The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

Certificate Programs

The Graduate Certificate is an offering from the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security. This regimen prepares students for mid and senior level positions in national and international security policy, defense analysis related fields, and the private sector.

Graduates of the certificate are aspiring leaders that can be found across the national and international security community as civilian and military policy-makers, action-officers, analysts, instructors, consultants, and their counterparts in the private sector. This certificate program is unique as it is taught by practitioners and emphasizes experiential learning.  This certificate series will deepen the National Security and Private Sector professional’s knowledge of Intelligence, and broaden their perspective on these issues which are so salient in the contemporary operating environment.

Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Specialization

The DMGS Intelligence Program is focused on the missions, methods, and organizational structure of public and private sector intelligence in the 21st century. It will lead its students to a fundamental understanding not just of the field, but how intelligence is used to effectively support national policy makers, military leaders, and the leaders of the private sectors ranging from non-governmental organizations to private businesses.

Beside an examination of various organizational structures and history, the basic tools of intelligence – collection, analysis, and its presentation – will be taught as the fundamental foundation of the Intelligence Program. The understanding of the importance of information, and being able to sort through vast amounts of information are as important as the analysis of that information. Providing cogent and tailored analysis in a useable fashion to the public or private policy maker completes the task.

The Intelligence Program will also examine crucial and demanding actionable areas of Intelligence. In an era of massive public and private sector information breaches, the importance of counterintelligence and counterespionage will also be reviewed. A review of non-traditional uses of intelligence and their importance in executing 21st century U.S. foreign policy will be provided.

An understanding of comparative intelligence systems of both nations and non-nation states will also be covered. Newly established areas of intelligence are also a part of the DMGS Intelligence Program. U.S. Homeland Security intelligence and its rapid development since 9/11 with its consequent legal and social issues will be presented.

INT 601 - FUNDAMENTALS OF INTELLIGENCE

This is an introductory course in intelligence practices for those looking to enter this field or interact with it. The course identifies the component parts of the Intelligence Community, describes the functions of collection and analysis, explains how intelligence is disseminated, and discusses the relationship of the IC with policymakers, Congress, and the public. This course will provide students the foundation of knowledge to prepare for more advanced study in intelligence or related fields.

Students who complete this course will:

  • Identify the members of the Intelligence Community and their roles;
  • Discuss the intelligence cycle and other functions of intelligence; and
  • Analyze the relationship of the IC with the different branches of government and the public.
INT 714 - COUNTERINTELLIGENCE

The aim of this course is to show how counterintelligence activity protects US national security by defending against acts of insider threat, penetration, sabotage, and physical violence undertaken by foreign intelligence agencies and defeating an adversary’s efforts by identifying and manipulating its behavior through deception and/or the exploitation of its agents. The course addresses the relationship between the intelligence and law enforcement communities as well as between civilian and military agencies. It also emphasizes the increasing importance of cyber espionage and economic espionage in an age of globalization.

Student who complete this course will be able to:

  • Analyze methods to defend against foreign and domestic espionage;
  • Elaborate the use of deception to defeat other actor’s intelligence capabilities;
  • Examine the role of espionage and counterintelligence as means of achieving national goals;
  • Assess the growing relationship between the intelligence and law enforcement communities and the relationship between civilian and military agencies;
  • Evaluate the role of counterintelligence in cyber espionage and economic espionage; and

• Communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing, discussions, and presentations.

INT 746 - CYBER INTELLIGENCE

This course examines the vast frontier of Cyberspace and the Internet over which travels ever increasing amounts of information and communications. This new dimension of power has strong positive and negative implications for U.S. national security strategy and policy. For national security, Cyberspace represents a unique challenge, as it has no borders or boundaries unlike previous power dimensions — land, sea, air and space. Past separations between government and the private sector and national security and law enforcement have been blurred. Cyberspace also represents an arena where a non-state actor’s powers can equal or exceed any nation state. And, 20th Century based government institutions often have trouble reacting to its 21st century instantaneous speed, ubiquity and volume

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Address the issues of volume, velocity and veracity of information in cyber space and how they relate to intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination in both the public and private sector;
  • Evaluate the ability of non-nation state players to effect national and corporate security;
  • Understand the challenges of devising systems to secure the current internet; and
  • Examine the legal and politic implication of a system without borders.

National Security, Intelligence and Information Operations for the 21st Century

This certificate program has been crafted as a short, intensive introduction for non-U.S. citizens who are interested in investigating the challenges to national security and roles played by intelligence and information in the contemporary international environment. Students will be introduced to contemporary theories, practices, and problems of modern national security as well as the most up-to-date intelligence programs and techniques in addition to the uses and abuses of information as an instrument of policy.

The underlying assumption of this program is that national security, intelligence, and information in the 21st century are more complex, complicated and broader than they were in the 20th century. Certainly, the challenges we faced in the 20th century—state-on-state issues, terrorism, etc.—are important and relevant today. But, now we also face an entirely new panoply of other issues, such as challenges from non-state actors, pandemics, environmental degradation (including climate change), etc. Upon completion of this course, the students will be armed with the historical context, specialist information, and analytic skills that will help them move to the next level in the complex arena of national security.

NSC 601 - Introduction to National Security

National security always has been critical to our survival and success and a country. But, it is not a static concept. It has undergone change from the beginning of the republic; the changes have been especially profound since the end of the Cold War. Now it must be understood as any threat, challenge or opportunity that impacts the interests and well-being of the country and, in fact, often well beyond the country’s borders. Changes in the political order and vastly different technology have necessitated an approach to security that was unthinkable and unnecessary just 25 years ago.

The objectives of this course are:

  • Understand and apply the framework of security, strategy, interests and policy in a new, globalizing world;
  • Select and identify key issues that are the focus of national security; and
  • Analyze national security issues from an international context that focuses on the fluctuating world of partners and adversaries.
INT 610 - Fundamentals of Intelligence

This is an introductory course in intelligence practices for those looking to enter this field or interact with it. The course identifies the component parts of the Intelligence Community, describes the functions of collection and analysis, explains how intelligence is disseminated, and discusses the relationship of the IC with policymakers, Congress, and the public.

This course will provide students the foundation of knowledge to prepare for more advanced study in intelligence or related fields.

Students who complete this course will:

  • Identify the members of the Intelligence Community and their roles;
  • Discuss the intelligence cycle and other functions of intelligence; and
  • Analyze the relationship of the IC with the different branches of government and the public.
MDV 650 - Foundations of Managing Disruption and Violence

The Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV) Program provides theoretical and practical training to help students gain a better understanding of the persuasive communication principles, concepts, and processes organizations need to address the potential or active threat of disruptive or violent group behavior. MDV 650 integrates a broad overview of the material included in MDV 700 Integrated Risk Value Concepts and MDV 701 Integrated Risk Value Analytics for the non-MDV major. The Integrated Risk Value© (IRV) methodology provides the practical skills needed to develop and manage successful persuasive communications programs. MDV 650 is a prerequisite for non-MDV majors to take MDV 702 Communications Strategy.

By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  • Understand, recognize and apply the principles and concepts of IRV methodology for Managing Disruption and Violence.
  • Understand and apply the processes of IRV strategy development and Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) for Managing Disruption and Violence.
  • Analyze and evaluate real-world communications and strategy for effectiveness.

Russian Security Studies Certificate

The Russian Security Studies certificate allows students to pursue a three course (9 total credit hours) concentration in the politics and security of Russia and the broader Eurasian region. The certificate offers students an exploration of the critical issues involved in understanding the security and political challenges posed by Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, the role Russia plays in generating international (in)stability, and the wider shifts in relative power across Eurasia with the entry of China as a serious regional player in Central Asia and the return of Cold War-style rivalry in Europe following the annexation of Crimea and ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Knowledge gained can be applied for the working professional in intelligence, foreign affairs, political analysis looking for advancement in public and private industry.

Certificate Learning Objectives

Upon completing this certificate course, students will be able to:

  • Understand trends and the political and security challenges in Russia and Eurasia
  • Analyze the key sources and drivers of political authoritarianism, illiberalism, and patronal politics in Russia and across Eurasia-and how these impact U.S. interests
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Russia, the other fourteen post-Soviet states, and China as regional players and sources of regional (in)stability and rivalry
  • Evaluate alternative U.S. strategies for competing in Central Asia and across the post-Soviet space
  • Assess the ideology, goals, and tactics of Russia’s grand strategy alongside the actions and reactions of China and the United States
RST 727 - Russian Politics and Statecraft

This survey course on Russian politics and statecraft addresses enduring questions on a huge, critical, yet poorly understood country: patterns of cooperation and confrontation with other great powers, a centrally dominated economy, and a political culture that exploits weak formal political institutions to sustain a very small leadership group. In addressing these issues, we ask: What are the wars that have defined Russia’s borders? When and why do Russian leaders challenge other states? What does power in Russia look like? Who are the rulers and their supporters? How do they obtain, practice, and lose power?

In reviewing the origins and practices of Russian statecraft, we will assess when Russia as a great power has been (dis-) satisfied with the international distribution of economic and political benefits, and when it has sought to revise or maintain the international order. We will use this knowledge to address current issues in Russia’s relations with the Euro-Atlantic alliance and other world powers, including contentious issues such as money laundering, the sanctions regimes, “information wars,” and Russia’s declared and undeclared conflicts.

The key learning outcomes of the course are to demystify Russian history and contemporary politics, identify the critical junctures of Russian history and politics, and assess the (feasible and non-feasible) strategic choices available to Russian leaders seeking foreign and domestic policy objectives. The goals for students in the course are to assess current foreign policy objectives for the Russian state as well as for its leaders, and to forecast likely contours of domestic and foreign policies and to understand Russia’s role in international politics. Finally, my hope for this course is that students learn about the Russia that actually exists and compare it to the “Russia” portrayed by politicians and media – both pro and con – not only for your own sake as future intelligence analysts, national security professionals, military officers, etc., but to learn indirectly about the U.S. policy process as well.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain and describe basic diplomatic, political, and economic history of Russia over the past 1000 years.
  • Explain Russia’s border changes from the era of Muscovy to the present.
  • Compare and contrast varying approaches to Russian executive leadership.
  • Assess varying sources and types of Russian geopolitical insecurity, expansions and contractions of regional and international power projection and hierarchical alliance networks.
  • Evaluate the economic bases and political economy of the state in the imperial, Soviet, and contemporary periods.
  • Analyze the sources of change, stability, instability, and order in Russian internal affairs and domestic politics.
  • Assess the state of U.S.-Russia relations and sources for cooperation or further conflict.
  • Evaluate Russia’s current grand strategy and the success and failures of its discrete foreign policies.
  • Consider the prospects and scenarios of Russia’s internal and external development.
MDV 729 - Russian Deception Operations and Information Confrontation

Russian Deception Operations and Information Confrontation is designed to lay the historical, thematic and contemporary context that will provide the fundamental perspective and foundational knowledge required to successfully recognize, analyze and initiate counter deception activates.  This course is designed for analysts in order to equip them with the necessary knowledge to understand the impact of Russian deception.  This in-depth study of Russian deception practices will trace the evolution of the art specific to Russian over the course of the past century starting in 1917 and ending with the implementation of Russia’s Information Confrontation doctrine.  The course is designed to address these issues functionally starting with basic military/tactical deceptions and progressing through the use of strategic enablers, provocations and influence operations.

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Analyze strategic military and information confrontation and evaluate strategic-political deception and provocations
  • Explain and describe generally accepted concepts of deception and counter deception with an emphasis on the underlying theoretical and practical concepts that enable operational and strategic deceptions.
  • Assess operational level deception and analyze its impact on national decision making and warning.
  • Construct a holistic model for Russian Strategic Deception and Information Confrontation relying upon strategic, operational, and tactical theories and concepts.
  • Apply previous theories and concepts to a detailed analysis of current events.
RST 730 - Eurasian Security

Eurasia is a supercontinent spanning the landmass from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is home to 70 percent of the world’s population and is a source of the world’s most enduring security challenges. In the course, we will examine Eurasian security through the foreign policy of its largest state, Russia. Writing in 1881 at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding into Central Asia, Fyodor Dostoyevsky concluded that Russia needed to look East “because Russia is not only in Europe, but also in Asia; because a Russian is not only European, but an Asiatic too. Not only that: in our coming destiny, perhaps it is precisely Asia that represents our way out.” As ties with the West have deteriorated following the 2014 invasion of Ukraine, assassinations on British soil, and alleged electoral interference, Russia is increasingly cultivating ties in Asia. Since announcing its pivot to the East in 2013, Russia intervened militarily in Syria in 2015 to support the Bashar al-Assad regime, started work on a $55 billion gas pipeline to China and launched the Eurasian Economic Union, creating a single market among five former Soviet states.

In addressing these issues, we ask: what is driving Russia’s policies in Asia? How do its policies vary across space and time? What strategies has Russia adopted to pursue its interests in Asia? How effective has Russia been in securing these interests? How do Asian states perceive Russia’s ambitions in Asia? What strategies have these states adopted to counter or resist Russian influence? We will explore these and other questions by examining Russia’s policies towards the former Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, considered part of the “Near Abroad,” an area within Russia’s sphere of influence. We will also explore Russia’s relations with states in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia.

Through the course, students will gain a better understanding of the complexities of Russia’s dealings in a range of Asian regions, critically evaluate Russia as a global power. Class discussions and many of the readings will be focused on understanding and analyzing Russia’s contemporary policies with the view to giving students the ability to forecast the likely contours of domestic and foreign policy in the coming years. By the end of the course, students will have gained a more nuanced understanding of Russia, allowing them to critically approach some of the simplistic interpretations of Russian behavior in the media. Although the bilateral relations between Russia and the United States are not the focus of the course, the students will gain a greater understanding of Russia’s involvement in a number of regions which are key to U.S. national security, including the Korean Peninsula, Middle East, Afghanistan, the Caspian Basin and China.

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the differences between Russian perceptions of their its status as a great power and its ability to secure their interests in Eurasia;
  • Evaluate the factors that are driving Russia’s “pivot to the east;”
  • Understand Russia’s relations with states in the Middle East, Caucasus, Central Asia, East Asia and South Asia;
  • Understand the differences between the ways Russia perceives its interests in the “Near Abroad” and in the rest of Eurasia;
  • Evaluate how Russia uses formal and informal mechanisms to secure its interests in Eurasia;
  • Evaluate the continuity and change in Russia’s policies in Eurasia from the Tsarist period to the present day;
  • Evaluate how Russia is responding to shifting power dynamics in global politics, including the relative decline of the U.S. and rise of the rest, most notably China and India;
  • Analyze how local actors perceive of and respond to Russian policies in Eurasia;
  • Evaluate threats posed by state and non-state actors in Eurasia, including terrorism, drug trafficking, regime change and violent conflict.
The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

ANNA’S STORY

She particularly enjoyed the way that he illuminated the theory of each topic by providing compelling historical examples together with his own personal experience and insights from his illustrious career in the National Security field.

“During the Bosnian wars, Dr. Meyer was The Deputy Chief of the CIA Taskforce in the Balkans. That’s the level of real-world experience that our professors have. We are taught and mentored in classes of around 7 students by faculty of that caliber.  It makes for a phenomenal experience, probably unique to our school, I would venture to say.”

Anna also talks excitedly about Professor James Anibal’s exceptional teaching style where students engage in multiple thought-provoking exercises, including some where they try to build and break deception types, guided by Anibal’s own extensive experience in the field.

“Learning by completing these exercises really cements the theories in our minds. These classes are invaluable to any student interested in the topic and will – without a doubt – make us much better practitioners ourselves.”

Anna also enthuses about the significant potential of the DMGS’ student body, where she has found lifelong friends who share her passion as well as her determination to become a leader in the National Security and Intelligence communities. A testament to her care and pride for her fellow students, Anna takes an active role in DMGS’ Student Government Association, where she has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-President and President.

“I can truly say that I am frequently inspired by the students of DMGS because of their constant drive to do more, achieve more, and learn as much as they can. I, myself, learn something from my fellow students every day.”

Anna is especially appreciative of the external experiences DMGS has made possible for her, including representing the school at the 2017 Women in National Security Conference and competing in the 2017 Atlantic Council Cyber 9/12 Competition. However, perhaps the most memorable opportunity afforded to her by Daniel Morgan was the chance to participate in the Oxford Analytica Global Horizons Conference in Oxford, England, in both 2017 and 2018. It is precisely through such enrichment provided by DMGS that Anna has been able to travel outside the United States for the first time in her life. Wide-eyed, she describes how exploring the campus and halls of the prestigious Christ Church College at Oxford University was a surreal experience for her, as she and her fellow DMGS students were able attend seminars, panels, and plenaries with experts from all over the world. She emphasizes how this experience effectively gave her a chance to expand her knowledge, her worldview, and her overall understanding of the importance of National Security and Intelligence studies at a global level. A lasting memory of this extraordinary opportunity was of the conference black-tie gala at Blenheim Palace, the familial home of Winston Churchill.

“The memory that will forever stand out to me is walking up the Palace stairs in a ball-gown on what was my third day ever in another country. It was truly magical!”

Finally, Anna sums up her experience at the school by crediting DMGS with advancing her career through networking opportunities where she was able to meet career professionals in the National Security and Intelligence communities that she would have never been able to meet otherwise. She is particularly grateful for the faculty who took the time to help her discover her passion so she could determine her career path and who have guided and opened doors for her.

“The school really invests in its students not just through education, but through external experiences as well, and that investment really pays off for us when it comes to establishing our careers. When deciding upon a graduate school, DMGS was my choice without hesitation and I would make the same decision again every time.”

Kenneth’s Story

His artistic talent earned him a place at the Art Institute of Boston, majoring in illustration.  However, Kenneth left after a year because he was disappointed with the course content and did not want to waste his time on a course that did not fulfill him or develop his talents and aspirations.  After some self-reflection, deliberation and research, he eventually decided to go to CUNY to study business and entrepreneurship to learn how to turn his artistic skills into “a business not a just passion.”

Upon graduation from the CUNY program, he took a break for a year to evaluate his next step.  He experimented and explored different areas, starting a number of innovative art ventures and productions.  He also took hospitality jobs to help finance his ventures.  Yet Kenneth still felt as though he were missing something and, while he was contemplating joining the Peace Corps, his mentor advised him to look at DMGS.

He is well aware that many may not immediately make the connection between the study of Intelligence in conjunction with Business Entrepreneurship or Art.  Consequently, Kenneth goes on to explain that there are many areas in the private sector that require intelligence skills, describing it as an underserved field that is wide open for graduates.  As time has progressed, Kenneth’s eyes have increasingly been opened to the niche positioning that a Master’s in Intelligence could bring to him to make him highly marketable in his fields of interest.

“I realized that being adept at intelligence-gathering in Business Arts and Media would be a specialized niche.  I wouldn’t have to start my own business but instead would instantly have differentiated value upon graduation.”

To explain this further, Kenneth describes how intelligence is a key factor in making effective market and business decisions since being competitive requires knowing what competitors are doing in the marketplace.  Even coming up with the title to a song can be amplified by intelligence gathering techniques as that information strengthens all strategic decision-making.

‘The Fundamentals of Intelligence course really taught me how to gather human intelligence – not just as it applies to spies – but to effectively make “informed decisions” using competitive intelligence.  I learned how to craft a market analysis through public information.  Knowing where to look and how to search things out it essential in all areas of business.”

Kenneth then turns to the subject of his professors.  Like all the other students at DMGS, Kenneth cannot help but comment on how exceptional members of DMGS’ faculty are.  In his opinion,, compared to other professors who “speak much but say little,” DMGS’ professors really deliver what he calls “the bottom line of knowledge in their subjects,” adding that there is “no fluff or wordiness” as they simply and clearly present relevant information in a succinct and pertinent form.

“They have years of experience and can therefore distill down what really matters in a real work setting. They then communicate the essence of each topic in a way that sticks with the student. Educators like this are few and far between.  It is amazing to be in such small classes with such great professors.”

At DMGS, one can’t help but feel the warmth and camaraderie amongst the students.  This is something that Kenneth clearly feels very deeply himself. 

“I also admire my fellow students who have all done such amazing things before coming here.  They inspire me to up my game and it humbles me to break bread and to study alongside people who have experienced even greater challenges than I and who ensure that I always keep an open mind.”

Pressed for an example of this, Kenneth talks about a couple of his fellow students: one who is a Kurd from Iran and one from Georgia who has lived in the shadow of the Soviet Union.

Before ending the discussion, Kenneth says that he must also stress two other things: DMGS’ speaker series and the school’s founder, Abby Moffat. The events, he says, have been hugely important to the learning environment because they reinforce what students are taught in the classroom and they also provide great networking opportunities, as students have the chance to engage with a number of prominent people in their fields of interest.

In describing Abby Moffat, he recounts how much she adds to the positive culture of DMGS.  Kenneth also mentions that Abby has been particularly inspiring and encouraging to him on a personal level and that has made a big difference in his life.

“Abby Moffat brings a nurturing and compassionate entrepreneur spirit to the school.  Her strength, kindness and insights drive the organization, just as my grandmothers’ strengths and courage drove the successes within my own family.”

Margalita’s Story

“I quit my job and embarked upon my second Master’s degree at DMGS because I realized that program would benefit me a great deal. I would not have left my job if I hadn’t anticipated this and I wasn’t disappointed. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made as it has now led me to even higher paths.”

Nor was leaving her job an easy decision.  Before DMGS, Margalita had been working for the UN and EU.  She grew up in Tbilisi during the civil war and learned to count from the traces of the bullet holes against a building wall. Coming face to face with war at such a young age affected her career choices in later life and motivated her into positions where she would help people affected by conflict.  Specifically, she worked on projects that supported the Prime Minister’s office in her native country of Georgia. She worked in a new agency commission on a National Action Plan implementing the UN Security Council’s Resolution on Women, Peace and Security. Her assignment was to identify the needs of conflict-affected women and girls.  Together with the UN Women’s Mission as well as several government officials and advisors on human rights, Margalita travelled to villages along the Administrative Boundary Lines. Her mission was to identify the needs of these women and girls and to translate their aggregate problems into policy to support Georgia’s Three – year UN Action Plan.  Margalita then went on to assist in building the necessary capacity to support the implementation of these policies and solutions under the European Union Project.

Margalita says that what drew her to DMGS and what ultimately drove her to take the significant step of leaving her UN position was the quality of the faculty at the school.

“It’s not the name or the history of a school that matters, it’s the professors.”

She is now very glad that she took the steps that she took in coming to DMGS. One of the professors she enthuses over is David Kanin whom she describes as “one of the most educated professors in the universe” and whose classes she describes “are like paradise.”  In fact, Margalita is extremely enthusiastic about all of her professors whom she collectively describes as not just as compelling academicians but as extraordinary individuals.

“Even the five-minute interactions during the class breaks is something that we all look forward to.”

The extent of her satisfaction with the teaching at DMGS has been so great that she insists that the quality benchmark for lectures and discussions is now much higher than previously experienced and that she and her fellow students have consequently become “professor and lecture snobs.”

“We now all see how much others miss out on in traditional classes.  We have never experienced and probably will never experience this type and level of teaching again.”

Another important facet of DMGS is the free-thinking aspect that underpins its pedagogic approach as the professors encourage their students to question everything rather than blindly following one school of thought. This is an approach which Margalita describes as “unique in today’s world that is oversaturated by opinion.”

“The minute you create an environment when you shut each other down, the learning ends.  DMGS clearly understands this and opens up the learning environment to embrace all ideas.”

This openness to multiple viewpoints also extends to multiple cultures.  By opening up its programs to those from other countries who seek to make the world a better and safer place, DMGS creates a dynamic and exciting learning environment.  Margalita is also very enthusiastic about this and about the impact it has on the school’s environment.

“It’s a real privilege to be in the class with people from so many different backgrounds.  It adds to our discussions in an amazing way.”

Finally, Margalita is also extremely enthusiastic about DMGS’ location and networking opportunities.“Being in D.C., magic happens outside the classroom.  We meet the people that we only read about previously. We effectively meet history here.”

SHANNON’S STORY

Upon her return to the United States, Shannon completed her undergraduate degree in her areas of true passion and was later accepted to continue her graduate studies at University of Glasgow.  However, after one semester there, Shannon came to the realization that the program was not a good fit for her due to its intensely theoretical approach. Having been at the forefront of action rather than deliberation, Shannon found a theoretical program to be too confining for her needs and aspirations.  Luckily, one of her professors at the university was Peter Jackson, a renowned editor of multiple major intelligence publications. Immediately understanding the frustrations of a student who had already experienced so much and wanted to do much more, hee advised her,

“If you are looking for something practical, there is a new, specialized school in Washington D.C. and everyone there has a fundamentally practical approach to graduate studies. I think that it would be a perfect fit and would get you where you want to go.”

Having taken his sage advice, Shannon is now at DMGS in her second semester and says that she is loving the experience.  She goes on to say that Daniel Morgan has certainly lived up to the practical teaching and experience that she was looking for.

“When you are uninformed or ill-advised you blindly pick a school for the name without really understanding the importance of the professors who will teach you.  That is a big mistake.  Anybody looking at the bios of DMGS’ professors can see that this is THE place to be if you want to go into National Security”.

To illustrate her point, Shannon talks about one of the first professors she had at DMGS, a former diplomat who worked on the 911 commission and was, therefore, able to give her and her fellow students an inside perspective on actual events that others merely read as history.

Describing one of the biggest differences she is experiencing at Daniel Morgan compared to what she had encountered in higher education thus far, Shannon points to the exceptionally small class sizes:

“I don’t think other graduate students experience the personalized attention we get at DMGS. Each student  gets immediate direction and mentorship; at most graduate schools a student would wait 3 weeks to get a paper back and then would have to make an office appointment 2 weeks after that for in-person guidance . Not here.”

Shannon also enthuses over the extraordinary opportunities that she has been given at DMGS.  Thanks to a trip sponsored by the school, where she went on a week-long security summit just outside Prague, she was introduced to the UN NATO program (Youth Atlantic Treaty Association) and is now a UN Youth Ambassador. This means that, once per month, Shannon attends international conferences around the world.  Shannon is, not only delighted to be a part of this, but is also very grateful for the way her professors at DMGS are so accommodating and encouraging to her in these endeavors.

Another significant advantage of being a DMGS student is the flexibility of having classes scheduled in the evening. Shannon is particularly appreciative of this since it has allowed her to obtain the best internships as well as to get the best out of her internships:

“I am able to work and come to class in the evenings.  Other interns consistently have to leave and come back to work to attend classes during the day.  As a result of DMGS’ class schedule I get better training than the other interns and it makes it easier for me to apply for jobs without class times getting in the way.”

Shannon believes that these factors all play into the reason DMGS graduates get such wonderful career positions upon graduation.

“I couldn’t believe some of the places that DMGS students have gone.  A number of my fellow students have gotten jobs with the top contractors in National Security and one even just got a job at the White House.”

Shannon points out that this is a testament to how good the education and opportunities are at Daniel Morgan. She points out that top firms want DMGS graduates because they are extremely well-prepared, noting that high profile firms are keen to hire DMGS graduates even before the school has obtained the full accreditation status which is expected next year.

Shannon ends her story with a summary of her enthusiasm about the Daniel Morgan School:

“DMGS has been a perfect fit for me. I can’t even describe how wonderful this place is. Everyone is so kind and so intelligent and so well-connected. There is not a better school especially for anyone who has an interest in National Security.  As the school is young, it is like a best kept secret …but it probably won’t be a secret for long.”

TOMASZ’ STORY

Tomasz is now at The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security where he hopes to get an American perspective on issues related to Russian and global security. As he is obviously already extremely well-versed in this area, Tomasz sought out a program with the utmost authority and credibility to augment his own well-established base in the field.  Tomasz found that level of authority when he came across current Daniel Morgan – and former Harvard professor, Yuval Weber’s biography.  Seeing Dr. Weber’s well-documented expertise, Tomasz said that he “realized that DMGS was the right place to be.”

Now that he attends Daniel Morgan, he says that he is even more certain of the fact that DMGS was the place where true expertise in the field resided.  In addition to the formidable intellect of Dr. Weber, Tomasz has also been struck by the depth of national and international expertise that resides within the DMGS faculty as a whole.  In his own area of expertise, he has further been engaged by the extensive knowledge and insights of incoming professor, Dr. Edward Lemon, formerly a professor at Columbia University and now a DMGS-Kennan Institute Fellow. Dr. Lemon is a global authority on Eurasia. Talking enthusiastically about his experience at DMGS, Tomasz notes:

“It gives me a different angle and a truly global perspective in my chosen field which is particularly fascinating. These extremely erudite professors and stimulating courses have really shed light in several areas and have helped to unfasten the complex international geopolitical knot.”

Another reason Tomasz was drawn to The Daniel Morgan Graduate School was the possibility to be in the center of Washington D.C. amidst the hub of prestigious think tanks and media outlets with whom he had hoped to make connections. Tomasz says that his actual experience has greatly exceeded his expectations, as DMGS has given him significant access and entrees to several key organizations through its prestigious partners and events.

“It’s so easy to have extraordinary networking opportunities here at DMGS. Many doors have been opened for me and I have already been connected to many people and organizations that I would not have even dared to imagine.”

Gilbert’s Story

He says that his experience at the school has gone well above his already high expectations, going so far as to add that it has completely changed his perspective in multiple areas that he had previously viewed through a more narrow contextual lens.  He is currently enrolled in the National Security M.A. program, with a specialization in International Relations.

“This gives me a special perspective and understanding of security across the globe.  I increasingly understand the importance of studying security issues with a global backdrop since the impact of the National Security is not isolated.  It is intertwined because of the interconnectedness of the modern world.”

To achieve his specific career and learning objectives and work within the confines of his prominent career,, Gilbert is obliged and has been approved to take an accelerated track that would enable him to complete this in only 15 months.

 “The deans and professors at Daniel Morgan have been incredibly supportive in working with me to make the adjustments that I need to achieve my career objectives while meeting all the necessary academic milestones.  They don’t put up roadblocks.  They look for the solutions to the roadblocks.”

Gilbert is also impressed with DMGS’ personalized approach at the instructional level.  He notes that the small classes result in everyone having a chance to express themselves and to better engage with the material being covered.  He also explains how DMGS’ professors have a fascinating way of leading and guiding the class through their subjects, while deftly merging students’ international perspectives into the discussion.

“At this school, different skills and cultures come together in a very special way that enhances the learning experience for every one of us.”