Matthew Phillips, Ph.D.


Contact Information

Education

Ph.D. - University at Albany, State University of New York (2012)

M.A. - University at North Carolina at Charlotte (2008)

B.A. - Winthrop University (2005)

Biography

Dr. Matthew Phillips is a criminologist and criminal data scientist who teaches courses in Data Analytics, Statistical Methods, Research Methods, Intelligence Analysis, Terrorism, and Drugs, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Prior to joining the faculty at UNC Charlotte, Dr. Phillips served as an analyst and methodologist for the US Intelligence Community.  His research interests span three broad areas.

The first area of research concerns transnational organized crime, to include international drug trafficking, terrorism, and human trafficking.  He has recently been investigating the intersection between drug trafficking and terrorist activity cross-nationally, and the phenomenon of narco-terrorism in Latin America and Southwest Asia. He has published case studies on the Islamic State and the Taliban, and was recently featured in the Washington Post.

His transnational crime research is also heavily concerned with human trafficking, and has investigated the international prosecution of human trafficking, as well as the facilitation of commercial sex trafficking through the internet, social media, and the deep web.

A second area of research is in the applications of “big data” and data analytic initiatives to the study of crime, particularly within the realm of national security.  His emerging work in this area seeks to understand how data analytics can supplement the traditional mathematical and statistical techniques used in criminological research, and how these tools can be leveraged by governmental and law enforcement agencies.

The final area of research involves the relationship between individual drug offending and delinquency, primarily violent offending.  He has tested these relationships using data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, an on-going longitudinal panel study of youth at high risk for violence and delinquency.  He has also used data from this project to study criminological research methods, statistics, and quantitative analytic techniques.  To inform this research, Dr. Phillips draws heavily from Interactional Theory.