Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

Chair – Governing Board

Professor Joseph Connolly, FRSA

Members – Governing Board

Dr. Eugene de Silva Ph.D., FRSA

Terry Frost, Grad. M.A., M.M.A (Res.),

Troy Glenn, B.A.

Dr. Emmanuel Essuman

Dr. Betsy Sparks

Eugenie de Silva B.A., M.A., ALM

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Eugene de Silva Ph.D., FRSA


Troy Glenn, B.A.


Dr. Emmanuel Essuman

Some of our Specialists

(For a detailed list, please email: registrar@virginiaresearchinstitute.org)

Dr. Jerry Brown Ph.D.

Jerry Brown is the Director of the Foundations of Discovery. He travels the world speaking to educators, business leaders and professionals about the next generation. He uses his extensive knowledge of history and important discoveries to illustrate concepts that entertain and educate.

As Director of the Foundations of Discovery, he works to expand minds and offer stimulating and exciting learning opportunities to all ages. The focus of the Discovery Series is to work with business and educators nationwide encouraging them to incorporate great discovery themes into the teaching day. In doing so students are motivated to excel and exceed current standards. His programs have been accredited at 17 major universities across the USA.

During 14 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and 10 years as a director with the U. S. Space Foundation, he has trained thousands of teachers and students. As an accomplished pilot, he brings his unique expertise to the classroom or boardroom with a liberal dose of humour and motivation.

Prof. Rohan Gunaratna M.S., Ph.D.

Rohan Gunaratna is Head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Institute of Defence and Strategic studies, Singapore; Senior Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Centre, United States Military Academy, West Point; and Honorary Fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism in Israel. He has 21 years of operational, academic and policy experience on Middle Eastern, Asian (including Central Asian and Caucasian), and Latin American guerrilla and terrorist groups and their diaspora and migrant support networks in Europe and North America. He led the specialist team that designed and built the UN database on the mobility, finace and weapons of Al Qaeda, Taliban and their Entities. A counter terrorism trainer for European, North American, Middle Eastern and Asian government agencies, he was invited to testify before the 9/11 commission on Al Qaeda and provide testimony in several landmark trials in North America and Europe. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Gunaratna holds as Masters in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame in the US and a Doctorate in International Relations from the University of St Andrews. He is the author of ten books including the international bestseller “Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” (Columbia University Press).

Thomas D. Mackie B.A., M.A., M.Sc.

Thomas Mackie is the Director of  Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. He has many years of experience at institutions developing multi-disciplinary interpretative programs and learning styles.  He is a veteran public history executive with successful background in galleries, historic sites, public and private educational institutions.

Dr. Lloyd D. Walker B.A., M.A., Ed.D.

Dr. Walker earned a BA in History from the College of William and Mary in 1969, an MA in English from the University of Virginia in 1971, and an Ed.D. in English Education from the University of Virginia in 1988, where he received the Meade Award for exceptional promise in English education.  He has taught creative writing and most varieties of high school English in Spotsylvania County Schools, where he served as Chair of English at Courtland High School from 1983 to1999.  He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Education at Mary Washington College and a member of the faculty at Virginia ’s Summer Residential Governor’s School for Humanities, where he has taught courses on ritual, ethics, the artist in society, and creative writing including screen writing.  His publications include numerous poems, articles in the English Journal and the Virginia English Bulletin, a research report on interdisciplinary learning teams under a grant from Phi Delta Kappa, and two books: Teaching English in the Block (Eye on Education, 2000) and Huckleberry Finn In Love and War: The Lost Journals, (Publishamerica, 2007).

Dr. Emmanuel Essuman, PhD
Dr. Emmanuel Essuman obtained his PhD in Inorganic Materials Chemistry/Materials Science
and Engineering from the University of Oslo (UiO), Norway and has degrees (MSc and BSc (Hons)) in Chemical/Mechanical Engineering with emphasis on Process Engineering and Energy Technology from University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven, Germany. At the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi Ghana where he specialized in Renewable Energy Sources, Thermodynamics, Control Engineering, Mechanics of Materials, Static & Dynamics of Machinery he was awarded a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Essuman currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Walters State Community College, Morristown, TN where he is a professor in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Clean Energy Technology and also at Roane State Community College, Clinton TN where he teaches Programmable Logic Controllers, Mechatronics, Industrial Robotics, and Composite Materials Manufactruing Processes. Additionally, he is a research fellow at the University of Tennessee Knoxville TN, Department of  Nuclear Engineering and affiliate to the Institute of Nuclear Security. At this position, Dr. Essuman researches into Nuclear Security Policy in the interface between technology, policy and legal frameworks, including treaty verification and arms control, counterterrorism, and nuclear nonproliferation among other themes relating to Nuclear Science and Technology such as Nuclear Forensics.

In the past, Dr. Essuman has worked at several leading research laboratories including Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH (Research Center Juelich Co. Ltd) Juelich Germany, Center for Materials Science and Nanotechnology at the University of Oslo Norway, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Oak Ridge TN. He has worked with leading scientists in Materials Science and Technology like Prof. GH Meier  (Pittsburgh University), Prof. Emeritus DJ Young (University of New South Wales), Prof. Quadakkers (Research Center Juelich), Prof. Truls Norby (UiO), Prof. L Singheiser (Research Center Juelich), Dr. BA Pint (ORNL), to name a few.

Dr. Essuman has several publications to his credit and has had some of his works featured in many high ranking High Temperature Corrosion textbooks. His article on “The effect of water vapor on selective oxidation of Fe-Cr alloys” has shed light on how water/hydrogen facilitates corrosion of alloys in steam containing environments during application. Dr. Essuman has travelled widely across the Uinted States and beyond to present his works at Scientific and Technical Conferences. He has specialization in High Temperature Corrosion, a field which underlines progress in Advanced Energy Technology, and Pulp, Food & Petrochemical Industries. He has contributed immensely to the development of the technology that seeks to use water/hydrogen to produce clean energy, involving Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs), Gas Turbines, Steam Turbines, etc. He has also worked previously in Mechanical Testing of components and Environmental Corrosion testing where he used electrochemical testing techniques to mitigate Microbially Induced Corrosion (MIC) in reactors and to develope materials to be used as implants.

Project Officer and Head of Online Educational Programs

Miss Eugenie de Silva B.A., M.A., ALM

Eugenie de Silva holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Intelligence Studies with a concentration in Intelligence Analysis from the American Military University. She also holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies with a concentration in Legal Studies from Harvard University. She is also a current Ph.D. student at the University of Leicester in England. She has given eight oral presentations at academic conferences in fields, such as teaching physics and chemistry, online software programs, biometrics, intelligence studies, and Denial and Deception (D&D). Her research is mainly multidisciplinary in nature. She also holds several world records, such as being the world’s youngest Ph.D. student in politics at fifteen years old, world’s youngest to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Intelligence Analysis (especially with a perfect GPA), and the world’s youngest to earn a Master’s degree in Intelligence Studies. She is also recognized as Harvard’s youngest graduate, especially with a Master’s degree, and the United Kingdom’s youngest to ever read for any Ph.D. in any field. She was also accepted into the Who’s Who in America. She is currently the editor of two academic books titled “National Security and Counterintelligence in the Era of Cyber Espionage,” and “Applying Methods of Scientific Inquiry into Intelligence, Security, and Terrorism Studies,” and is the invited guest editor for the International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age for a journal issue on cyber espionage and cyber warfare. She has developed an innovative model for law enforcement officers to detect individual-level deception, and works to enhance the world by exploring novel perspectives of issues through systematic, analyses of situations. She is also an adjunct faculty in the field of public safety for a college in the United States of America wherein she teaches “Understanding Terrorism.” Although she has a passion for intelligence and security studies, she enjoys a multitude of fields and works to support other students to achieve their academic and professional goals in many fields.