Dr. Joe DiRenzo, Special Advisory Board Liaison to the U.S. Coast Guard
Dr. Joe DiRenzo is the Board’s Liaison to the Coast Guard and currently serves as the Director of Research Partnerships at the service’s Research and Development Center in New London, CT. Previously, Dr. DiRenzo served as Senior Advisor to the Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander for Science, Technology and Innovation. He is a retired Coast Guard officer, who also spent nine years in the Navy, in both the submarine and surface warfare communities. In 1991 he transitioned to the United States Coast Guard and was assigned to USCGC GALLATIN (WHEC 721) where he served as Combat Information Center Officer, then Operations Officer. In 1993 he was assigned as Executive Officer of USCGC VASHON (WPB 1308) homeported in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and was the primary Boarding Officer for 14 narcotics and 10 migrant interdictions. In 1995 he was assigned to Commander Greater Antilles Section (GANTSEC) as a Search and Rescue Controller coordinating more than 300 cases. In 1996 DiRenzo was selected as the first Chief of Frontier Shield Intelligence Detachment (FSID intelligence driven interdictions increased 171% during his tour, while interoperability with Customs, DEA and the FBI improved substantially.
In 1997, DiRenzo screened for command and was detailed to USCGC JEFFERSON ISLAND, homeported in Portland Maine Following his change of command in May of 1999, DiRenzo was detailed as the inaugural Coast Guard Liaison Officer assigned to the CONSTELLATION Battle Group (CRUDESGRU ONE staff) and PELELIU ARG (PHIBRON ONE staff) deployed to the Arabian Gulf. In this role he served as the Maritime Interdiction Officer for both staffs and was the primary post seizure analyst/Intelligence Collector for 10 oil smuggling interdictions.
In 2000, DiRenzo was detailed to the Atlantic Area staff Portsmouth Virginia, serving initially as the Operation’s Division Regional Strategic Assessment Coordinator, then as the Anti-Terrorism Coordinator. In his role as the AT Coordinator following the attacks of 9-11, DiRenzo drafted numerous policy documents related to maritime terrorism, coordinated anti-terrorism operations with the Navy and participated in numerous infrastructure vulnerability and risk assessment studies, including those related to CBRNE.
DiRenzo is one of the most published authors in the history of the Coast Guard. A five-time winner of the service’s prestigious JOC Alex Haley award, he has published more than 300 articles since his retirement on various maritime terrorism and port security topics in publications such as Marine News, the Maritime Reporter, PROCEEDINGS, the American Legion magazine, National Defense and Undersea Warfare. He has lectured at numerous military and law enforcement venues involving maritime transportation security issues and was the keynote speaker at Dalhouise University’s 2007 Maritime Security Conference. In 2010 he co-wrote, with retired Vice Admiral James Hull, an article which placed second in the U.S. Naval Institute National Essay contest. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) DHS Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence.
DiRenzo is a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, holds a master’s in Business Administration from California Coast University, and is a graduate of both the Naval War College and Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Homeland Security Specialization) in 2007 at Northcentral University in Prescott, Ariz. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Joint Forces Staff College, in Norfolk, Va., and teaches for both American Military University and Northcentral University on National Intelligence and Terrorism issues. He was named the first Coast Guard Chair to the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk in 2011.
DiRenzo is married to retired Navy Captain Karen DiRenzo, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. They have two children LT Joe DiRenzo IV, a 2010 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy & Fulbright Scholar currently serving as the Operations Officer on USCGC BOUTWELL, and Lauren, who is a Health Educator at Pelham Elementary in Pelham, NH.