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Dr. J. Bennet Waters

Managing Director

J. Bennet Waters

Areas of Focus:

  • Counterterrorism, with specific focus on aviation and transportation security

  • Biometrics and identity verification technologies

  • Critical infrastructure vulnerability assessment and mitigation

  • Strategic advice on mergers, acquisitions and private equity investments

  • Early-stage and post- acquisition management strategy and execution

Previous Government and Academic Service:

  • Counselor to the Deputy Secretary, Department of Homeland Security
    (2007 – 2009)

  • Deputy Assistant Administrator, Transportation Security Administration
    (2008)

  • Chief of Staff, Office of Health Affairs, Department of Homeland Security
    (2005 – 2007)

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina
    (2005 – present)

Dr. J. Bennet Waters has a proven record of senior leadership experience in a variety of public, private and federal government settings. He specializes in developing, executing and optimizing entrepreneurial strategies that balance the need to minimize risk with maintaining the flow of goods, commerce and people.  His work at The Chertoff Group has included an extended international critical infrastructure risk management project; strategic advice and support to clients focused on aviation, border and transportation security; and several buy- and sell-side engagements, including his role as a key member of the TCG team that supported Safran’s $1.09 billion acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions in 2011. 

Prior to entering government service, Dr. Waters spent more than a decade in the private sector, where he held strategic, financial, and operations roles in early-stage organizations and turnaround situations. Most recently, he was the founding President and Chief Operating Officer of a privately held healthcare corporation that was subsequently acquired by a national company. 

Dr. Waters received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Medical Ethics from Davidson College; a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Law from the Boston University School of Public Health; and a Doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was a Dean’s List graduate and inducted into the MUSC Honor Society.  

In addition to his role at The Chertoff Group, Dr. Waters is a Senior Associate in the Homeland Security Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.  He also maintains an active doctoral teaching assignment in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina and is a frequent speaker and author on counterterrorism, transportation security, emergency preparedness and disaster management.

“Our principals earned their reputations through direct operational responsibility and demonstrating successful results. By applying that same dedicated ‘hands on’ approach, we are now helping our clients achieve their objectives.”

Michael Chertoff