The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) conducted a workshop in support of the newly established state partnership between the Montana National Guard (MTNG) and Sri Lanka at the Helena Armed Forces Reserve Center (HAFRC) at Helena, Montana from August 23-27, 2021.
The ISG Team brought together a diverse group of subject matter experts from academia, the US State Department, the Marine Corps University, the National Defense University, and USAID, with INDOPACOM and US Coast Guard District 13 participating virtually to dialogue with participants. The workshop aimed to enhance the MTNG’s understanding of the regional and socio-political context of South Asia, Sri Lanka, and Maldives, providing guidance on US and interagency priorities and establishing a framework for working with the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. This context then set the stage for a discussion of potential areas of cooperation with the delegation of Sri Lankan and Maldivian General Officers that joined on 25 August.
The Montana National Guard was selected to begin a new state partnership with Sri Lanka in 2020. The partnership brings together the country and state to interact on a broad range of cooperative engagements on various topics including homeland defense, disaster response, crisis management, and inter-agency cooperation. The Montana National Guard also maintains an existing state partnership with Kyrgyz Republic, which began in 1995.
The workshop panels covered a diverse array of topics and set the stage for the MTNG to leverage interagency relationships as they begin to think through their SSCIs and potential areas of cooperation. The MTNG continued to dialogue on key areas of cooperation with their counterparts in bilateral sessions, which carried on to the 26 - 27 August 2021.
The Institute for Security Governance has been conducting orientations for newly established state partnerships each year since 2004, under the direction of the National Guard Bureau.
In July of this year, ISG bade farewell to Mr. Benjamin (Ben) Hussey. He retired after an impressive 21 years with ISG in various capacities – most recently as the Principal of the Management, Operations, and Administration (MO&A) Division.
Ben began working when he was 15 years old. His first job was in construction as a laborer sweeping out houses and digging ditches. His military career began at the age of 18, when he joined the US Army after high school. After four years with the US Army, he returned to school to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree from Corban University in Management and Communication. He then joined the Oregon National Guard and was offered the opportunity to attend Officer Candidate School. Over the course of his military career, he worked his way from E1 to Colonel. His four years as an enlisted soldier impacted the rest of his military career in the way he treated those under his command. Of this, Ben remarked, “Being enlisted early on, I was able to understand what enlisted soldiers go through and was able to apply that in my leadership style as I moved up through the ranks.” Ben served in the Oregon National Guard for 26 years; he retired from the military with 30 years of service.
As a National Guard Citizen Soldier, Ben worked full-time in a wide variety of positions. He worked in the travel industry and as the owner of a small business. Mr. Robert (Bob) Tomasovic, ISG’s former Program Manager for Exercises and Regional Programs, was Ben’s Commanding Officer in the National Guard for several years. When Bob started on the Leadership Development and Education for Sustained Peace (LDESP) program for the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) in 1999, he invited Ben to work with him as a contractor to help him get the program running. Ben was then asked to return shortly thereafter to work with Bob again. He was officially offered a full-time position with CCMR’s LDESP program in May 2000. In 2016, Rich Hoffman, the former Director of CCMR, asked Ben to be the Deputy of Operations. This position led to his culminating role at the Institute as Principal of the MO&A Division.
As MO&A Division Principal, Ben oversaw ISG activities in the areas of Finance, Contracting, Operations, and Communications and Outreach. On managing numerous vital functions of the Institute simultaneously, he stated, “I developed very strong section leaders underneath me... I surround myself with good people. I trust them and empower them to do their job, and it helps me with my job.” Reflecting upon his leadership approach, he said, “It’s always been my philosophy that people will make you successful.”
“I developed very strong section leaders underneath me... I surround myself with good people. I trust them and empower them to do their job, and it helps me with my job.” Reflecting upon his leadership approach, he said, “It’s always been my philosophy that people will make you successful.”
His philosophy of empowering those around him proved invaluable when faced with the many challenges of his position as Principal of the MO&A Division. Director Steven Peterson gave Ben the task of integrating all operations, administration, and management. These essential functions were decentralized prior to CCMR’s transition to ISG. This change required teamwork, adaptability, and as Ben put it, “good people.” Of this experience, Ben said, “I feel comfortable leaving today that we have successfully created an enterprise approach that is fully operational and functioning.” Ben considers the successful startup of the enterprise approach one of his greatest accomplishments as Principal of the MO&A Division.
“I feel comfortable leaving today that we have successfully created an enterprise approach that is fully operational and functioning.” Ben considers the successful startup of the enterprise approach one of his greatest accomplishments as Principal of the MO&A Division.
Looking back over his career, Ben fondly remembers his time with the LDESP program. During this time, he traveled frequently to locations all over the world with faculty members and staff and fostered teamwork and relationships with professionals from all sectors. He considers these opportunities to be the highlight of his career.
The parting words Ben wished to leave his colleagues at ISG: “I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Institute and the former CCMR. So many great professionals – smart, intelligent leaders.... I’ve enjoyed being a part of that and feel that I am a better person for having spent all this time with those I have had a relationship with over these 20 years.”
Ben is very excited about retiring with his wife at their home in Arizona. He looks forward to playing golf and staying active in his community.
This summer, Mr. Mark Huber completed ten remarkable years with the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) to pursue new endeavors. Mr. Huber’s most recent role within ISG was as a Middle East Regional Program Lead with the Advising and Consulting Division.
Mr. Huber’s career began in the Navy, where he piloted helicopters from aircraft carriers for many years. In 2007, he received an assignment as the Military Associate Dean at the School of International Graduate Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School. In this capacity, he developed a longstanding working relationship with ISG’s predecessor, the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR). When Mr. Huber retired from the Navy, Richard Hoffman, the Director of CCMR at the time, invited him to work at the organization, where he would remain for the next decade.
The first position Mr. Huber held at CCMR was as a Program Manager for Middle East and Central Asia. Since joining CCMR, Mr. Huber has contributed to significant expansions in Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) in many areas. He pioneered ICB initiatives with partners across the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and Central Asia. He led ISG’s Jordan project from its inception to where it is today as a broad, highly-refined, and award-winning program that has substantially improved partner capacities.
One of Mr. Huber’s greatest accomplishments involved the creation of the NATO Building Integrity Reference Curriculum. This curriculum was the result of a two-year project, where he was co-lead of a working group comprised of 30 representatives from more than a dozen NATO countries and organizations. This working group developed a curriculum on fighting corruption, building transparency, and enhancing accountability in defense institutions. First published in 2017, this curriculum has been translated into eight languages and is being used extensively around the globe.
His colleagues at ISG have described him as a natural teacher, an inclusive collaborator, and someone who was always ready to help get the job done.
Mr. Huber’s work has not only led to significant accomplishments in ICB but has also left meaningful impacts on the lives of those around him. His colleagues at ISG have described him as a natural teacher, an inclusive collaborator, and someone who was always ready to help get the job done.
To pursue his passion for teaching, Mr. Huber has transitioned from ISG to a career in education. This new chapter in Mr. Huber’s life began this fall at a Catholic high school in Florida, where he teaches US Government and World Cultural Geography. True to his character, he looks forward to helping others find success. He will be greatly missed by everyone at ISG.