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Become acquainted with some of the key national security policy issues and global socioeconomic-political issues confronting the United States today. This topical course will explore crucial current issues in areas such as U.S. grand strategy, the defense budget, China, Iran, Pakistan, and the future of terrorism, including cybersecurity.

In addition, the course will explore the broader frameworks for understanding and navigating the challenging policy environment, helping participants develop the mindset and skills needed to interact with top decision makers. It is structured around an examination of the key forces that will shape the context facing the president, identifying the key goals and opportunities leaders should focus on, and exploring the most likely challenges they will face at the strategic level.

This course is required for Certificate in Policy Strategy.

“This course helped to develop and in many ways, shift my global mindset, taking it to a whole new level. It has also brought tools of academia to global organizational resilience and leadership.”  - BEE Course Participant

Confirmed speakers for the December 6-7, 2016 iteration include:

  • Fiona Hill, Director, Center on the United States and Europe, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution and co-author, Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin
  • LTG David Huntoon Jr. USA (ret.), President, D2H Leadership Consulting and former Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • Cheng Li, Director, John L. Thornton China Center, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution
  • Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution, former staff director, National Security Council and author, Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb and American Strategy

Confirmed speakers for previous iterations of this course included, but were not limited to:

  • Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow, Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President
  • Kurt Campbell, Chairman and CEO, The Asia Group; former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State
  • Michele Flournoy, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at the Center for a New American Security; former Under Secretary Defense for Policy
  • Carl Meacham, Director, Americas Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar, The Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; former Advisor to the Secretary of State on Arab-Israeli negotiations; Author, The Too Much Promised Land: America's Elusive Search For Arab-Israeli Peace
  • Michael E. O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow and Director of Research, Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution and author, Healing the Wounded Giant:  Maintaining Military Preeminence While Cutting the Defense Budget
  • Stapleton Roy, Vice Chairman, Kissinger Associates; Former Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China

GSA Contract #GS-02-F-0048U

One Department of Defense BEE participant describes the series: "I came out thinking in a very different way. I read the newspaper differently. I didn’t use to turn it on its head and wonder how many other sides there are to this story. Now I look at the iceberg from all of its different sides—say, the U.S. relationship with Israel. Now I’ve learned to say, ‘OK, fine. Now I’ll go to another source and see other perspectives on the same subject.’"

Program Benefits:

  • Gain a behind-the-scenes view of U.S. national security issues
  • Learn to forecast threats and likely policy options
  • Network with key decisionmakers
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