Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 9, 2010

Highlights of February’s Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Christopher Bellavita on March 9, 2010

The 4th Annual Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit took place on February 24-25, 2010 at Georgetown University.

The conference theme was “Homeland Security in Transition.”

The academic discipline of homeland security and defense continues to grow and mature. In light of the advances we are experiencing, and with the first post-9/11 administration one year in office, our focus is on validating homeland security and defense education.

Here are some highlight of the conference, prepared by Dr. Stan Supinski:


DHS Undersecretary for Management Elaine Duke discussed where the money in DHS is going and the needs of the workforce (more border work, especially in the north; the United States Coast Guard; and cyber were highlighted).  She also mentioned the emphases in the newly released Quadrennial Homeland Security Review – security, resiliency, and maintaining our ability to conduct cross border commerce.

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke about Homeland Security as a distinctive discipline because of the inclusion of national security and law enforcement.

He provided a list of the 8 most important things to include in an academic homeland security program.

  • Management skills, and in particular the acquisition process
  • Intelligence
  • Risk management concepts and application
  • Emergency management – with a huge emphasis on planning
  • Legal issues – a basic understanding of applicable laws and constitutional authorities
  • International relations
  • Cyber and technological issues
  • Social psychology – a focus on interagency relationship building and how to get the variety of players involved to cooperate.

Randy Larsen of the Institute for Homeland Security led a useful plenary session that focused primarily on the WMD threat.  He highlighted the need to balance our efforts towards high probability/low consequence events versus low probability/high consequence events, and noted we must keep our federal emphasis on the latter.

A plenary panel (with both DHS and NORTHCOM representatives) on critical infrastructure and the private sector discussed the need to emphasize both topics in our courses.  Barbara Yagerman of DHS said her office would support an effort to develop curriculum that could be shared across the community.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs Paul Stockton spoke in a plenary session about the needs of the DoD workforce and the current state of civilian-military relations. Secretary Stockton, and several of the other speakers, emphasized the need for academic homeland security programs to develop research, writing and planning skills.  Stockton also indicated that his office would support development of curricular components for planning courses

Nadav Morag conducted a well received presentation on Homeland Security in Israel.  Dr. Morag has developed an on-line self study course on the subject and it is available to conference attendees on the Center for Homeland Defense and Security website.

The Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium Association executive director provided an update on the organization, including inroads made with the Department of Education and the posting of required accreditation documentation to their website.  This generated lots of positive discussion, particularly regarding the fact that core competencies will be emphasized, not prescriptions toward specific courses.

The conference also included 32 Breakout sessions.

The conference reminded participants they are part of a growing and important community. Virtually every homeland security education program continues to grow.   For example, the University of Maryland program now has 550 majors; Tulane, which just recently had their masters approved, already has 227.

The Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit was sponsored by:

  • Homeland Security / Defense Education Consortium Association (HSDECA)
  • Georgetown University Center for Peace and Security Studies (CPASS)
  • Office of the Chief Learning Officer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS)
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Comment by Claire B. Rubin

March 9, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

Chertoff’s talk was very interesting. Is the full text going to be made available?

Comment by Christopher Bellavita

March 10, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

Claire — not to my knowledge, but I will ask Dr. Supinski

Comment by bellavita

March 11, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

Claire – -I checked with Dr. Supinski and he said there is no full text available for Secretary Chertoff’s comments.

Comment by Burton Jentzsch

August 6, 2010 @ 12:30 am

Most helpful site and information My friends always ask me where I manage to find my little devices.

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