Read the research behind our threat assessment technique

Sharon S. Smith, Ph.D.

Threat Assessment/Behavioral and Deception Analysis

Forensic Psycholinguistics, LLC

Dr. Sharon Smith is the president of Threat Triage, LLC, and Forensic Psycholinguistics, LLC. She is a consultant to intelligence and security-related governmental agencies; law enforcement agencies; security directors; high profile/high net-worth individuals, corporations; and attorneys

Sharon is a retired FBI Special Agent with a 25-year career including: a nearly nine year assignment in the FBI's Behavioral Units; field work as an undercover agent on multiple cases resulting in the arrest and prosecution of over 40 individuals; field and trial work as a member of the U.S. Attorney’s team during a four-year international undercover investigation of drug traffickers; and assignments at the FBI Academy and at FBI Headquarters, in both its Congressional Affairs Office and its National Press Office.

While she was assigned to the FBI Academy at Quantico, Sharon consulted on high profile cases and assisted law enforcement agencies throughout the world in cases involving threats, sexual homicides, serial rapes, workplace violence, detection of deception, and psychopathy, by applying criminal investigative analysis to offender behavior. She also conducted research on the personality characteristics and motivations of serial rapists by interviewing them in prisons and, through her PhD research, examined the language of threatening communications associated with the likelihood that the threatener would act to stalk or harm.

During her tenure at the FBI Academy, Sharon designed and taught interviewing courses to nearly a thousand FBI special agent trainees, as well as taught instructional and presentation skills to hundreds of FBI agents and state, local and federal law enforcement executives at the prestigious National Academy.

After retiring from the FBI, Sharon was a Senior Expert and Instructor for Behavioral Intelligence and Risk Management, with Behavioral Intelligence Advisors (BIA). Sharon worked with BIA’s multi-billion-dollar investment clients and their law enforcement clients in the instruction and application of detection of deception, threat assessment, and psychopathy.

Sharon received a PhD in Psychology with specialized training in psycholinguistics from Georgetown University. Her doctoral research identified factors that improve the accuracy of risk assessments involving multiple types of threats targeting individuals, government agencies, and corporations. Her research examined psycholinguistic features of threatening communications and methods of contact to assess whether or not these variables are significantly associated with a greater likelihood that threateners would approach or harm targets. Using the results of her PhD research on threatening communications, Sharon and Dr. Michael Young, her business partner, developed Threat Triage, a software program currently used by law enforcement agencies and Fortune 500 companies to analyze language in threats for the risk of stalking and violence.

Sharon is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP), American Psychological Association (APA), International Criminal Investigative Analysis Fellowship (ICIAF), and the Society for Former Special Agents of the FBI (SFSAFBI). Sharon was a founding board member of the Florida chapter of ATAP and is a contributing editor for the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, as well as Violence and Gender. She has published on psychopathy, predatory stalking and threatening communications, including authoring chapters in both editions of Drs. Reid Meloy and Jens Hoffmann’s International Handbook of Threat Assessment.

Sharon’s volunteer efforts have taken her to the Philippines, Cambodia, and Bolivia where she worked with an organization that rescues and provides legal and investigative assistance for men, women and children sold into sexual slavery and labor trafficking.