Defense Governance (DG 2020)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status.

Online Phase Dates: 
Jun 08, 2020 to Jul 03, 2020
Residential Phase Dates: 
Jul 20, 2020 to Jul 31, 2020
Application Dates:
Nov 04, 2019 to Dec 30, 2019
Application Form(s):

Language Requirements: 
Course given in Spanish

Current complex security challenges call for solid and well-governed institutions. Therefore, producing good governance in the defense and security institutions – a complex task in and of itself – must become a state priority. In other words, if nations want to generate adequate responses that can lead to improved security and defense of the Western Hemisphere, they must first devote serious efforts to improve their ministerial and sectoral capacities.

Accordingly, the DG course brings together senior-level government officials to empower the next generation of executives and decision-makers with tools and know-how so that they address and better respond to a key question: how do we improve our institutional capacity to more appropriately attend to the requirements of this changed and increasingly complex strategic environment?

The course will explore several key concepts related to producing good governance in the defense institution. This will include addressing the principles and characteristics of good governance; examining key defense management processes such as policy formulation and resource management and the role they play in producing this as an outcome; employing tools to understand, analyze, and determine security and defense requirements in the strategic environment; and understanding the role key actors other than Defense Ministries play in the governance of the defense institution.

Due to the focus of this course and the limited number of slots available to self-nominated candidates, we will not be accepting applications from non-government civilians (e.g. university professors, consultants, researchers, etc.) or retired military officers who do not currently work as government civilians in a ministry level decision-making capacity.

COURSE OVERVIEW (click on the + below to open the individual items)

The DG course teaches concepts, methodologies, and tools allowing participants to:

  • Understand and apply key concepts and principles as prerequisites for generating better outcomes through improved governance in security and defense institutions.
  • Better assess the security environment; prioritize current and future challenges; and identify future security and defense requirements.
  • Think strategically and critically about their institutional environment and be able to not only identify gaps and limitations but devise strategies to address these.
  • Better participate, through execution of their assigned roles, in the process of improving overall ministerial capacity.

This is a six-week course, with a four-week online phase and two-week residential phase. Participants use National Defense University's (NDU) distance learning system Blackboard, to download reading material, submit assignments and participate in virtual discussions. The four-week online phase consists of a one week familiarization with this technological platform, two weeks of substantive/content work, and a fourth week to finalize requirements for travel. The subsequent two-week residential phase is conducted using a combination of individual study, required readings and thematic small-group discussions, lectures, panels and exercises.


The course content is tailored in response to the policy priorities of both the Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Security Cooperation offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as the objectives of US Southern and Northern Commands. In particular, the DG course focuses on subject areas addressing improved ministerial capacity through better institutional governance of the security and defense sectors, in order to have these produce more effective and sustainable contributions. The DG course thus contributes to the larger DoD enterprise focus on Defense Institution Building (DIB).



ADMINISTRATIVE DETAILS (click on the + below to open the individual items)

Participants should be senior-level practitioners (O-5/O-6 and civilian equivalents, e.g., Director-level) from security and defense establishments, understood broadly, with responsibilities for advising and/or contributing to the improvement of security and defense decision-making processes. Appropriate candidates will fit one or more of the following profiles:

  • Policy-makers, advisors, or key stakeholders in the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of public policies in the security and defense sectors, including but not limited to the areas of military, police, justice/judicial, foreign affairs, national legislatures, think tanks, and NGOs.
  • Government personnel handling or managing defense and/or security portfolios addressing strategic planning, resource management, human resources (e.g., personnel policy formulation and professional development), budgeting programs, or other key functional processes.
  • Particular emphasis should be placed on individuals who are either currently in positions of influencing change (e.g., legislative defense committee chairs) or are expected to move into positions of influence in the near future (e.g., O-6 level officers expected to become flag officers and assume key positions in the institution).

Due to the focus of this course and the limited number of slots available to self-nominated candidates, we will not be accepting applications from non-government civilians (e.g. university professors, consultants, researchers, etc.) or retired military officers who do not currently work as government civilians in a ministry level decision-making capacity.


Candidates must possess a university degree; military and police personnel must have completed a war-college course or equivalent. Exceptions to the above will be made on a case-by-case basis with minimum requirements including command and staff college (or equivalent), or substantial professional work experience in the case of civilians without an appropriate degree.


The DG course is conducted in Spanish. However, recommended reading materials may be in English; therefore, the ideal participant will possess a proficient level of English reading comprehension.


Updated / Actualizado: November 03, 2019