Top Secret Academic Seminar

Top Secret Academic Seminar

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Challenges to National Security in a Global Society

It’s Your Generation

With growing threats from terrorist groups, transnational networks, and rogue states, the United States and allied countries must contend with a complicated set of direct national security challenges—from weapons-of-mass-destruction, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism, to natural resource constraints. These threats have emerged in, and are affected by, an environment of growing globalization, technological innovation, and shifting geopolitical and economic power.


Such challenges have strained existing political, and operational norms in the United States and raised concerns about the emerging challenges and how to deal them. Through the guidance of a faculty director expert in national security issues, this program will examine how these changes impact the international arena as well as explore how the U.S. can best respond to the myriad uncertainties present in the world today.


Abroad, the new challenges stemming from terrorism and asymmetric threats, dramatic demographic shifts, and the rise of new centers of power have stressed existing alliances, forged new marriages of convenience, and required reassessments of global power dynamics. In this context, the United States finds itself addressing national security threats across the globe as the sole superpower, with diminishing reach and leverage.


Nowhere are these challenges more urgent for U.S. and international security as the new generation – your generation – confronts and changes the status quo and searches for more responsive regimes, not only in the Middle East and Africa, but also in potential other hotspots such as Asia.


It’s Your Time

  • Explore the inner workings of the U.S. national security landscape with nationally recognized journalists, politicians, political analysts, and scholars as your guides.
  • Expand your knowledge of American and international politics through on-site visits to such places as Capitol Hill, executive agencies, embassies, think tanks, and media organizations in Washington, D.C.
  • Engage in and network with nationally and internationally recognized public officials and business professionals to develop your sense of civic engagement and enhance your leadership skills and expertise.

Get the Answers

  • How should national security and American power be viewed in light of a more globalized world, with the rise of new powers and points of influence?
  • How should the U.S. address the rising power and influence of countries like China and the increasing nuclear threat from Iran? How should the U.S. address the transitions occurring in the Middle East?
  • What role do international institutions and organizations play in this evolving global system? Are traditional alliances sufficient to meet the new challenges or are new institutions necessary?
  • How should the U.S. and its allies address transnational threats presented by non-state actors?
  • How should the international community address the problem of safe havens and under-governed parts of the world?
  • How has modern weaponry and further advancements such as drones affected the future of war fighting and policymaking?
  • How should U.S. interests be defended or projected abroad? What tools does the U.S. government have at its command and what others should it be developing?
  • What role should the U.S. government play in utilizing modern information technologies to influence private and public actors?
  • What role does the Internet play in national security? Should there be a rethinking of our reliance on the Internet in an age of cyber vulnerabilities?
  • What role does the advent of social networking and Web 2.0 technologies have on national security?
  • What are the greatest challenges for the international community? What role will resource constraints and competition have on national security?

Important Dates

  • May 19-24, 2013
  • Check-in: May 19, 2013
  • Program ends: May 24, 2013
  • Check-out: May 25, 2013


The Washington Center has you covered. Students will stay in our furnished Residential and Academic Facility at NoMa in Washington, D.C. during the seminar.




For those interested in bringing a group, please contact


Application Deadline

April 22, 2013

How to ApplyBegin an online application.



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