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Past Event

The future of recruitment, retention, and education in national security

Past Event

On March 27, the Brookings Institution’s Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology resumed holding its annual forum that convenes the federal executive fellows (FEFs) from military services and federal agencies that spend a year as scholars with the Foreign Policy program with other experts to reflect on some of the most critical issues facing the national security community.

This year’s forum focused on the future of recruitment, retention, and education in the military and national security communities and on the importance of investing in personnel to maintain a competitive edge. The FEFs hosted and moderated three panels and a keynote conversation with panelists from think tanks, academia, the private sector, and the U.S. military to discuss these matters and their role in national security in this era of great power competition.

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Opening remarks

Panel 1: Education, recruiting, and retaining talent for the future intelligence community

The first panel will consider the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for the next generation of intelligence officers in the United States and discuss whether continuing education helps retain a competent, engaged, and motivated workforce in the intelligence community.


John C. Gannon

Former Assistant Director of Analysis and Production - Central Intelligence Agency

Former Chairman - National Intelligence Council


Amy Kardell

Dean of the College of Strategic Intelligence - National Intelligence University


Cynthia G. Snyder

Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital - Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Panel 2: Recruiting talented people

The second panel will assess limiting factors and practical solutions for recruiting talented people into the national security enterprise.


Beth J. Asch

Senior Economist, Professor of Policy Analysis - Pardee RAND Graduate School


Katherine L. Kuzminski

Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society (MVS) Program - Center for a New American Security (CNAS)


Thomas Spoehr

Director, Center for National Defense - Heritage Foundation

Lt. Gen. - U.S. Army (retired)

Panel 3: Retaining talented people

Once personnel have been recruited into the national security enterprise, retention is essential. The third panel will focus on ways to meet the needs of the individuals and retain a robust military, civilian, and private sector workforce capable of ensuring national security.


Meredith Kleykamp

Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Sociology, Director of the Center for Research on Military Organization - University of Maryland


Heidi Urben

Professor of Practice and Director of External Education and Outreach - Georgetown University


Jeff Williamson

Vice President for Human Resources - Booz Allen Hamilton


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