The University of Central Florida has hired an international leader in crisis management, threat assessment and public safety to serve as its newest Distinguished Professor.

Larry Barton has worked with a range of private, public and educational institutions for the past 30 years. During the past decade, he has been the highest-rated instructor at the FBI Academy and U.S. Marshals Service.

Barton begins at UCF on Jan. 2 as its Distinguished University Professor of Crisis Management and Public Safety. In this new role, he will work with university leaders and with administrators and faculty in the Nicholson School of Communication, providing support and expertise in crisis management and communications.

Barton also will help organize an annual safety and security conference with other Florida universities, as well as arrange additional events, professional training and seminars throughout the year.

“It is an honor to join one of the nation’s most innovative institutions of higher learning,” Barton said. “Very few universities have the academic and administrative bandwidth of UCF, and crisis prevention and response touches virtually every discipline, from engineering to medicine and from communication to hospitality. I look forward to partnering with colleagues throughout the UCF community.”

“We are so pleased to have Larry officially join the UCF family,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Dale Whittaker. “Larry is a longtime friend of UCF, and a pioneer in crisis management whose consultation and training programs are the standard for many of our colleagues and organizations around the world.”

Barton has served as the O. Alfred Granum Chair in Management and as president and CEO at The American College of Financial Services. He also has served on the faculties of Harvard Business School and Pennsylvania State University. A best-selling author of four books, Barton was an on-air commentator for national news networks during the Sandy Hook tragedy, Navy Yard shootings and the 2016 massacre in San Bernardino.

Barton holds a bachelor’s degree in speech and communications from Boston College, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in international relations and public policy from Boston University.

Additionally, he was named the first Fulbright Scholar to Japan in crisis management and worked with the Japanese National Police in its investigation of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, a group that killed 12 and seriously injured hundreds of others on the Tokyo subway system.