James densley

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Metro State University

Co-Founder of The Violence Project

Photo: Jeff Achen

Photo: Autumn Wilkie

Dr. James Densley is Professor and Department Chair of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Metro State University, part of the Minnesota State system. He is also co-founder and co-president (with Jillian Peterson) of The Violence Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center best known for its mass shooter database, which was funded by the National Institute of Justice.

Densley has received global media attention for his work on street gangs, criminal networks, violence, and policing. He has authored eight books, including the 2022 Minnesota Book Award winner, The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic; more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals; and over 100 book chapters, essays, and other works in outlets such as CNN, Education Week, The Guardian, HuffPost, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Scientific American, TIME, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

Densley earned his doctorate in sociology from the University of Oxford. He is a former middle school special education teacher and in 2017 he was awarded the Points of Light Award for outstanding community volunteerism by the UK Prime Minister. Densley was Metro State's first "University Scholar." He has successfully competed for over US$2 million in external funding for basic and applied research and has been an invited or plenary speaker on four continents.

For speaking requests, please contact BrightSight Speakers.

Watch my 2019 TEDx talk, "Violence in the Age of Social Media—Perpetrators, Victims, and You", HERE.