Itiel Dror, PhD
Dr. Itiel Dror is a cognitive neuroscientist who received his Ph.D. at Harvard (1994) in the area of cognitive factors in human expert performance. Since his Ph.D. over twenty years ago, Dr. Dror has been researching this area, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles specifically looking at cognitive factors that mediate human expert performance. His insights and understanding of the human brain and cognitive system underpin the workshop. Without such deep knowledge, it is not possible to properly deliver a workshop on the ‘cognitive factors’. Dr. Dror has been working in the forensic domain for over a decade. In fact, he is the person who introduced the human and cognitive factors to the forensic community and has made this issue central in forensic science.
Over the last decade Dr. Dror has worked with a variety of forensic laboratories across the US, in which he has visited and shadowed examiners doing casework, reviewed SOPs and practices. Dr. Dror was the Chair of the OSAC Human Factor group (the new ‘SWGs’ organized under NIST/NIJ), which is responsible for the cognitive factor issues across all the OSAC forensic domains. The National Commission on Forensic Science has recognized Dr. Dror as the leader in this area and has asked him to present to the commission (as well as appointed him to their Human Factors subcommittee), as well as many other forensic bodies who have solicited Dr. Dror. The recommendations on cognitive and human factors of the NCFS and the NAS report, and other bodies is mainly based on the research of Dr. Dror. He is also a member of the AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science) Advisory Committee on Forensic Science Assessment (a project in which the AAAS will conduct an analysis of the underlying scientific bases for the forensic tools and methods currently used).
Dr. Itiel Dror has a proven track record in successfully delivering workshops, specifically on ‘Cognitive Factors in Making Forensic Comparisons’, to dozens of forensic laboratories. He is the only person who has the combined cognitive and forensic expertise to deliver this training. His workshops on this specific issue have been delivered with great success to the FBI, LAPD, NYPD, SFPD, Boston PD, Kansas, and many other forensic laboratories across the US.
As the world leader in this area, Dr. Dror has also been commissioned to deliver this workshop in a variety of countries across the world (Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, as well as other countries –not to mention numerous police forces the UK). The success of his workshops and his training in this area has been recognized by the professional bodies: Dr. Dror has received the ABP Annual Award for 'Excellence in Training' for his workshops on cognitive factors in making forensic comparisons. The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in demonstrating how applying an understanding of the science of human behaviour can impact and deliver practical value to organizations. The judges commented that Dr. Dror's workshops are: "Truly outstanding and inspiring", "A highly rigorous application of relevant theoretical frameworks", "Truly innovative, breaking entirely new ground in a most challenging context", "Internationally ground-breaking impact already being used around the world", "Entirely focused on application of conceptual models – underpinned by deep research", and "Impact is highly impressive".