The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS)

The Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security (DMGS) offers unique Regional Studies courses taught by experienced scholar-practitioners. Courses will bridge the gap between theory and practice and integrate learning outcomes with the Intelligence, National Security, and Managing Disruption and Violence (MDV) programs.

. . .  examines trends in areas important for U.S. interests . . .

Regional Studies

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.

RST 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.

RST 628 - STRATEGIC ISSUES IN LATIN AMERICA: NARCOTERRORISM

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.

RST 631 - STRATEGIC ISSUES IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC

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.

RST 632 - STRATEGIC ISSUES IN NORTH KOREA

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.

RST 633 - STRATEGIC ISSUES IN EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE AND EURASIA

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.

RST 634 - STRATEGIC ISSUES IN AFRICA

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.

RST 640 - US COMPETITIVE STRATEGIES IN THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST

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.

RST 641 - US COMPETITIVE STRATEGIES IN EUROPE

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 - ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT: STRATEGY AND POLICY

This course will investigate US strategies and policies concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict and examine how Israel, the Arab-Israeli minority, and various Palestinian elements utilize diverse means to achieve their ends. It will explore Israel’s security challenges from regional state and non-state actors, including Israeli extremists, Hamas, Hezbollah, Salafi Jihadists, and assess regional instability and options for Israelis, Palestinians, other regional actors, and for the United States.

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

RST 725 - ISLAMIC POLITICS AND TERRORISM

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.

RST 726 - NORTHEAST ASIA SECURITY

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: 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 ground. 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, sanctions regimes, “information wars,” and Russia’s declared and undeclared conflicts.

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

Coming Soon

Program Learning Objectives

Graduates of this degree program will be able to:

  • Evaluate the major trends in regions and countries that are important for U.S. interests.
  • Appraise regional and country challenges, threats, and possibilities to advance U.S. interests.
  • Analyze ideologies, goals, strengths, and weaknesses of non-state actors.
  • Assess the threat of and propose possible solutions to resolve unconventional conflict that are important for U.S. interests.
Michael Sharnoff, Ph.D.

Program Chair

Dr. Michael Sharnoff is the Director of Regional Studies at DMGS, where he is an Associate Professor of Middle East Studies. He is the author of Nasser’s Peace: Egypt’s Response to the 1967 War with Israel (2017).

Dr. Sharnoff has traveled extensively in the Middle East and has lived in three major world capitals. He has congressional experience on Capitol Hill; worked at influential policy centers in Washington; and publishes frequently on the Middle East. His articles have appeared in major publications including The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Al Arabiya, Palestine-Israel Journal, and Your Middle East. He completed a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from King’s College, London, and his research interests include the Arab-Israeli conflict, Political Islam, and contemporary Middle Eastern history.

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.”