Extreme Violence: Understanding and Protecting People from Active Assailants, Hate Crimes, and Terrorist Attacks released by Cognella in January 2021. Michael has also authored hundreds of articles and columns for national publications including School Planning and Management, Campus Safety, Today’s School, School Transportation News, and College Planning and Management magazines.

Michael served on the authoring team for the IS 360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship training program focused on active shooter incident prevention and preparedness for the United States Department of Homeland Security as part of the 2013 White House School Safety Initiative. Michael has also co-authored more than two dozen nationally distributed school safety web courses with seven of those courses being specific to active shooter events. He is currently co-authoring six courses on terrorism and has appeared in dozens of school safety training videos.

A graduate of the prestigious three-month FBI National Academy and bachelor’s and master’s programs at Mercer University, Michael has completed more than 3,000 classroom hours of formal law enforcement, fire service, and emergency management training. Michael received fourteen days of intensive training and orientation from the Israel National Police, Israel Defense Forces, and Israeli intelligence agencies through a fellowship from Georgia State University. Michael has also provided training to two groups of police commanders from Israel. Michael also holds a certificate in Management Development from the American Management Association – Harvard School of Business delivered through Mercer University.

During his 25-year public safety career, Michael served as:

  • Police Officer, Corporal, Sergeant and Lieutenant, Mercer University Police
  • Chief of Police for the Bibb County Georgia Public School System
  • School Safety Specialist for the Office of the Governor – Georgia Emergency Management Agency (top expert for the nation’s largest state government school safety center).
  • State Antiterrorism Planner for the Georgia Office of Homeland Security Terrorism Division – Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
  • Lead Program Manager for the Georgia Office of Homeland Security Terrorism Division – Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
  • Senior Analyst for Public Safety and Emergency Management – Jane’s (top expert for the renowned 105-year-old British defense, intelligence, and school safety publisher with offices in nine countries).

Michael’s expertise has been utilized by many organizations including the FBI, U.S. Department of Education, National Emergency Management Association, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and dozens of state police, emergency management agencies, and departments of education.

A leading school safety malpractice expert witness consultant, Michael served as an expert witness consultant for superior and federal court cases in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. Michael was an expert witness consultant in the school safety malpractice litigation following the Red Lake Reservation School Shooting, the nation’s third most deadly K12 school shooting. Michael has also served as an expert witness in eight school and school bus shooting cases.

Michael has keynoted hundreds of state, national, and international professional conferences across the United States, Canada, and Vietnam. Michael has keynoted for audiences of up to 3,500 people and has lectured at the FBI Academy, several dozen major universities in the United States, and at Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Michael has keynoted on safe school design concepts for six national and international architectural conferences including the International Conference on Safe School Design at Johnson and Wales University.

During his ten years of service as the Chief of Police for the Bibb County Public School System in Macon, Georgia, his officers developed what is believed to be the nation’s first multidisciplinary threat assessment team for a K12 school system. This approach and other innovative measures helped the district prevent a number of planned school shootings, one planned school bombing, and a planned double suicide. Michael helped the Georgia Department of Education develop the nation’s first 24 hour a day, seven day per week, year-round hotline. The state hotline was launched in August of 1998 and was based on a similar live monitored hotline developed in 1990 in his school system police department. Michael also assisted in launching the e-mail based reporting feature for this hotline while he was serving at the state level. The Bibb County Public School Police Department was widely utilized as a model program by dozens of organizations including the United States Departments of Education and Justice, the FBI, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Association of School Resource Officers. Michael has presented nationally and internationally on student threat evaluation for more than twenty years and has personally helped avert a number of planned school shootings and one school bombing incident.

During his tenure as the School Safety Specialist for what was at the time the nation’s largest government school safety center, he assisted the National Resource Center for Safe Schools in the development of the companion training program for Early Warning – Timely Response which addressed how K12 employees should be taught about early and imminent warning signs. Michael also helped the United States Department of Education develop the first All-hazards planning model for K12 schools and has assisted in the development of several dozen state government planning guides, training videos, school security assessment programs and other major projects.

Regularly interviewed as a school safety authority by the media, Michael has provided balanced and informed commentary for Education Week, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Time, CNN Headline News.Hannity, Fox News, 20/20, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Al Jezeera America the New York Times the Washington Post, the LA Times, Time Magazine, Unavision, the BBC, London Times, Tokyo Broadcasting and