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ISG is a component of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) situated within the Defense Security Cooperation University’s (DSCU) International School of Education and Advising (ISEA).

AROUND THE INSTITUTE

ISG Marks Six Months with DSCU

As the old adage goes: You don’t know where you are going until you know where you have been. This past year, the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) was integrated into the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU), signifying the further evolution of this three-decades-old organization. Having spent the past six months coordinating, collaborating, and integrating with our DSCU colleagues, the Institute is now presented with a timely opportunity to reintroduce what it does, where it came from, and where it is going within the Security Cooperation (SC) enterprise.

ISG was founded in 1994 in Monterey, CA as the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) through a partnership between the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). It was established as a practitioner-oriented, international schoolhouse focused on strengthening civilian control of the armed forces and democratic governance, with a particular emphasis on emergent democracies worldwide. In the ensuing 27 years, CCMR built on this foundation, becoming a leading international security cooperation schoolhouse.

In 2019, CCMR became a full component of DSCA, changing its name to ISG to reflect an expanded mission and mandate. Just six months ago, ISG went through another transition. As part of the DSCA vision, ISG and Newport, RI-based Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) became component organizations within DSCU's newly-formed International School for Education and Advising (ISEA). As part of this realignment, DSCA charged DSCU to lead the SC enterprise in delivering effective, enduring, and timely solutions; and to serve as the source for SC expertise and innovation for our defense and foreign policy stakeholders to ensure the United States remains the global partner of choice.

These past several months have been a period of exciting change, providing ISG and the larger DSCU family with an opportunity to reset, rethink, and reestablish some important internal working relationships in our growing organization. Simultaneously, the pace of ISG’s work continues to increase, whether through traditional modalities, or through hybrid solutions created to ensure the continuity of our work with partner nations and allies during the global pandemic. ISG does not take its “Center of Excellence” moniker lightly, and will continue to work tirelessly to advance national security and foreign policy objectives by building partner institutional capabilities.

ISG WELCOMES

Celeste Gventer

Europe Regional Program Lead - Advising & Consulting Division

Ms. Celeste Ward Gventer joined ISG’s Advising and Consulting (A&C) Division in August 2021 as a Senior Lecturer and Regional Program Lead for Europe. Ms. Gventer has over two decades' experience as a national security professional with service in government, academia, and the private sector, both in the United States and overseas.

David Radcliffe

Functional Lead for Cyber Capability - Peace & Security Division

Mr. David Radcliffe joined ISG’s Peace & Security (P&S) Division in August 2021 as the Functional Program Lead for Cyber Capability Building. Prior to joining ISG, Mr. Radcliffe served for over 20 years in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy – most recently as the Director for Cyber Strategy, Defense, and Capabilities.

ADVISING

That's a Wrap: ISG Completes its Operational Planning Project in Hungary

A team from the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) traveled to Budapest, Hungary in late July to conclude its two-year project on operational planning with the Hungarian Defense Forces Command (HDFC). The focus of this Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) effort was to facilitate the development of an operational planning process within the HDFC J3 Operations Planning Department in order to improve Hungary’s interoperability with NATO. The project was initiated in March 2019 at the request of the HDF Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Gabor Borondi, and was funded by the Department of State (DoS) Global Defense Reform Project (GDRP).

ISG team member John Agoglia facilitating a discussion with the Hungarian Defense Forces Command J3 planning staff. January 2020. Budapest, Hungary.

Over the course of those two years, ISG conducted a total of five in-person workshops and two virtual workshops. As was to be expected, ISG’s projects with Partner Nations and Allies were interrupted, and in some cases, put on hold due to the global pandemic. However, out of necessity, ISG found creative ways to continue its ICB advising mission by adjusting approaches and building on virtual innovations to develop hybrid models for advising. In the case of Hungary, the ISG team and their Hungarian partners were able to make use of virtual engagements and intersessional work to progress and now successfully complete the project.

ISG Hungary team members Gary Espinas, Joe Hogler, John Agoglia, and Gregg Jones next to the statue of President Reagan with the Hungarian Parliament building in the background. November 2019. Budapest, Hungary.

The in-person engagement in July not only provided a wonderful opportunity to validate final efforts associated with the project, but also to learn of the project’s implementation and impacts. While in Budapest, the team conducted meetings with senior representatives from the Ministry of Defense (MoD), HDFC, and the J3 Operations Planning Department. At one such meeting with MoD and HDF senior leaders, the HDF Chief of Staff said that the ISG effort had directly contributed to the modernization and transformation of the Hungarian Defense Force. Separately, the J3 planning staff shared with the ISG team that the workshops provided a clear understanding of how operations planning is supposed to be done, and therefore enabled the development of several new standard operating procedures. J3 Planning Staffers also reported using takeaways from the ISG engagements while participating in this year’s DEFENDER-Europe 21 multinational, joint exercise.

At one such meeting with MoD and HDF senior leaders, the HDF Chief of Staff said that the ISG effort had directly contributed to the modernization and transformation of the Hungarian Defense Force.

As a result of the successful conclusion of this project, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) Deputy State Secretary for Defense Policy Dr. Gergely Nemeth requested that a similar ICB effort be led by ISG in the areas of defense planning and policy analysis. Dr. Nemeth expressed that this would achieve an “interoperability of minds.”

BZ to the ISG – Hungary Team, led by Regional Program Lead Gary Espinas, on a job well done!

STATE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

ISG Workshop Prepares the Montana National Guard for their State Partnership Program with Sri Lanka

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 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.

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.

STANDING OVATION

Blaire Harms

Ms. Blaire Harms, a U.S. Indo-Pacific Regional Program Lead with the Advising and Consulting Division, joined the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in 2014. Since then, her areas of expertise have expanded to include a wide variety of topics such as civil-military relations, disarmament, and terrorism, as well as Women, Peace, and Security (WPS).

Ms. Harms noted that WPS is a key component of Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) – the driving force behind ISG’s work. She asserted: “So many elements of women’s issues are related to security. You could trace it back to state security… [WPS] is integral to what we are doing – and want to do – at ISG.”

During her time at ISG, Ms. Harms has developed and executed courses designed to help policymakers understand their institutions from a gendered perspective, and include women in positions of authority, power, and strategic decision-making. Ms. Harms has also played a critical role in supporting numerous cross-divisional initiatives to enable the ICB mission.

"So many elements of women’s issues are related to security. You could trace it back to state security… [WPS] is integral to what we are doing – and want to do – at ISG"

Ms. Harms attributes much of her success at ISG to teamwork and the dedication of her colleagues, saying: “I have found ISG is a very mutually supportive organization. If you have a question or a problem, everybody’s there to point you in the right direction or answer the question, and I love it!”

Ms. Harms recently started a certificate program at Harvard University in International Security Studies. She holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Affairs from California State University, Chico. Ms. Harms retired from the U.S. Army in 2012 after 21 years, during which she served as an Army Military Intelligence Corps Officer and as a Strategic Plans and Policy Officer. She is also a member of the Chico Women’s Philanthropy Council. Ms. Harms has a son who is a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, and a daughter who studies psychology.

EDUCATION

ISG’s Success with Virtual Learning for Multilateral Education

Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted professional settings around the globe. In the interest of public health, and in compliance with pandemic-related safety measures, many institutions have been limited in their capacity to continue operations. Last year, despite these unprecedented circumstances, the Institute for Security Governance (ISG) successfully explored and implemented virtual learning to continue educational engagements with partners and allies.

To ensure the success of its new virtual curricula, ISG implemented an Alternative Education Working Group in April 2020. Led by Ms. Kathleen Peggar, the Program Manager for the International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) Program at ISG, the working group also consisted of experts from the Institute’s Peace & Security and Education & Professional Practice divisions. The working group quickly collaborated to answer a vital question: How can ISG best adapt to this new reality and continue/enhance education delivery in a virtual environment? To respond to this question, the working group considered factors such as technology, resourcing constraints, adaptability, scalability, and how to add the best value to ISG. They also explored learning methodologies and best pedagogical practices for virtual education. Concluding their research, they created several potential courses of action. The work helped build the scaffolding for ISG’s new virtual courses.

“With the pandemic it was clear that we all needed to adjust and adapt if we were to be able to continue to engage with our allies and partners during this challenging time,” expressed Ms. Peggar. One of the ways in which ISG adapted was with multilateral virtual education. Usually held in-person, either as a resident course in Monterey or in a partner nation, multilateral education is a way for ISG to engage with participants from multiple countries simultaneously with limited or no travel. Multilateral education is also valuable for participants to network across agencies and borders with others who share similar security challenges and goals. While virtual multilateral education was accompanied by some initial skepticism, the ensuing courses were carried out with admirable results.

Multilateral education is also valuable for participants to network across agencies and borders with others who share similar security challenges and goals.

In March 2021, the IDARM team saw achievements in their first virtual course for a multilateral audience. The “Principles of Defense Acquisition Management” course engaged partners from the Asia-Pacific region. Participants joined virtually from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mongolia, and East Timor. Australia also sent five participants to this course – the largest representation of Australian participants to ever engage with IDARM. The virtual format of this course allowed the opportunity to engage with more allies.

IDARM’s second virtual multilateral course engaged European partners from Greece, Italy, Latvia, and Poland. All participants in this course were NATO Allies serving in key roles supporting defense acquisition decision making in their respective countries. The environment facilitated by this virtual course led to engaging and forthright discussions.

ISG conducted several multilateral virtual courses with Spanish simultaneous interpretation. These regionally focused courses included “Women in Defense and Security Decision Making,” “Defense Acquisition and Contract Management,” and “Building Institutional Capacity in the Maritime Security Sector.” Countries represented included Argentina, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Speakers represented academic, military, government, and civil sectors. The core faculty were augmented by experts drawn from other parts of government, and American and international subject matter experts drawn from universities, industry, think tanks, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The dual language courses increased regional collaboration and communication between English and Spanish speaking partners.

While some hesitation toward virtual formats still exists for some, each virtual multilateral course has garnered positive results. Ms. Samantha Schwellenbach, virtual course director and member of the Alternate Education Working Group explained: “I think that the pandemic helped (or forced) people to be more open to working in a virtual environment. While virtual cannot replicate face-to-face engagement, there are benefits to it, and ISG intends incorporate this method into numerous projects moving forward.” Ms. Peggar similarly observed: “We're proud of what we have accomplished during this period and look forward to continuing to incorporate online learning as appropriate, even as we look beyond the pandemic.”

“It’s nice to have the opportunity to innovate and think creatively about how we can further engage with partners and allies.”

Continuing operations during the pandemic demonstrated the adaptability and ingenuity of ISG’s faculty and staff. As Ms. Schwellenbach stated: “It’s nice to have the opportunity to innovate and think creatively about how we can further engage with partners and allies.” As resident courses and in-person learning resume, ISG will no doubt continue to innovate as leaders in the field.

FAIR WINDS AND FOLLOWING SEAS

Ben Hussey

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.

Mark Huber

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.

RESOURCES SPOTLIGHT

ISG Released Two “Smart Sheets” on Institutional Capacity Building

The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) has developed a series of Smart Sheets to serve as communal tools for enhancing understanding of Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) concepts and solutions. ISG released two new Smart Sheets this summer on Defense Acquisition and Building Resilience for National Defense.

The Smart Sheet for Defense Acquisition discusses the complex issue of obtaining goods and services to meet the defense needs of a particular nation. ICB in this area helps partners ensure that their defense systems and capabilities are efficient, effective, and reliable.

The Smart Sheet on Building Resilience for National Defense highlights the importance of emergency response systems. ICB strengthens the link between national resilience and defense, while bolstering the security and stability of the partner nation and region.

HQ UPDATES

Heron Spotting

The Heron is the unofficial mascot that roams the ISG lawn looking for moles and nesting on nearby Lake Del Monte. Herons are also symbols of partnership, exploration, intelligence, guidance, determination, and transformation — all of which ISG embodies in its important work.

Working with Us

ISG is hiring! Working with ISG brings you into a rich community of individuals striving to address emergent security challenges and grow global partnerships through institutional capacity building. Check out the exciting opportunities to join our Team.

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