A native of Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Sullivan has dedicated his entire professional career to public safety. His earned academic credentials include a Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science, a Master of Science degree in Management and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Organization and Management.
As a career law enforcement practitioner and educator, Dr. Sullivan remains active in both the law enforcement and higher education communities most recently having joined the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office (PBSO) in 2008 as the continuation of an extensive career in both law enforcement and higher education. He now serves as the Executive Liaison to the Homeland Security Bureau for one of the largest sheriff's offices in the United States with almost 5,000 employees and volunteers serving a population of 1.5 million residents. He oversees the Executive Council and the Ten Critical Infrastructure Councils that comprise the Sheriff's Business Partners Against Terrorism (B-PAT) Program. B-PAT is an interdisciplinary, volunteer based, community-based anti-terrorism concept that originated in 2006 and is believed to be one of the most comprehensive such programs in the United States. The purpose of the organization is to develop and maintain professional relationships with key individuals who are employed in one of the nation's ten critical infrastructural sectors. Those individuals become vetted subject-matter experts (SMEs) capable of working with the law enforcement community during critical incidents.
In addition to his public agency responsibilities, Dr. Sullivan serves as the Faculty Chair for Public Safety in Capella University's undergraduate program managing online faculty, contributing to the institution's educational marketing strategy to public safety professionals, and overseeing specializations in Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security including curriculum design and refinement and updating course content consistent with ongoing changes in public safety practices. He remains a strong proponent of continuing professional education and actively teaches at the academy and university level in the area of homeland security and terrorism, as well as maintaining professional certifications that include Certified Homeland Security, Level V, (CHS-V) among others. He is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer to many organizations on a host of public safety and management issues and he has been invited to speak or lecture at such places as Oxford University in Great Britain, the International Conferences on Crime, Justice and Public Order in Dublin, Ireland and Taipei, China, the American Society for Industrial Security International Conference, the Investment Managers Conference, the Annual Conference of the National District Attorneys Association, and the Annual Conference for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, among many others. Prior positions of leadership include heading the four-year development, construction and operation of a 25 million dollar, 120,000 square foot training facility dedicated to excellence in the public safety professions of government. In addition, he has held an executive consulting post with the Washington Post Companies, been the Agent-in-Charge for the federally funded Money Laundering Task Force in Palm Beach County, Florida, and was Lynn University's founding Director of Graduate Studies in Criminal Justice. Before entering academe, his senior law enforcement posts were as the U.S. Customs (now ICE) Agent in Charge for the Palm Beaches (1993-1996) and Fort Lauderdale (1989-1993) where he was actively engaged in the Homeland Security mission, oversaw a variety of Caribbean offices, and also served in both the Enforcement and Internal Security disciplines as well. Since retiring from federal law enforcement, he is frequently called upon as a consultant to the criminal justice community on emerging issues and new technologies and is often retained as an expert witness on training, professional conduct, and matters of internal security.
Dr. Sullivan's broad investigative and managerial background spans four decades and is derived from his service as a local police officer in suburban Kansas City, twenty-five years as a Federal criminal investigator, over a decade as a practitioner-educator and consultant, and now as an active professional in uniting the business and law enforcement communities in homeland security initiatives. During his career, he held increasingly more responsible leadership positions in both the Internal Affairs and Investigative Enforcement disciplines. Most frequently noted are those of National Headquarters Section Chief for General Smuggling where he authored some of the earliest threat assessments on terrorism in the 1980s and most notably, as the International Program Director in child sexual exploitation cases where multi-agency international initiatives were coordinated. He led the team that designed, organized and established the U.S. Customs Child Pornography Enforcement Program worldwide and under his leadership as its first program director, it grew from a small, fragmented enforcement initiative to an interdisciplinary multi-agency task force working in 29 countries around the world.
His team created what is now the largest database system in law enforcement dedicated to tracking sexual offenders of children. His leadership in integrating criminal justice practice with new technologies earned him the coveted Commissioner's National Managerial Excellence Award where only one manager per year is selected. He has been frequently interviewed by the national and international press and has served as a technical advisor in the U.S. and the U.K. on film documentaries involving child abuse. During his years in Washington, he served as the principal spokesperson for the U.S. Customs Service on child sexual exploitation, and as a Departmental advisor to the National Obscenity Enforcement Unit and former Attorney General Edwin Meese's staff at the Justice Department. He has been a contributing team member on new elements of child abuse and sexual predator legislation, has negotiated enforcement treaties abroad, testified before Congress, and has conducted briefings at the White House and on Capitol Hill on a range of enforcement initiatives. Throughout his federal career, he has been a guest instructor at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and the federal law Enforcement Training Centers in Brunswick, GA and Mirana, AZ and is still called upon as a guest trainer at a variety of state or local police training centers.
While Dr. Sullivan's research interests have included leadership, ethical performance, and motivational management among others, his genuine passion is increasingly focused in the use of new technology in protecting the homeland. As a result of his integration of new technologies to the homeland security mission, both law enforcement officers and private citizens have a greater sense of situational awareness in homeland security. In his position with Palm Beach County, he remains a dynamic networker in the business and technology community and is actively involved in the county's new federally funded virtual fusion center designed to complement the effectiveness of the South Florida Regional Fusion Center. Additionally, he is leading the redesign of how homeland security information is exchanged in Palm Beach County via a secure web platform and he is constantly challenging his network of businesses and organizations in B-PAT to become part of the solution by evaluating potential threats to business continuity caused by the threat of terrorism and to assist in finding practical, unbiased, and effective solutions.