Jan Mielke Schwartz: Illuminating the world of forensic behavioral science

  (photo credit: Joe Smithberger of Smithberger Photography)
(photo credit: Joe Smithberger of Smithberger Photography)

Jan Mielke Schwartz is an accomplished forensic behavioral scientist, certified homeland protection professional, author, and public speaker. Her extensive experience in psychotherapy, education, and intelligence analysis has made her a prominent figure in forensic science. This article explores Schwartz’s early life, educational achievements, illustrious career, international outreach efforts, notable publications, and the recognition she has received for her groundbreaking work. With a commitment to uncovering the truth behind white-collar crimes, Schwartz continues to make significant contributions to forensic behavioral science.

Early Life and Education 

Jan Mielke Schwartz was born on November 8, 1952 in Oak Park, IL to Gladys Ramsaier Mielke and Paul William Mielke. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, Schwartz displayed an early interest in human behavior and the workings of the human mind. She attended Proviso West High School in Hillside, IL, where she thrived in leadership positions as well as extracurricular activities, and excelled academically. She received her high school diploma in 1970.

Continuing her studies, Schwartz pursued a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Valparaiso University, which she completed in 1974. Fueled by her passion for understanding the complexities of human behavior, she pursued further studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Schwartz obtained her Master’s Degree in 1984 and a Ph.D. in 1987 from the Department of Psychology in Education. Her exceptional academic achievements were recognized with the University Scholar Award, an honor bestowed upon individuals demonstrating outstanding potential for contributing to society and progress.

Career and Contributions 

Dr. Jan Mielke Schwartz’s remarkable career in forensic behavioral science commenced in 1992 when she was retained by Joseph L. Alioto, Sr., the former mayor of San Francisco. Schwartz’s expertise was sought for an economic crime investigation and an anti-trust lawsuit against a prominent non-profit hospital in northeast Ohio. This began her journey as a forensic behavioral scientist and set the stage for her future endeavors.

Building on her extensive experience and knowledge, Schwartz established Forensic Fraud Research, Inc. in 2000. As the President of this non-profit investigation firm, Schwartz leads a dedicated team of skilled professionals focused on exposing fraud and deception. The organization’s affiliation with the National White Collar Crime Center in 2003 further solidified its commitment to promoting justice and combating white-collar crimes.

During her 30 years of intelligence gathering and research, Schwartz has conducted semi-structured interviews with more than 800 victims, whistleblowers, alleged offenders, offenders, family members, and bystanders. Through these interviews, she developed invaluable insights into the “Behavioral Characteristics and Personality Traits of the White-Collar Organized Criminal and the White-Collar Organized Community.” The data she collected through subsequent projects and investigations has been shared with prestigious institutions such as the HIDTA Money-Laundering Division of the FBI in Manhattan, the FBI in Washington, D.C., the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the National Science Foundation, the Ohio Governor’s Office, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and 19 other state departments in addition to various U.S. Attorney’s Offices.

Dr. Jan Mielke Schwartz holds multiple certifications, including Certified Intelligence Analyst, Board-Certified Clinical Psychotherapist, National Certified Psychologist, and National Certified Counselor. Her expertise and dedication to the field have earned her recognition as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a Certified Homeland Protection Professional with the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Global Center for Public Safety. 

She actively participates in the FBI’s InfraGard and the National Sheriffs’ Association, collaborating with fellow professionals to share knowledge and advance the field of forensic behavioral science for the greater good.

International Outreach and Collaboration

Dr. Jan Mielke Schwartz’s commitment to making a global impact extends beyond her work within the United States. In 2013, she was invited to collaborate with Muslim forensic psychiatrists from Saudi Arabia to establish their country’s first domestic violence and child abuse center. Additionally, she was a consultant for a USAID-funded international Muslim project focused on rehabilitating radicalized youth in Lebanon who were serving prison time under terrorism charges. By working closely with international partners, Schwartz has respectfully contributed to efforts to foster understanding, combat extremism, and promote global peace.

Publications and Recognition 

Jan Schwartz’s expertise and insights have been shared through her written works. She authored the Amazon.com international bestseller, “Last Summer with Oscar: An Adventurous True Story of Love and Courage,” in 2011, captivating readers with its compelling narrative. Following the success of her book, Schwartz published the “Last Summer with Oscar Workbook” in 2012, providing readers with practical tools for personal growth and reflection.

Throughout her career, Schwartz has received numerous accolades and awards for her contributions to the field. These include the Valparaiso University Alumni Achievement Award in 2014, the Outstanding Leadership & Exceptional Service Award by the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute in 2007, and the Distinguished Leadership Award from the International Directory of Distinguished Leadership for Outstanding Contributions to Contemporary Society in 1997. Media outlets, including Parade Magazine, Pioneer Press Twin Cities, USA Today, Huffington Post, the Associated Press (Washington, D.C.), MarketWatch, Health, Reader’s Digest U.K., Life and Style, and L.A. Weekly have contacted Jan for comments, background research, opinions, and featured articles. 

With her remarkable career and achievements as a forensic behavioral scientist, Jan Mielke Schwartz has left an indelible mark on the field of forensic science. Through her extensive research, intelligence gathering, international collaborations, and written works, she continues illuminating the world of forensic behavioral science. Her commitment to uncovering the truth behind white-collar crimes and genuinely promoting kindness and human understanding as she makes a global impact solidifies her legacy as a pioneer and influential figure in global forensic science.

This article was written in cooperation with Tom White