Zoë Thorkildsen
Senior Research Scientist


Zoë Thorkildsen provides expertise in the areas of criminal justice and policing, program evaluation and research design. She was a lead analyst on the reconstruction of the 2014 Las Vegas ambush that killed two police officers and has conducted a study of police ambushes for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office in the Department of Justice.

Thorkildsen is currently the Principal Investigator for a National Institute of Justice research study about police agency use of situational awareness technology, and the Co-Investigator for a National Institute of Justice research study related to correctional officer safety. Thorkildsen also supports training and technical assistance programs centered on reducing violence in major cities and promoting evidence-based practices in policing.

In the field of emergency preparedness, Thorkildsen has experience in exercise design and evaluation. She has developed and/or evaluated multiple emergency-preparedness exercises and led a team in the development of a database for some 2,000 FEMA After Action Reports.

Thorkildsen holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland, with a focus on public policy, as well as two degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania: a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration at the Trachtenberg School at The George Washington University.


August 10, 2017

Colorado Public Radio quotes CNA analyst Zoë Thorkildsen in “As Crime Rises, Auditor Knocks Denver’s Limited Data-Driven Policing”

June 24, 2017

The Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal news radio program interviews CNA analyst Zoë Thorkildsen in “Trial and Terror.” Listen at 42:40 min for Zoë’s clip.

March 13, 2017

CNA releases the fourth episode of CNA Talks, a new podcast on current affairs. CNA Board member Laurie Robinson moderated a discussion on the most pressing topics in justice and policing today with CNA analysts Dr. James "Chip" Coldren, Dr. Laura Kunard, James "CHIPS" Stewart and Zoë Thorkildsen.