National & International Security Leadership Seminar

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Program Overview

Increasing threats to national security pose unprecedented challenges to the United States both at home and abroad.  Designed to prepare military and civilian officials to meet such challenges, these senior-level seminars will explore the most effective leadership strategies to address security threats facing the United States. The National and International Security Leadership Seminar will cover a range of issues, including the latest regional risk assessments, inter-governmental initiatives, congressional budgeting, and manpower allocations. This seminar will examine:

  • The changing political, economic, and military factors that shape America’s national security environment
  • The process by which U.S. national interests and policies are formulated in the face of regional and global threats and opportunities
  • Contemporary national defense policies, force structure and budgetary choices, alternative strategies, visions, and operational requirements
  • Emerging trends that may affect the U.S. strategic posture and shape the debate over the nature and scope of U.S. defense and external commitments
  • Immediate and potential transformations in modes of conflict, including issues of asymmetric and network-centric warfare
  • National defense and deterrence strategies and the technological, economic, and political forces that give rise to and emerge from these approaches.


Seminar Introduction

To begin the National and International Security Leadership Seminar, Dr. Robert S. Wood, Dean Emeritus of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, will explore with the group the key social, political, economic, and technological trends that are shaping the global environment and the changing international configuration of power and influence.

This will include a consideration of the relative importance of different factors in the rise and decline of national power and the relation between the evolution of domestic political economies and the exercise of international influence.  In attempting to forecast future challenges and policy options, the group will seek to define the nature of America’s political culture and national interests and the consequent constraints and opportunities they present in policy formulation and execution.


Seminar Topics

Through a series of off-the-record briefings and group discussions, attendees will study national security policy from conception to implementation. Speakers will focus on challenges the U.S. faces in specific parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, China, Africa, and Latin America, as well as the oceans and strategic waterways. Speakers will examine topics including the operational structure of terror groups, criminal states, and revolutionary movements, and address key issues such as nuclear weapons proliferation, cyber security threats, and the complexities involved in the protection of the U.S. infrastructure.  Topics include:


  • China, Russia, and the United States:  The “New-Old” Geopolitics
  • Globalization and National Security:  Are American Institutes at Risk?
  • Military Transformation:  National Defense Budgets in an Age of Austerity
  • Ethnic and Religious Challenges to American National Interests
  • ISIS and Territorial Islam
  • Terror and Transnational Crime:  A Global Overview
  • China–From Debt to Cyber Attacks:  Factors that Influence Leadership and Decision-making
  • Africa: Political, Economic, and Strategic Interests
  • The Middle East:  U.S. Security Challenges in a Changing Region
  • The Evil Empire, Political Leadership and the New World Order: Reflections From a Soviet Defector
  • The Re-emergence of Socialism and the Implications to U.S. Economic and National Security
  • Post-Soviet Central Asia:  Seedbed for Terrorism for the 21st Century
  • The United States and Europe: Cooperation, Conflict and Economic Uncertainty
  • Latin America:  Social Democrats, Populists and U.S. National Interests
  • Strategic Theory and the Use of Military Power in the 21st Century
  • Demographics and Social Change:  What the Numbers Tell Us
  • The Foundations of National Security Leadership:  A View from Both Ends of the Avenue
  • Conducting International Business: Security, Enterprise and Commerce
  • Iran as a Nuclear Threshold State:  The Iranian Agreement and the New Configuration of Power in the Middle East


Program Moderator

The program moderator will be of international stature and have extensive professional experience in the policy issues covered in this three-day seminar. The moderator will facilitate, when necessary, dialogue between the speakers and participants, as well as lead the group discussions and Q&A sessions



The fee for the five-day National and International Security Leadership Seminar is $3,630 per person.  The program will feature approximately 20-23 separate presentations, including case studies.  Also included are daily continental breakfasts and working luncheons.  An on-site Program Coordinator will assist participants as needed and coordinate daily activities.



The target audience for this seminar is senior managers and executives (civilians GS-15 and above; military O-6 and above).  Others who have a special interest in the subject, need-to-know, or are in key positions may apply. Seminar space is limited to assure that participants have ample time for open discussion with presenters.  Upon registration, attendees will receive confirmation via email within five days. Cancellations will be accepted in writing up to two weeks prior to each program. After that time, substitutions will be accepted. The Agency will be billed if registration is cancelled after the deadline.


Additional Information

The National and International Security Leadership Seminar will be held in private meeting rooms at the Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street SE, in Washington, DC.  The Club is directly across the street from the Capitol South Metro Station (Blue and Orange Lines). Business attire is required at the Capitol Hill Club.  

Reporting information concerning registration time and meeting room assignments will be sent to all participants approximately two weeks prior to the start of each program. The seminar meeting room will open at 7:45 am and seminars will be conducted from 8:00 am to 4:00pm.

These programs are informal and strictly “off-the-record.”  No video, power point or audio-visual aids are utilized in seminar presentations.

If you have any questions or need further information, please call Iris Fernandez or Patricia Patton at 703-684-8807.

This was one of the most powerful and informative seminars in which I have participated. I attended Air War College in 1997 and work as an engineering manager. It is great to again have this level of informed discussions regarding current world-wide events and hot spots. Brilliant!

Air Force Attendee, May 2014

A Home Run! A great line-up of speakers/moderators with real-time expertise and analysis. Insight was exceptional…so glad I had the opportunity to attend.

Air Force Attendee, May 2014

Excellent program! Outstanding string of speakers that really understood their areas of expertise and provided the group with great insights into the strategic and policy issues related to those areas. Very, very informative!

Air Force Attendee, NISLS, May 2015

Outstanding program! Timely and relevant material that I can use as a senior Air Force leader who will engage with the American public. I would highly recommend this leadership seminar. Very well done! You stretched my intellectual thought process and understanding of these issues

Air Force Attendee, May 2014

This is an exceptional program. By covering the globe, you provided valuable insight into the long-term diplomatic, information, military and economic impacts the U.S. will face in the future.

Air Force Attendee, May 2014