Filmmaker, Navy Lieutenant, Historian: David Viola

As a working-class native New Yorker, I profoundly believe in the mission of the public university and CUNY especially.

I am a New York City public high school graduate, received my undergraduate degree at a SUNY university (Binghamton), and couldn’t be prouder to have completed my academic training under the guidance of the world-class scholars at the Graduate Center (including professors Josh Freeman, Thomas Kessner, and David Nasaw of the Ph.D. Program in History). 
My dissertation focused on terrorism and counterterrorism in New York City during the 1960s and 1970sAs a native New Yorker and a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, I’ve long had personal, professional, and scholarly interests in this area of research. And with a background in the film business — I was an award-winning documentary film producer before embarking on careers in government service and in academia — I’m moving my research forward in innovative ways.

For example, I recently partnered with powerhouse History Channel producers at Stephen David Entertainment (who made The Men Who Built America, among many other things) to executive produce a documentary series exploring the long history of terrorism in the United States.  
Unfortunately, I will miss the Commencement ceremony as I’ve been recalled to Active Duty. In my role as a military intelligence officer, I will be the Officer in Charge of an intelligence unit afloat in the Mediterranean in support of continuing counterterrorism operations until spring of 2018.

David ViolaWhile I hate to miss the party, service is as important to my family and me as is education; I am the brother of an FDNY firefighter, and the son, grandson, and great-grandson of U.S. Army veterans who served in a time of war. (My family all roll over in their graves when December comes and brings the annual Army-Navy football game. Go Navy, beat Army!)
I offer a heartfelt congratulations to CUNY’s 2017 graduates and the families who support them, and to the faculty and staff of CUNY and the Graduate Center (and especially the Ph.D. Program in History) who made it possible!

Submitted on: MAY 23, 2017

Category: General GC News | Student News