Wofford College plaque outside gate
Young Leaders

Michael Echemendia ’02

Michael Echemendia
Department of Defense
U.S. Central Command


B.A., Spanish and government, Wofford College (2002)
M.Litt., University of St. Andrews (2003)
MTS., Emory University (2006)
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (2010)

Career Highlights:

Dr. Echemendia was a senior at Wofford when the World Trade Center was attacked.
The event changed his plans and led him to study terrorism and political
violence. After graduating magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Wofford, he enrolled in graduate school to study both the political and religious motivations used to legitimize terrorism. His doctoral dissertation examined why organizations use suicide attacks, why individuals are motivated to become suicide attackers, and how those attacks are legitimized. Upon earning his PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Echemendia accepted employment in the Department of Defense civilian service and works at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fl. His wife, Jennifer Noel Echemendia (Evanko) '02, is an attorney with the Department of Justice and specializes in immigration law.

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