The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

M.A. in Intelligence Program

This program focuses on the cutting edge missions, methods, and organizational arrangements of intelligence in general, and U.S. intelligence in particular. It focuses on the four major elements of intelligence – collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action – and their application abroad. Similarities and differences with intelligence inside the U.S. will also be included.

The program also focuses on the interdependence of the symbiotic relationships between the elements of intelligence and interrelationships with other national security practitioners at many levels of policymaking and implementation – from grand strategy formulation to enhancing military strength and guile as in the Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV) Program.

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.

This course is divided into four discreet, yet interdependent parts:

  • Qualitative Research Methods;
  • Quantitative Research Methods;
  • Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory; and
  • Writing Workshop.

The overall objectives/learning outcomes are to:

Equip students with the ability, skills and knowledge to conduct and produce quality research in the rapidly changing environment of 21st social science; and

  • Prepare students to utilize skills to evaluate and analyze a wide variety of social science situations in order to develop and enact new policy solutions to contemporary problems.
  • Quantitative and Quantitative Research Methods
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the sections on qualitative and quantitative research methods are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to apply the most important contemporary research methods currently in use in the social sciences.
  • Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the section on critical thinking and complexity theory are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to conduct research and apply solutions to the most complex social science issues in the increasingly interdependent, globalizing world.
  • Writing Workshop
  • The objectives/learning outcomes for the writing workshop are to direct students to apply the methods and skills they learned in the three previous sections, to improve their writing skills and to help prepare them for the research and preparation of their masters’ thesis and set in place the ability to produce quality work in the future.
INT 712 - Collection, Analysis and Presentation

This course provides a critical overview of the Intelligence Cycle – from collection to analysis to presentation. The course assesses intelligence-gathering techniques and approaches for various types of information including HUMINT, SIGINT, etc. It then acquaints students with aspects of Intelligence Analysis; the evaluation of data through the use of subject expertise, critical thinking, and the application of techniques designed to overcome limitations in human cognition. It will examine the analysts’ role in the larger national security arena, state, and local organizations and in the private sector. And it will show the importance of the effective presentation of this information under varying circumstances and leadership desires.

Through this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts, history, and structure of intelligence collection;
  • Analyze and evaluate the role of the collector in the understanding and influencing;
  • Think critically and make well-reasoned judgments on ambiguous or incomplete information;
  • Contextualize information with broader events and strategic goals;
  • Communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing, discussions, and presentations
INT 714 - Counter Intelligence

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.


This course will provide the students with an opportunity to evaluate and assess the vast arena and unique challenges of U.S. Defense Intelligence

The U.S. military spends in excess of $20 billion per year and has over 100,000 people devoted to Defense Intelligence efforts.  This work is done throughout the world and increasingly ties into military operations in the United States in the post 9/11 world.

It further ties directly to national intelligence internationally and homeland security needs within the U.S.  And, as such, comes into conflict with some unique American values and laws.

With our military spread throughout AOR’s ranging from the Pacific to the mountains of Afghanistan to Washington, D.C., the intelligence supporting the policymaker – from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to the soldier in Eastern Afghanistan – is crucial to well-informed execution of America’s defense.

We also face a time where the vast majority of the American population do not serve in the military nor understand its unique intelligence needs based on its work, its structure, and its culture. This lack of contact and understanding confuse policymakers in the national security community.

  • Students who complete the course will be able to:
  • Evaluate how history, culture and organization shaping U.S. Defense Intelligence perceptions and practices.
  • Explain the purpose and formulation of policy strategy based on Defense Intelligence.
  • Appraise Defense Intelligence cycle and how it interacts with new concepts of homeland security.

Interpret the theories of security and international relations that impact Defense Intelligence.

Determine how to apply research methodologies to Defense Intelligence.

INT 719 - The American Way of Spying; The Evolution and Practice of U.S. Counterintelligence

“The American Way of Spying: The Evolution and Practice of U.S. Counterintelligence Activities and Operations”. Events over the past few years, to include such well publicized incidents as the Russian Illegals’ case; high-profile cyber-attacks on U.S. sensitive databases and political campaigns (to include Moscow’s purported effort to influence the 2016 US Presidential election; and unauthorized leaks of classified information by Trusted Insiders, have re-focused attention on the role of Counterintelligence (CI) in protecting against espionage and other activities directed against the U.S.


The course is structured to evaluate the history and current effectiveness of the U.S. counterterrorism (CT) strategy. We will discuss the history behind the United States’ need for a CT strategy based on terrorist acts impacting the United States, commencing in the 1970s. We will discuss terrorism as a whole, to include specific terrorist groups, and their impact on U.S. strategy. Our discussion will consider the future of CT strategy, and the direct impact of evolving terrorist groups, to include al-Qa’ida and its nodes, as well as ISIS.

  • Summarize and differentiate the major theories and various explanations of the current;
  • S. CT strategy, including working knowledge of the terrorist groups and actors who pose the largest threats to the United States;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the United States’ approach to terrorism and the creation of the United States’ working CT strategy;
  • Compare and contrast the CT strategies of the United States greatest allies in the CT forum, to include the United Kingdom Canada, and Australia; and
  • Evaluate how the United States can build upon and improve its current CT strategy, under the threat of ISIS and other terrorist

This course provides students an understanding of the historical development and modern use of nontraditional intelligence capabilities in support of United States foreign policy goals. Such capabilities include: CIA-led covert action, NSA-led cyber conflict, DoD Special Forces operations use, and USG constructed propaganda and false information efforts.

This NTU capability provides the President low-intensity conflict options expanding his range of responses to political goals and crises. Additionally, the students will be appraised of the nature and process of national security legal guidance, and Executive and Legislative Branches interaction and oversight of NTU. The students will be challenged to examine the non-traditional use (NTU) of intelligence capabilities and then critically apply them to contemporary national security challenges.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Categorize and evaluate the timing, purpose, and use of non-traditional intelligence capabilities since World War II; Analyze the role and methodologies of actors in the NTU space;
  • Examine how changes in technology and information effect and expand implementation efforts; and
  • Theorize and formulate NTU for presentation to senior policy makers.

This course examines the war on drugs through different prisms: economic, security, and political.  Alternative state responses to the drug trade will be covered.  Subsequently, we will deal with these questions within thecontext of individual democracies in Latin America, with comparisons to countries in different regions of the world.  The course will utilize power point presentations and lectures to convey the material and a movie to supplement the readings.

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

  • Articulate and explain the elements of the US war on drugs and the implications for American citizens;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the United States’ approach to counter-narcotics and the creation of the United States’ working counter-narcotics strategy;
  • Compare and contrast the counter-narcotics strategies of the United States’ allies in the war on drugs, particularly those key countries in Latin America;
  • Critically diagnose the pros and cons of various counter-narcotics methods, the likely barriers to achieving more progress in the future, and how we can attempt to counter narcotics more effectively.
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.


By the end of the course, the student 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;
  • Examine the legal and politic implication of a system without borders.

This course provides students with an intellectual foundation for understanding the concepts of homeland security intelligence, as well as an overview of the US national homeland security framework including organization and policies. It examines the intellectual constructs used to frame security issues, intelligence based on those issues and the development of policies and strategies that lead to implementing programs that protect the United States’ infrastructure and people from attack.

Over the semester, students will be challenged to examine the various paradigms that shape homeland security intelligence and critically apply them to contemporary homeland security challenges and examine how well or poorly these paradigms are reflected in current responses, organizations and policies.

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

  • Identify the organization and polices of US homeland security and its intelligence organization;
  • Appraise how history and culture shaping homeland security intelligence perceptions and practices;
  • Summarize theories of security and international relations that impact homeland security;
  • Apply research methodologies to homeland security intelligence;
  • Explain the purpose and formulation of policy strategy based on intelligence; and
  • Appraise the public policy making process and its use and implementation of homeland security intelligence.

The course provides a comparative view of cooperating and competitive intelligence systems surveying both nation and non-nation state actors. Using the U.S. Intelligence services as a baseline, the course provides an understanding of how are these services are organized; individual domestic and foreign intelligence focus; and their current range of activities.

By the end of this course, students should be able to articulate the following knowledge:

  • Demonstrate a firm understanding of the US Intelligence System;
  • Distinguish and analyze cooperating and competitive intelligence systems; and
  • Evaluate the strengths and weakness of each system.

Though Muslim extremists currently dominate the airwaves, every religion has had, and continues to have, its own extremists, both high profile and relatively unknown.

The fundamental premise of this course is that in order to understand fully many of the violent conflicts that flood the airwaves, one must first of all be conversant in the language of religion and be cognizant of religion’s role in these conflicts.

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

  • Articulate and explain the elements of various religious extremist groups and the implications for American citizens;
  • Analyze the history behind the evolution of the various countries’ approach to dealing with religious extremist groups and the counterterrorism tactics used to denigrate them;
  • Explain the prevalence in the media and the public discourse concerning some of the key religious extremist groups; and

Critically diagnose the genesis of various religious extremist groups and how we can attempt to  counter them more effectively.


Please refer to Section 13: Degrees and Other Programs for information about the Independent Study.


All MA students are required to write a thesis. The thesis is to be written under the supervision of a faculty member who is the official thesis advisor. Each candidate will also be assigned a professor who will be available to mentor the student. Each professor will represent one of the three elements. The thesis is intended to present vital new information on a significant aspect of national security environment.


National Security and commercial organizations face increasingly complex problems today.

  • Terrorists using communications to recruit followers, influence populations and support achieving their goals.
  • Potentially disruptive or violent civil protests.
  • Foreign use of communications (content) to disrupt governance and policy.
  • Activists or competitors disrupting commercial businesses.

Societal and technological changes over recent decades have dramatically changed the dynamics of these threats. The right use of persuasive communications can not only mitigate these threats, but also can often preempt or solve them. The wrong use of communications can greatly exacerbate the problem.  Knowing how to engage and persuade in a predictably and measurably successful way is a complex and multi-disciplinary problem.

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 Causal 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 Strategy for Managing Disruption and Violence.

MDV 700 - Integrated Risk Value Communications Concepts

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 700 teaches the in-depth and practical application of the Integrated Risk Value © (IRV) methodology for MDV majors.

This course provides the concepts and processes for developing and evaluating predictably successful communication strategies. Its focus includes practical frameworks to evaluate communication efforts, the strategic cycle and planning of IRV Communications, as well as an emphasis on developing Measures of Effectiveness. This course, combined with MDV 701 Causal Analytics, contributes the in-depth practical understanding, processes and concepts needed for an MDV major to become a practitioner who manages and evaluates the development, implementation and impact of communication strategies.

MDV 701 - Causal Analytics

The Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV) Program provides theoretical and practical training for students to understand the persuasive communication principles, concepts, and processes needed for organizations to address potential or active threats from disruptive or violent group behavior. MDV 701 teaches students to use and evaluate analytics on how audiences perceive issues, what drives them to action, and how to measure effectiveness. The course does not make students experts in doing analytics, but merely how to understand the design, creation and measurement of persuasive strategies from a program management point of view. This course covers many types of behavioral analytics including polling, surveys, experts, big data and others. Concepts such as quantitative, qualitative, quant/qual, discovery and directed search are introduced for MDV majors. Combined with MDV 700 Integrated Risk Value Concepts, MDV 701 provides in-depth practical understanding, processes and concepts needed for MDV majors to become practitioner who manage and evaluate the development, implementation and impact of persuasive strategies.

MDV 728 - Influence and Deception in the Cyber Domain

The course 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 the internet of things has on deception and influence operations. This course is divided into four parts. Part I will focus on generally accepted concepts of cyberspace itself, basic terminology and the law governing intelligence operations in cyberspace. Part II is designed to introduce the student to the use of cyberspace as a channel to reach key decision makers and the impact near instantaneous communications has on deception operations. This part will include the deceptive use of cyber based social media and issues surrounding the use of real and virtual agents and double agents in deception operations. Part III will introduce the impact of surreptitious manipulation of data while it moves between the sender and the receiver. This part will also focus on cyber systems as sources of deceptive information and specifically on the use of cyber systems as agents and double agents, honeypots and honeynets, and sources of deceptive information.

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.




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.


This program enhances students’ skills to anticipate the trends in the global environment; the short-and long-term aims, strategies, instruments and vulnerabilities of competitors; and to identify the resulting specific opportunities – in a given region or globally – to advance U.S. interests. The program will also cover U.S. government organizational and institutional arrangements and the authority of individual agencies to implement policy. In addition, the tensions between national security policy and practices and liberal democracy will be considered as well as how the U.S. and other democracies have sought to reconcile them.

This program will also cover the functional utility of individual instruments and integrated “whole of government” planning in regional geographic contexts with particular emphasis on the non-kinetic capabilities of the other two DMGS programs – Intelligence and Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV).

NSC 601 - Introduction to National Security

National security always has been critical to our survival and success as  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.

Understanding contemporary Chinese history, starting with the Qing Dynasty, with a focus on post 1979 normalization of Sino-U.S. relations, will permit the students to better understand China’s approach to relations with the U.S. Knowledge of China’s military and political organizations will permit the students to better understand these organs of power and how they attempt to manage the plethora of international and domestic issues confronting China. It will also permit the student to appreciate the complexity of crafting a national strategy for dealing with an expansionist China.

NSC 639 - Research Methods for Social Sciences

This course is divided into four discreet, yet interdependent parts:

  • Qualitative Research Methods;
  • Quantitative Research Methods;
  • Critical Thinking and Complexity Theory; and
  • Writing Workshop

The overall objectives/learning outcomes are to:

  • Equip students with the ability, skills and knowledge to conduct and produce quality research in the rapidly changing environment of 21st social science; and
  • To give students the skills to evaluate and analyze a wide variety of social science situations in order to develop and enact new policy solutions to contemporary

The objectives/learning outcomes for the sections on qualitative and quantitative research methods are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to apply the most important contemporary research methods currently in use in the social sciences.

The objectives/learning outcomes for the section on critical thinking and complexity theory are to equip students with an understanding, expertise and ability to conduct research and apply solutions to the most complex social science issues in the increasingly interdependent, globalizing world.

The objectives/learning outcomes for the writing workshop are to direct students to apply the methods and skills they learned in the three previous sections, to improve their writing skills and to help prepare them for the research and preparation of their masters’ thesis and set in place the ability to produce quality work in the future.


This course will provide student with an ability to evaluate and assess issue of Terrorism as it impacts the United States.

Despite the national trauma of the attacks on September 11, 2001, terrorism as it impacted the United States is not a new concept. In the Twenty-first century, however, it has taken on a significance that it previously had not had with the American people. It regularly ranks as one of the most important issues in public opinion polls.

The U.S. has a long history of relating to terrorism, whether perceived positively as in the American Revolution or negatively as with the Ku Klux Klan during the post-Civil War period of reconstruction. This experience also is not limited to domestic groups but also includes groups that are controlled or inspired by organizations outside the boarders of the U.S.

Today terrorist groups with minimal assistance from hostile, indifferent, or dysfunctional states can conduct attacks with weapons that range from knives, firearms, vehicles, to weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, from a national security perspective, terrorist groups, either domestically or internationally inspired, represent a unique challenge. Past separations between actions by hostile governments and non- state actors confuse the decision whether the response should be by national security elements such as the military or law enforcement resources. Terrorism also represents an arena where a non-state actor’s powers can equal or exceed that of a nation state.

This course will prepare students in the fields of national security, defense, intelligence, and foreign policy to understand and account for the dimension of Terrorism as it has evolved to as we see it today.

NSC 707 - U.S. Military Strategy

This is a course on the history and practice of formulating US Military Strategy from its inception to the present. It prepares students for service at the strategic level through the study of key national security issues, national security policy and strategy formulation, the instruments of national power and the U.S. Government processes for integrating, balancing, and synchronizing the instruments of power in promoting and protecting the national interest. Additionally, key national strategy documents to include the National Security Strategy (NSS), National Defense Strategy (NDS) and the National Military Strategy (NMS) are examined as products of the strategy formulation process. Students will be introduced to the Theorists who have influenced National Military Strategy and the historical perspective of formulating National Military Strategy. At the course’s conclusion, students will formulate an alternative US National Military Strategy.

The objectives of this course are:

  • Identify the major concepts in the history of strategy;
  • Examine the particular importance of Clausewitz;
  • Survey the critical role of technology in winning wars;
  • Evaluate the challenges faced by the United States at a time of budget constraints and the unprecedented rise of non-state actors; and
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing, discussions, and presentations.

This course introduces students to current public management policies and issues relevant to the security of the United States. The coordination of federal, state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations which respond to threats is vital to the security of people, property and our way of life. The course relies upon theories, concepts and case studies to explore the challenges facing organizations which are a part of protecting our homeland security.

NSC 711 - U.S. and Foreign Perspectives on Strategic Approaches

This course is an introduction to approaches in strategy. Additionally, it exposes students to strategic thought and the theorists who have influenced both Eastern and Western practices of strategy. It provides a foundation in strategic theory and approaches to strategic thought as an analytical framework to understanding the cultural, religious, historical, and leadership sources of state and non-state actor behavior. It discusses foreign and US perspectives as well as concepts of the use of force (strength), stratagems (guile) and the power of information (ideas). Strategy must be developed in a holistic manner, integrating the diplomatic, informational, military and economic elements of power in a “whole of government” approach. Students will also be exposed to the strategy formulation process of ends, ways and means. At the course’s conclusion, students will formulate an alternative Strategy which balances the approaches of strength and guile, coupled with the means to influence state and non-state actors with its ideas and economic resources to counteract an adversary’s strategy.

NSC 712 - Nuclear Weapons/Missile Defense/WMD Policy

Overview: An in depth look at three critical Defense areas of Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense and Countering WMD Policies that have been revised in 2017 and 2018.
Nuclear Weapons: On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump directed Secretary of Defense James Mattis to initiate a new Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The President made clear that his first priority is to protect the United States, allies, and partners. He also emphasized both the long-term goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and the requirement that the United States have modern, flexible, and resilient nuclear capabilities that are safe and secure until such a time as nuclear weapons can prudently be eliminated from the world.
Missile Defense: The Trump administration is working on an expanded U.S. missile defense policy that would address certain threats from Russia and China, departing from a previous strategy that focused nearly exclusively on rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran. The new policy will still call for bolstered technology against rogue states, with a particular focus on weapons to intercept North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s missiles. But it will also mention the need to consider missile threats from Russia and China, according to people familiar with the review.
Countering WMD: The Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction seeks to ensure that the United States and its allies and partners are neither attacked nor coerced by


This course focuses on the relevance of classical liberalism, especially as  it animated the American founding, to US global security interests, with particular attention to rule of law and religious toleration. The claim that this course will seek to elucidate is that these principles make not just for a better world, but also for a safer world. In addition, this course will offer students approaches to understanding the potential for reconciliation of tensions between the values of liberal democracy and the imperatives of national security.


This course is an introduction to approaches in strategy through-out history to current times. It is also an introduction to strategic thought and the theorists who have influenced both Eastern and Western practices of strategy. It provides a foundation in strategic theory and approaches to strategic thought as an analytical framework to understanding the cultural, religious, historical, and leadership sources of state and non-state actor behavior.


A crucially important but too-often neglected component of U.S. national security policy involves political strategy. Political strategy entails the use of a range of ways and means—diplomacy, education and training, security assistance, humanitarian aid, media, and other overt and discreet methods—to affect a society’s political life, including its formal governing arrangements, its culture and popular sentiments, as well as its external and strategic orientation.

America needs political strategy to pursue a range of foreign policies and strategic ends—from bolstering allies and weakening adversaries, to shoring up fragile or contested states, to fostering a more open, law-based and just international order. Today, however, the U.S.’s political influence and its capacity to pursue such ends is being challenged by a diversity of political adversaries and in a more sustained and concerted fashion than at any time since the end of the Cold War. Without a political strategy to compete, it is becoming more difficult, if not impossible, for the U.S. to be successful overseas diplomatically, commercially, or strategically.

In this course, we will begin by looking at what is meant by political strategy and why it matters to U.S. national security, including to the U.S.’s performance as an international and strategic actor. We will then delve into the political dimensions of some of the key challenges facing U.S. security policy today. In the first part of the course, we will look at the challenges posed by resurgent authoritarianism to the post-1991 “liberal world order” and to U.S. alliances structures in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and we will then consider some U.S. political strategies for coping with this. In the second part of the course, we will look at the weakening or breakdown of the Westphalian state-based order in the Middle East and elsewhere and how a variety of revisionist and hostile actors have taken advantage of this. We will then consider some of the political strategies and overseas political operations capabilities that the U.S. could use to address the problem of state fragility. Through this and class exercises, we will learn about how to design and apply “whole of government, whole of society” political strategies that America will need to compete in this new environment and advance its interests and principles.


 The environment, it seems insultingly obvious, is everywhere. It affects and is affected by all human activity. It is, in its healthy, plentiful state, a fundamental human need and an associated right that all human beings deserve to enjoy. No less might such a statement be made with regard to security in its variegated forms. Everyone needs it – and therefore has an associated right to experience it. Accordingly, there is an inextricable link that ties the environment and security together – notwithstanding the enduring tendency of those in and out of power who traditionally have equated security with defense to deny such a linkage. This course seeks to examine the interrelationship between the environment and security – individual/human security, national security, global security – in an attempt to equip course participants with a thoroughgoing understanding of the phenomenon, an appreciation of how it affects national and international relations, and the intellectual wherewithal to operate effectively as decision makers, planners, and advisors charged with responsibility for formulating and implementing effective public policy.


The purpose of this class is to develop key skills, knowledge and attributes for leading national security practices in government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. The course provides students with an understanding of the key elements of leadership; case studies in alternative leadership styles and environments; an opportunity to assess their own leadership styles and practices; and an appreciation for the tools that affect outcomes, develop human capital, and drive change. Finally, the course provides an opportunity to experience the challenges of national security decision-making first hand through simulations and exchanges with national security experts.

Students who complete this course will know the key elements of effective leadership in national security practices. They will understand the fundamentals of strategic planning and decision-making and have sufficient functional expertise to evaluate the efficacy of planning and decision-making at an operational or strategic level.

NSC 730 - National Security Planning, Strategy and Decision Making for the 21st Century

Washington’s problem in a nutshell is that it doesn’t think very well. The last quarter century has seen an explosion in the human capacity to create and manipulate new knowledge—yet many of the instruments used to support national security leadership are as creaky as ever. All this needs to change if America wants to outthink it enemies and it help it friends secure a safe, free, and prosperous future. This course provides both an introduction to the theoretical constructs and practical exercises in the three critical pillars of overseeing national security affairs—planning, strategy, and decision-making. Lessons provide a foundation for the skills, knowledge, and attributes to analyze, address, and manage national security affairs at the operational and strategic levels.


The course is designed to provide non-lawyers (although DMGS students with legal training are welcome to take the course) with an introduction to legal rules and principles related to national security and the Intelligence Community (IC). It will examine key rules of domestic and international law, starting with the Constitution and including major statutes, executive orders, and other rules of domestic law—with references to international law as well. It is not designed to make students experts in the field, but rather to enable them to recognize potential problem areas so that they can seek professional guidance from IC attorneys when legal issues do arise

The course will emphasize the importance of respect for the rule of law and ethical behavior.

NSC 732 - Low Intensity Conflict

The course is a detailed examination of the theory and practice of conflict in circumstances less than general conventional war. Key concepts and strategic principles pertaining to asymmetric warfare, terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, and military operations less than war (peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance) will be examined. This course examines the causes, conduct, patterns, and effects of conflict short of total or general war. It covers the modern insurgency period from Mao Tse Tung’s approach in the Chinese Civil War through our present times with the Global Jihad.
It asks four fundamental questions in the U.S. context:
• What is modern war in today’s contemporary operating environment?
• What paths has it traveled in the post-World War II era into the early 21st Century?
• What are the trends and where is it headed

NSC 733 - Diplomacy as an Element of National Power

How is Diplomacy changing in a globalized world with all of the new challenges in the 21st Century? What impact has globalization had on the rules based system of International Order?
In today’s world, broad knowledge and specialized skills are required to build cooperation, defuse tension, and promote peace between and among nations, groups, and other entities. This overview course helps students develop skill sets and prepares them to become an international problem solver in any sector, including public, private, nonprofit, and the military.


Regional Studies examines trends in areas that are important for U.S. interests such as Russia, Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Latin America. It focuses on critical thinking and the analytical skills necessary to analyze the social, historical, political, economic, and culture of state and non-state actors, and evaluates their long-term strengths and weaknesses.

Through simulations, role-playing exercises and group projects, Regional Studies courses will provide students with a firm appreciation and understanding of the politics and security of contemporary regional issues. The knowledge and skills acquired in these courses will help students become very attractive candidates when they graduate to work national security issues whether in the public or private sector.


Understanding contemporary Chinese history, starting with the Qing Dynasty, with a focus on post 1979 normalization of Sino-U.S. relations, will permit the students to better understand China’s approach to relations with the U.S. Knowledge of China’s military and political organizations will permit the students to better understand these organs of power and how they attempt to manage the plethora of international and domestic issues confronting China. It will also permit the student to appreciate the complexity of crafting a national strategy for dealing with an expansionist China.


The centrality of Latin America to the global terrorist movement has increased in recent years. A particularly dangerous area is the highly porous, almost nonexistent, border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, a region is becoming increasingly dangerous, to the point of constituting a clear strategic threat to the U.S., allowing terrorist organizations, and drug traffickers throughout Latin America and the Middle East, to operate almost with impunity. This course will examine the lessons learned from Colombia and Mexico, and draw conclusions for future US actions to combat this danger in our own hemisphere.


China’s increasing aggressiveness in the South China and East China Seas pose major impediments to regional stability in East Asia and the Pacific. This course considers the potential effects of a North Korean implosion, violence in the South China Sea, Sino-Japanese hostilities in the Senkakus/Diaoyutai on US interests and the regional balance of power.


This course will examine the origins of North Korea during the mid-twentieth century and its relationship to both China and the Soviet Union. Its evolution into the world’s closest society and the leadership’s decision to resort to nuclear threat for political blackmail will be studied in the context of the Western, and specifically American, response. North Korean negotiating style and its use of propaganda will be explored in depth. The human rights situation and international reactions are discussed in the context of national security, especially as it involves the recent close relationship with Iran.


The post-Cold War nations of East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union have followed very different paths, some choosing more economic and political freedom while others have clung to state control over the people’s lives, with predictable results. The effect of joining the EU has proved a mixed blessing, while Russia’s aggressive behavior toward its former colonies has created a sense of deep uncertainty and dismay, particularly in such places as the Caucasus, the Baltics, and the Balkans. This course will explore the historical context of the contemporary strategic landscape, with particular emphasis on the uses of post- communist nationalism.


As the unrest throughout the Middle East has spread to the surrounding areas, Africa has become another breeding ground for terrorism in North Africa (al-Qaeda) and Nigeria (Boko Haram). Environmental issues, famine, ethnic warfare, and the resulting movement of peoples across borders compound regional security problems. This course also considers Africa’s economic growth as a possible stabilizing influence. Emphasis will be placed on the efforts of the international community to address such problems as pervasive corruption, the effect of AIDS, and the failure to consider Africa as a higher priority among the security concerns of developed states, especially the US. It will also examine the role of weak state institutions in attracting emerging threats from piracy, narcotics trafficking and organized crime.


The focus of this course will be on U.S. strategies for reconstituting American political and strategic influence in the 21st Century Middle East and securing our long-range national security interests. We will begin by looking at America’s diverse interests across the region, and end with a look at U.S. policy opportunities and options for reconstituting America’s position and influence in the Middle East and competing on multiple fronts with heterogeneous foes.


The United States has always had a special in and connection with Europe. The overwhelming majority of the U.S. population has European roots and from the beginning of the American Republic until the end of World War II Europe was politically, economically and militarily the most important region of the world. As such, for more than 200 years Europe had been a critical for U.S. national strategy.

  • Analyze Europe in the context of American strategic issues; and
  • Develop U.S. strategic options in context of current European realities.
RST 642 - Non-State Actors in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

This course will investigate the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the rise of non-state actors, and how they impact and influence the region and beyond. It will examine security challenges from Israeli and Palestinian factions, refugees, Salafi-jihadists, Shia militias, the media, special interest groups, NGOs, and cyberwarfare. The course will conclude with an interactive educational game simulation that prompts students to respond to domestic and international challenges and threats while representing the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority.

RST 643 - The Contemporary Middle East: A New Look at Changing Regional Dynamics

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the changing regional dynamics of the Middle East. The region serves as the primary source for international energy consumption, yet remains an epicenter of instability, radicalism and terrorism. The 2010 Arab uprisings, Iran’s quest for nuclear capability and the rapid expansion of Islamic State have greatly increased the volatility by threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of regional states. A resurgence of political Islam and growing sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shiites add to the regional disorder. Middle Eastern states too weak to control their territory lack the legitimacy or kinetic ability to exert full control over their borders. In these fragile areas, state and non-state threats thrive and pose tremendous national security challenges and concerns for the region and beyond.
The course will examine the national security challenges facing Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinians, and analyze how recent shifting political, social, and economic dynamics impact them. The course will focus on the regional actors’ attitudes of the challenges and threats they face and on the strategies they have chosen to confront them. It thus provides critical perspective to students seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the changing Middle Eastern landscape and foreign policy. The course is designed for students interested in the Middle East, particularly those interested in national security issues, students of comparative politics and future practitioners, with a curiosity in regional studies.

RST 644 - Politics & Statecraft of Sub-Saharan Africa

While threats of the 20th century arose from powerful nation states, the key dimensions of the future – globalization, multi-national violent conflicts, and the potential proliferation of weapons of mass destruction mean great dangers from the relative weak states and ungoverned areas of Africa. Globalization enhances the awareness of the world to the most basic events, making speed of analysis and decision making more important and the consequences more significant. The objective of this course is to transform how professionals think about Africa and its interactions with the rest of the world.

RST 645 - Politics and Statecraft of Latin America

This course provides an introductory view of the politics and statecraft of Latin America from the 19th century through today. It will focus on Latin America’s political history, security, economics, and political economy, with a particular emphasis on the role and influence of the United States in the region. It will also analyze the similarities and differences in how regional and global political and economic trends — independence, populism, revolutionary movements, democratization, and neoliberal reforms — have manifested themselves throughout the region. Course materials will include a mixture of books, articles, and multimedia.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
• Identify and understand the most important analyses of Latin American politics
• Demonstrate a firm understanding of the U.S. role in Latin America
• Summarize the major trends that have swept Latin America in the 20th century
• Develop writing skills based on the course material


Islamic revivalism is one of the most significant political, social and cultural phenomena of the 21st century, and will remain a potent force in the foreseeable future. Islamist movements are not monolithic, and tactics differ toward gaining power and implementing Islamic law. In recent years some Islamists have participated in politics and gained power through elections such as Hamas in Gaza, Ennahda in Tunisia, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Others have taken up arms to resist violently against the state in Libya, Sinai, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The Islamic Republic of Iran expands its empire through proxies and terrorist militias.

Al-Qaeda and Islamic State do not recognize the notion of the international Westphalian state system, and strive to erase recognized borders in the areas in which they operate to resurrect an Islamic empire called the Caliphate. While hatred of Israel, the West, secularism and liberal democracy persists, the immediate victims of militant Islamist violence are non-conforming Muslims and ethnic-religious minorities.

The course will analyze the ideology and goals of Sunni and Shia Islamist movements. It will assess what motivates these movements and why they are successful, and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. The course will explore their attitudes of the crisis of Islam in the contemporary era; the desired form of Islamic governance; the meaning of jihad in the contemporary era; and the compatibility between Islam and democracy. In particular, the course will examine Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian revolutionary regime, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State.


East Asia is a region that is undoubtedly of critical importance for the entire world: it is home to half the world’s population and rapid economic development in the region has fueled global economic growth. Yet it is also a region experiencing dramatic political and social changes that have profound implications for regional and global stability. Northeast Asia is of particular importance because it is a regional nexus in which the interests of the three largest economies and nuclear powers in the world converge. It is also the only place in the world today in which the Cold War still rages and the potential for major armed conflict is tangible. As such, this course takes a conceptual approach to analyzing the region by examining the security, political, and economic issues focusing on the major and middle powers in Northeast Asia: China, Japan, and the two Koreas, and the United States and its role in the region.

Readings for the course will focus on the current policy debates as well the conceptual/theoretical issues that inform these debates, including the resiliency of alliances in the post-Cold War and global terrorism environments; economic growth and energy/resource needs; national memory and historical animosities; democratization and modernization; multilateralism, and the role of the United States in this globally critical region.

We begin in the first section with an examination of the major theoretical paradigms and frameworks for the study of relations among states. This will lay the groundwork for a rigorous analysis and interpretation of the next two sections in which we will examine each of the major actors in Northeast Asia – China, Japan, the two Koreas, and the United States – and then address the functional issues that are most salient in shaping regional dynamics. The purpose of this course is to equip students with the analytical tools necessary to better examine, understand, and explain some of the most important political and economic phenomena confronting the world today. As such, there will be a heavy emphasis on reading preparation, class participation, and developing analytical skills through effective communication, both written and oral. As a discussion seminar, students are expected to engage in active and informed participation. This requires close reading of the assigned materials and the analytical capability to critique and integrate arguments presented in the readings.

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.
RST 730 - Politics and Statecraft of Central Asia and the Caucuses

This survey lecture course on Central Asian and Caucasian politics, economics, and statecraft addresses the large, diverse, and yet poorly understood area between Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Russia. Although the course emphasizes the contemporary period and the divergent paths the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have taken following the end of the Soviet Union, we will evaluate the Imperial Russian and Soviet periods of regional history to understand the common origins of the political, economic, and social environments we see today.

RST 731 - Security Government in South Asia

The course will focus primarily on India, Pakistan and Afghanistan but will include examination of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka as well as South Asian links with Central Asia and Burma. Chinese, US and other external actors also will be considered. The course will begin with an exploration of South Asian geographic, environmental and ethnic realities. The historical experiences that shape national identities and aims then will be examined in some detail followed by a d exploration of the evolution of modern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the other South Asian states. This discussion of tensions both internal and regional will blend into an exploration of South Asian economic realities and potential, The size and power of Indian and Pakistani military forces merit both a class considering their conventional balances and a second assessing their nuclear capabilities, doctrines and strategies. After a class devoted to the presentation and consideration of student research, the course will conclude with examinations of the role of the US, China, Russia and other external actors and; finally, such enduring problems as terrorism and future developments.

RST 732 - Eurasian Security

This course will examine 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. The course will also explore Russia’s relations with states in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. 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.

The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

Graduate Certificate Programs

We also offer three certificate programs, which are designed specifically to continue or enhance education in specific areas. Students attend the same classes as degree-seeking students, but they take fewer courses and are required to meet different criteria.


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.”


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 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.”