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Olga Bertelsen, Ph.D.

School of Criminal Justice & Social Sciences

Associate Professor of Global Security and Intelligence

olga bertlesen
Degrees & Certificates

Ph.D., University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
B.A., Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
M.D./D.D.S., State Medical University, Ukraine


Dr. Bertelsen joined Tiffin University in August 2021. Prior to that, she practiced medicine/dental surgery in Ukraine and, after earning her bachelor and doctoral degrees in History with the focus on Soviet/Russian history and intelligence at American and British universities, she conducted research and taught undergraduate and graduate courses on world history, international relations, and security and intelligence studies at Columbia University, the University of Toronto, Harvard University, New York University, the European University Institute (Florence, Italy), and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott, Arizona).

With special interests in Ukrainian and Russian history and intelligence, her research focuses on political violence, bioterrorism, covert action, counterintelligence, and U.S. national and global security. Dr. Bertelsen is the author and editor of five books, and a great number of book chapters and articles that explore the issues of genocidal practices, state violence, U.S. national and global security, and Russian covert operations of ideological subversion. Her scholarship is grounded in empirical and archival research that she conducts in the United States and Europe, including the former KGB archives. Her most recent publications examine Russian covert operations in American academia and Russian disinformation campaigns.

She is a recipient of numerous prestigious national and international awards, and a speaker at various international conferences, forums, and assemblies, including the United Nations. She is a member of several professional associations, and is serving as a reviewer and member of editorial boards of several prestigious scholarly journals, including Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, Ideology and Politics Journal, Scripta Historica, and Kyiv-Mohyla Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Bertelsen’s research and publications shaped the vector of her collaborative work with governmental and private intelligence agencies and her consulting activities that mainly focus on the Russian covert action and U.S. national security. She actively engages her students in her research and publication activities, and among her graduate students are individuals whom she helped receive prestigious national and international awards and grants, and who have been employed by the U.S. Department of State and think tanks in the United States, Geneva, Brussels, and Toronto.