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Steven Pace

Assistant Professor

Criminal Justice
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Dr. Steven Pace is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence within the Department of Criminal Justice at UNLV. He is a sociologist by training and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent by trade. During his tenure with the FBI, Dr. Pace worked primarily on complex criminal and counterintelligence investigations. Specifically, he developed expertise in working long-term criminal enterprise investigations using sophisticated techniques such as undercover operations to infiltrate transnational organized crime groups.

While at the FBI, Dr. Pace was the lead case agent for a long-term investigation targeting a transnational criminal enterprise involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, and acts of violence across the globe. Subsequently, Dr. Pace deployed to and conducted law enforcement operations in multiple counties worldwide. The investigation culminated in a global takedown involving numerous foreign law enforcement agencies in over 30 countries, ultimately dismantling the international criminal enterprise. At the time, the investigation was one of the longest-running transnational organized cases in the FBI's history. As a result of his work, Dr. Pace was awarded the FBI's Medal of Excellence and nominated for the prestigious FBI Director's Award.

Dr. Pace was also a certified FBI hostage negotiator, online undercover employee, and primary coordinator for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in Nevada. In addition, Dr. Pace served as a lead instructor with the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), where he taught courses related to criminal investigations, advanced interview and interrogation techniques, source development, undercover operations, and transnational organized crime to foreign law enforcement agencies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Before leaving the FBI, Dr. Pace was a Supervisory Special Agent and led a surveillance squad.

Before joining the FBI, Dr. Pace was a police officer for a major metropolitan police department. As a police officer, Dr. Pace received numerous citations, including the Medal of Honor, for actions he took during an officer-involved shooting. Dr. Pace was also a soldier in the United States Army, serving a combat tour in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

Dr. Pace earned his doctoral degree in Sociology, with an area of specialization in crime and deviance. He also holds a master's degree in criminal justice and a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Dr. Pace's research interests broadly include police culture, theory, contemplative neuroscience, and emotional intelligence. More specifically, Dr. Pace's research takes an interdisciplinary approach to investigating the deleterious effects of chronic stress on first responder health outcomes. His research examines the impact of mindfulness-based interventions and their potential effects on building resilience in these populations. Having worked in law enforcement, Dr. Pace knows firsthand how this occupation can adversely affect the physical and mental health of first responders. He has made it his life's work to promote wellness and destigmatize mental health within these populations.