The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) is a unique, professionally-oriented graduate school offering a Master of Arts Degree in U.S. national security. The DMGS program is specifically designed to support the professional development of aspiring, new, and mid-level professionals in government, the private sector, and in civil society who seek to advance and secure the interests and ideals of the nation.

. . . to develop the skills to diagnose contemporary and over-the-horizon threats and opportunities . . .

NATIONAL SECURITY PROGRAM

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

This course is divided into four parts. Part I will focus on generally accepted concepts of deception and counter deception with an emphasis on the underlying concepts that enable operational and strategic deceptions. Part II is designed to introduce the student to operational level deception and its impact on national decision making and warning. Part III will build upon parts one and two in order to facilitate the construction of a holistic model for Russian Strategic Deception and Information Confrontation. Part IV will move beyond strategic military and information confrontation and analyze strategic-political deception and provocations and apply previous concepts to a detailed analysis of current events.

NSC 611 - US-CHINA STRATEGIC RELATIONS

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.

NSC 675 - INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC TERRORISM

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

Globalization, the IT revolution, and ethno-nationalist and religious tensions have altered traditional conceptions of warfare. This course will accordingly analyze the effects of current global political, economic, and technological trends on US military plans and operations. It will address the need for less unilateralism and more coalitions of the willing in future as well as closer integration of civilian and military leadership in counterinsurgency and nation-building operations.

The course will also address the importance of winning “the war of perception” among democracies, which increasingly oppose casualties and challenge the lawfulness of warfare, domestic budgetary issues, and the strategic implications of doing more with less. There will be special emphasis on US Naval 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.
NSC 710 - HOMELAND SECURITY

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 actors with WMD. It outlines three end states: no new WMD possession, no WMD use, and minimization of WMD effects. The strategy also establishes countering WMD priority objectives for the Department of Defense (DoD), defines an approach for achieving them, and identifies essential activities and tasks. Countering WMD (CWMD) objectives focus on cooperative efforts to shape the security environment and take early action against adversaries. These objectives are to reduce incentives to pursue, possess, and employ WMD; to increase the barriers to WMD acquisition, proliferation, and use; to manage WMD risks emanating from hostile, fragile, or failed states and safe havens; and to deny the effects of current and emerging WMD threats through layered, integrated defenses.

NSC 720 - RELEVANCE OF AMERICA’S FOUNDING PRINCIPLES TO US GLOBAL SECURITY INTERESTS

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.

NSC 722: STRATEGY: STRENGTH, GUILE & IDEAS

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.

NSC 727 - POLITICAL STRATEGY AND US NATIONAL SECURITY

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.

NSC 728 - THE ENVIRONMENT, PANDEMICS AND NATIONAL SECURITY: FACING THE CHALLENGES OF A NEW WORLD

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.

NSC 729 - INTRODUCTION TO NATIONAL SECURITY LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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.

NSC 731 - NATIONAL SECURITY LAW FOR INTELLIGENCE PROFESSIONALS

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 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.

Program Learning Objectives

Graduates of this degree program will be able to:

  • Identify contemporary and anticipated challenges to U.S. security.
  • Identify, evaluate, and understand the complexities of formulating strategies in functional and regional contexts.
  • Identify the evolution of U.S. institutional arrangements and assigned authorities and the particular relevance of the U.S. experience for U.S. security at home and abroad.
Steven E. Meyer, Ph.D.

Program Chair

Dr. Steven Meyer served 25 years in the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior intelligence analyst and manager. He specialized in European and Russian politics; nuclear weapons, security and defense issues; arms control enforcement; and psychological analysis.

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.”