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ISG TURNS TWO

In April 2019, the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) was established by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) as the Department of Defense's Center of Excellence for Institutional Capacity Building (ICB). Two years later, ISG — now situated within the Defense Security Cooperation University’s (DSCU) International School of Education and Advising (ISEA) — is one of DSCA's primary international Security Cooperation schoolhouses, charged with building partner institutional capacity and capability through tailored advising, education, and professional development programs grounded in American values and approaches.

Despite a global pandemic, which hit just eight months into the transition from the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR), ISG has continued to successfully adjust and operate, and has forecasted 413 Advising engagements and 98 Education events with 75 Partner Nations in FY21 alone. During this time, the Institute contributed multiple publications to the Community of Practice, including a Cyber Playbook and five Smart Sheets. ISG was also recognized with two consecutive Secretary of Defense Awards for Excellence in Maintenance Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Security Forces – Ministerial Category in 2019 and 2020.

ISG WELCOMES

The Institute for Security Governance welcomes Thomas Wingfield, Craig Coder, Kris Hughes, and Tally Helfont

Thomas Wingfield

Tom Wingfield started at DSCA in January 2021. In addition to leading ISG's cyber advisory and educational efforts, he coordinates ISG's cyber support to the Combatant Commands, the DSCA Regional Centers, and international partners. Wingfield, a long-time cyber law expert, was a drafter of the Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable in Cyberspace, the Chancellor of the College of Information and Cyberspace, and, most recently, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy. He recently served as the closing speaker at the annual CYBERCOM Legal Conference, where he spoke on the intersection of law and policy in cyberspace, with particular emphasis on the critical need for effective cyber security cooperation in support of US strategic goals.

Craig Coder

Craig Coder joined the Management, Operations & Administration Division (MOA) of the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) on 4 January 2021 as the International Military Student Specialist (IMSS)/International Military Student Officer (IMSO). In this role, Coder is responsible for the administrative coordination and management of academic, social, and cultural integration activities to ensure success of visiting international officers and civilian officials at ISG. Prior to joining the ISG team, Coder worked for several years at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, Germany, as an event coordinator and program planner following a full career in the United States Air Force. Coder has extensive experience in the logistics coordination, planning, and execution of international security cooperation student programs.

Kris Hughes

George (Kris) Hughes joined the Education & Professional Practice (EPP) Division of the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in January 2021 as a member of the Logistics Capacity Building team and lecturer. Hughes works with partner nations on Institutional Capacity Building, specifically in logistics, and supports the Joint Logistics Enterprise and Geographic Combatant Commands with integrating logistics activities into the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of security cooperation projects. Prior to joining ISG, Hughes spent 20 years as a United States Army Logistics Officer and served 10 years overseas. He also served as the Director of Staff for US Africa Command's Directorate for Logistics, Associate Professor with the Department of Logistics and Resource Operations, and Project Management Professional (PMP) for the US Army Command and General Staff College.

Tally Helfont

Tally Helfont joined the Innovation & Learning (I&L) Division of the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in March 2021 as the Strategic Communications & Outreach Lead. Prior to joining ISG, Ms. Helfont was the Founding Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s (FPRI) Program on the Middle East, as well as the Project Lead for its “After the Caliphate” Project. She was a frequent commentator in the media, and her 30+ articles and chapters have been published in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. As a Terrorism Analyst for a D.C. Think Tank, she supported government agencies on high-profile terrorism-related cases and served as a consultative expert in the federal prosecutions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad members and their US affiliates. She also delivered training sessions on counter-terrorism research methodology to federal law enforcement agents on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

RADM Issah Yakubu

RADM Issah Yakubu was recently appointed to serve as the Chief of Naval Staff of the Ghanan Navy. RADM Yakubu will play an important role in the US-Ghana Significant Security Cooperation Initiative to enhance maritime security.

Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu, the senior officer who attended the 2018 CCMR (now ISG) Colloquium on Maritime Security for the Gulf of Guinea, was appointed to serve as the Chief of Naval Staff with the Ghana Navy in February of last year. RADM Yakubu served 25 years in the Ghana Navy, founded the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute, and now serves as Chief of Naval Staff. He is currently writing two books on Gulf of Guinea maritime security.

RADM Issah Yakubu, the senior officer who attended the 2018 CCMR (now ISG) Colloquium on Maritime Security for the Gulf of Guinea, was appointed to serve as the Chief of Naval Staff with the Ghana Navy in February of 2020.

His talent is sorely needed in an area that incurred a 40% increase in kidnappings in the first nine months of 2020, with pirates abducting groups of seafarers at distances of nearly 4,000 miles off the West African coast. In the same period, a total of 112 vessels were boarded, six were fired upon, and two fishing vessels were hijacked, both in the Gulf of Guinea. Of the 85 seafarers kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, 80 were taken in the Gulf of Guinea in 14 attacks reported off Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Ghana.

ISG extends our congratulations to RADM Yakubu for his promotion and commitment to security in Ghanan waters. Bravo Zulu!

A&C’s Successful Transition to Virtual Engagements

A&C’s Successful Transition to Virtual Engagements

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caught us all by surprise, but ISG’s Advising & Consulting (A&C) team adapted quickly. After realizing that the COVID-19 environment would interrupt in-person engagements for an unspecified amount of time, the team transitioned to virtual engagements almost immediately upon the onset of the pandemic and the corresponding travel restrictions. The A&C team held their first virtual sessions with Guatemala on 04 March 2020 (prior to the USG declaring COVID-19 a pandemic).

"Of all the US security cooperation programs in Guatemala, ICB suffered the least disruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This achievement was the result of ISG's rapid and effective ability to transition and adapt its efforts to the new virtual reality"

Michael Knutson, Western Hemisphere Regional Program Lead (RPL) in the A&C Division at ISG, says the motivation for the transition to virtual stemmed from concerns that institutional capacity building (ICB) efforts would suffer setbacks from a lack of in-country engagements due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The transition was not undertaken lightly. The team coordinated with officials at the Office of Security Cooperation in Guatemala, and then with officials at the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense, to explore the host nation’s ability and desire to conduct virtual engagements. The ISG team wanted to ensure that the ICB virtual outreach was mutually desired, and would not overwhelm the Ministry of Defense, given that the Guatemalan Armed Forces were responding to their own state of emergency brought on by COVID-19. The Ministry of Defense officials quickly agreed to trial outreach by virtual means with ISG to see if it was feasible, and initial sessions proved that virtual outreach was possible.

"[A] few years from now, when the progress and achievements of ICB efforts in Guatemala are summarized, the COVID-19 era will be summed up as a period of continuity instead of a time of disruption."

Virtual sessions provided the ISG Advising & Consulting team and the Guatemalan ICB working groups a medium to continue working relations, keep the program alive, and make progress towards program objectives. Knutson says that, as expected, there were obstacles to getting the process up and running, including the inability to have informal, impromptu, one-on-one contact discussions; working out the interpretation process in a virtual medium; and the postponement of sessions due to COVID-19 and the demands on the Guatemalan Armed Forces. But there were successes, too– Security Cooperation Officer (SCO) MAJ Luis Riverafonseca remarked that, “of all the US security cooperation programs in Guatemala, ICB suffered the least disruption amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This achievement was the result of ISG's rapid and effective ability to transition and adapt its efforts to the new virtual reality.” In fact, MAJ Riverafonseca believes that, “a few years from now, when the progress and achievements of ICB efforts in Guatemala are summarized, the COVID-19 era will be summed up as a period of continuity instead of a time of disruption."

The A&C Team plans to continue virtual engagements until they can resume in-country engagements, but recognize that, having laid the groundwork for virtual, an opportunity has been created to possibly employ a hybrid model in the future to ensure inter-engagement progress towards program objectives continues while the ISG team is out of country. Knutson would advise others who are hopeful to transition to virtual or hybrid modalities to maintain a large degree of flexibility in adapting to unexpected schedule changes, and to be open to holding shorter virtual sessions to keep everyone’s attention and respond to the challenges of a task-saturated audience.

The Guatemalans should be congratulated for displaying such a strong will and desire to continue these virtual sessions and work to strengthen their institutional processes. This virtual outreach would be impossible without their proactive, can-do attitudes. The Guatemala example is one of many A&C programs that transitioned to a virtual means. The nimble transition exemplifies ISG’s ability to maintain services in unprecedented and challenging environments. Given its success, virtual outreach will continue, and likely expand, as we transition out of the COVID era.

INSIDE THE INSTITUTE

ISG Wins Second SECDEF Award for Sustainment Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Military Forces

The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) was awarded the 2020 Secretary of Defense Award for Sustainment Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Military Forces for the second year in a row.

ISG’s innovative approaches and direct involvement with logistics leaders, staffs, and organizations throughout the Jordanian military have produced a number of swift changes that generated immediate, significant cost savings while simultaneously improving the integration of logistics functions with a key U.S. partner.

ISG’s Jordan Project, working side-by-side with the Jordanian military, facilitated the development and implementation of approved DOTMLPF-P solution recommendations to modernize their logistics enterprise, improve lifecycle sustainment programs to ensure a high return on investment from U.S. security assistance investments, and enable the Jordanian militaries’ logistics systems to integrate effectively with U.S. and NATO-led sustainment operations. ISG’s innovative approaches and direct involvement with logistics leaders, staffs, and organizations throughout the Jordanian military have produced a number of swift changes that generated immediate, significant cost savings while simultaneously improving the integration of logistics functions with a key U.S. partner.

The ISG Jordan team, headed by Regional Program Lead Mark Huber, includes: Jay Hall, Don Baker, Chris Snyder, Rich Treadway, Terrence Kilgore, Tom Traaen, Chris Copple, Bernie Jacques, Chuck Hudson, Cait Brett, Danna Alberts, and the late Mike Wilmer. This award is a result of several years of ISG supporting the Jordanian MoD and Services that have significantly advanced the strategic interests of the United States.

ISG Releases Five “Smart Sheets” on Institutional Capacity Buidling

In February, the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) released its first set of "Smart Sheets" on Institutional Capacity Building (ICB). These sheets fulfill the need for clear and concise information about ICB that provides key concepts and offers smart solutions. The Smart Sheets offer a standardized response to frequently asked ICB questions and represent the first set of easily accessible, cornerstone documents developed by a team of ISG experts and drawn from applied and field-tested efforts.

The Smart Sheets represent the ISG voice as the Defense Department’s leading ICB implementing body. Effective ICB is strategically driven, problem-focused, and partner-centric. Each Smart Sheet presents a specific challenge faced, the current state of the field, the role ICB plays in resolving the challenge, and best practice recommendations.

The last page of each Smart Sheet is a common page that explains ICB and includes an "ask an expert" email address, allowing users to discuss ICB topics or ask questions about the specific Smart Sheet with ICB experts.

ISG Engages India: Yudh Abhyas 2020 (YA20) Gets off to a Late, but Successful, Start

Yudh Abhyas 2020 (India) Opening with US and Indian Soldiers.

An Institute for Security Governance team, led by Col. (ret.) Bob Tomasovic, successfully supported Yudh Abhyas 2020 (YA20), rescheduled from September 2020 to 8-20 February 2021, at Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan, India.

"The mere fact that the 16th iteration of the bilateral exercise between the armies of India and the US, known as Yudh Abhyas, occurred at all was in and of itself a success."

The 1st Stryker Brigade 2nd Division deployed 285 US personnel providing the staff to form a combined brigade-level headquarters with counterparts from the Indian Army and a US Battalion to conduct a combined Field Training Exercise with their Indian counterparts. “The mere fact that the 16th iteration of the bilateral exercise between the armies of India and the US, known as Yudh Abhyas, occurred at all was in and of itself a success,” according to Tomasovic.

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS

ISG Director Steven Peterson recently reminded us “to remember our roots” as the Institute pivots to meet the complex challenges of today’s seismic shifts in foreign policy and the geopolitical landscape. It is in this spirit that we reflect on the contributions John Feeley and Lt. Col. (ret.) Timothy Byrne made during their tenure with the Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR), ISG’s predecessor.

Their contributions not only helped shape CCMR, but also informed ISG’s vision. Both now retired, Byrne and Feeley shared a friendship with Rich Hoffman, the former CCMR director who passed away unexpectedly on March 25, 2018.

JOHN FEELEY

Feeley met Hoffman at West Point as cadets. Their paths crossed several times after that, at Berkeley (Hoffman was at Stanford), as instructors at West Point in the history department, and as strategic planners at NATO. Hoffman invited Feeley to be a guest lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and introduced him to the Monterey area while he was on his second tour at NATO. Knowing Feeley was approaching retirement, Hoffman asked him to apply for an opening in CCMR as the Director of Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Before he retired from ISG, Feeley held the title of Senior Lecturer and was drawn to broad topics related to defense and security issues at NPS and overseas, primarily Europe and Asia. He tackled topics such as civil-military relations, democratic civilian control, and oversight of the armed forces; national security and defense politics; policy and strategy; defense and security sector reform; defense and security sector decision making; and institutional roles and responsibilities in the defense and security sector.

Feeley left a mark at ISG, having been involved in NATO’s recognition of NPS as a Partnership for Peace Training and Education Center, becoming the first U.S. educational institution to be so recognized. Additionally, he is proud of helping the Government of Nepal develop and establish a new Constitution, and ultimately helping bring peace to the country. Feeley says he is grateful to have landed at CCMR after retiring from the military, where he spent the next sixteen years traveling all over the world participating in great adventures while contributing to strengthening U.S. Allied and Partner security. He says that the greatest lesson he learned at CCMR was that good fortune is not in our stars or ourselves; lasting fortune derives from the professionalism and generosity of one’s friends and colleagues.

Tim Byrne

Byrne met Hoffman in 1994 while both were serving at Headquarters Sixth US Army at the Presidio of San Francisco. In 2000, Hoffman remembered Byrne’s recent United Nations tour in Somalia and asked if he would consider joining CCMR. He accepted–and stayed 20 years. Byrne’s experience led him to focus on developing and delivering United Nations-related Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) training offered through the US Government’s Security Cooperation programs to the global community.

Before he retired from ISG, Byrne was the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) and Peacekeeping Programs Manager, and his principal responsibilities focused on the planning and integration of GPOI events into the Combatant Commands’ financial, operational, human resource, and logistical support structures while ensuring US Government and host-nation client support in over 600 separate activities in over 35 countries worldwide.

Byrne participated in, and supervised the curriculum development of, nine GPOI courses; notably, the GPOI UN Staff Officers’ Course, which received UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations training recognition. The GPOI Senior Mission Leaders course and the Peacekeeping Operations Contingent Commanders Course, unique programs only offered by ISG/GPOI, helped solidify CCMR/ISG’s reputation as a global PKO training provider, training senior leaders responsible for leading peacekeepers in some of the most difficult and dangerous UN missions. He is also very proud that CCMR/ISG set a high standard for PKO training, which he attributes to first establishing and then maintaining good relationships with the international cadre that support our efforts.

Byrne remembers an incident in the mid-2000s, while conducting a Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) seminar in Chad, when some anti-government rebels crossed the border and began attacking the capital of N’Djamena. The team was ultimately evacuated by the Embassy (with the assistance of the French Foreign Legion), but not before the US military attaché asked if there was any way they might stay for a couple more days. The Chadian Deputy Chief of Defense told him that the fighting would be over soon, and he really liked the program. Byrne says that he will miss his GPOI team members, superb vendors, and the interactions he had with our international cadre. He is spending his retirement fly-fishing and trying to play better golf.

In the next issue, we bid farewell to Mark Kalber and Lindsay Fritz!

ISG's EM&R Team Hosts Virtual Workshop with Serbia Focused on Foreign Disaster Assistance

US Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness Program (CMEP)/Serbia Interagency Foreign Disaster Assistance Webinar Attendees

ISG's Emergency Management and Resilience (EM&R) team conducted a virtual workshop in support of partnership with the Republic of Serbia from 10-11 March 2021.

The workshop brought together 35 participants, primarily Serbian national interagency representatives, including their Ministry of Interior/Sector for Emergency Management, border police, and national Red Cross chapter. There were also select representatives from the European Union’s Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the NATO Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), NATO Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence (CMDR COE), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Ohio National Guard.

This workshop was the first in a series of two this year with the focus on emergency management arrangements and cooperation mechanisms between various ministries, agencies, and organizations for the receipt/delivery of international disaster assistance. This series also aims to integrate foreign disaster assistance into the Serbian national disaster response framework, formalizing coordination mechanisms and emergency response expectations among national and international organizations.

STANDING OVATION

Vino Roy

Faculty, Innovation & Learning Division

Vino Roy, part of the Innovation & Learning (I&L) team, oversees ISG’s State Partnership Program (SPP) educational efforts to facilitate a better understanding of the regional security and the socio-political context needed to build partner capacity. A second line of her work at ISG focuses on the development of conceptual tools to support the assessment and implementation of institutional capacity building initiatives. She also serves as an instructor on select regional programs and has conducted evaluations for multinational and bilateral exercises supported by ISG.

Vino Roy, part of the Innovation & Learning (I&L) team, oversees ISG’s State Partnership Program (SPP) educational efforts to facilitate a better understanding of the regional security and the socio-political context needed to build partner capacity.

Roy earned her Master and Doctorate Degrees from the University of Madras where her research interests focused on disinformation, shifting ideologies, and identity construction. Roy says she enjoys working with and across US government organizations, academia, and regional institutions to promote unity of effort and a shared understanding of the fragmented cultural realities and multiple discourses within which institutional capacity building efforts are implemented. While Roy has worked in several disparate fields to include reporting for The Madras Times, teaching, working for a strategic consulting firm, and supporting ISG’s regional educational efforts, her focus has been on disseminating more diverse and inclusive representations of collective security and ways in which people and organizations define themselves.

Eric Law

Faculty, Management Operations & Administration Division

Eric Law, Faculty/Programs Associate responsible for curricular and operations support of ISG's educational programs, facilitates government and contract colleagues in planning, execution, and reporting for resident courses and mobile education team (MET) engagements. Prior to his current role, he was on ISG's resident and MET course operations support team, working with faculty and students, and behind the scenes, to ensure smooth course execution, and that students' experiences at ISG were as fulfilling as possible.

Eric Law, Faculty/Programs Associate responsible for curricular and operations support of ISG's educational programs, facilitates government and contract colleagues in planning, execution, and reporting for resident courses and mobile education team (MET) engagements.

He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Delaware, and his Master’s in International Policy & Development from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, specializing in conflict resolution and social justice. His graduate practicum built on his work at CCMR, focusing on measuring and improving outcomes and training for de-radicalization, disengagement, rehabilitation, and reintegration of violent extremists. During graduate school, he also served as a program evaluation design consultant for Search for Common Ground's efforts to improve social cohesion amid ethnic cleansing.

Law moved to Monterey after a decade working abroad in China and Egypt in facilitation, capacity building, training, and curricular development. He is an avid explorer of global gastronomy and is proficient in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Law says his personal life revolves around his new son AJ, who was born during the first month of the pandemic lockdown. He adds, “AJ amazes us everyday, one way or another, and it’s been wonderful to get to know him as he gets to know the world.”

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