DSCA Announces Launch of DSCU’s Young Institute

May 10, 2024

(Arlington, Virginia) – On April 29, 2024, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) officially launched the Brigadier General Charles Young Research, Analysis, and Lessons Learned Institute within the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU), one of five offices reporting to the Director of DSCA.  The DSCU Young Institute serves the security cooperation enterprise through research, critical inquiry, and scholarship that advances the knowledge and practice of security cooperation. 

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities Madeline Mortelmans provided keynote remarks.  Mortelmans discussed how a highly professional and informed security cooperation workforce is critical to achieving U.S. foreign policy and National Defense Strategy (NDS) objectives.  She applauded the DSCA-DSCU response to mandates in Section 1204 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including the establishment of DSCU’s institute.  She further emphasized the importance of the institution’s lessons learned mandate to improve the practice of security cooperation.

Mortelmans also welcomed and thanked members of the Young family and the Charles Young Foundation for their attendance and their mission to preserve the legacy of a great American. 

“Security cooperation practitioners and scholars have a wonderful role model in Brigadier General Young,” said James Hursch, Director of DSCA.  “The launch of the Young Institute is a major step in implementing the pivotal and necessary NDAA and NDS directives for DSCA.  A Security cooperation enterprise that prioritizes professional development, research, and lessons learned will improve the practice and advance the field of security cooperation for decades to come.”

Brigadier General Charles Young served as an Army officer, scholar, author, educator, civil rights leader, and diplomat.  As an African American, Young overcame stifling inequality to become a leading figure in the years after the Civil War when the United States emerged as a world power.  Read more about his life and work here, courtesy of the National Park Service.

“General Young was an undaunted person who faced so many obstacles and overcame them,” said Dr. Celeste Gventer, DSCU President.  “More than a security cooperation pioneer, he was a remarkable American who deserves recognition.”

The Institute advances DSCU’s mission, and its vision is a connected security cooperation community that uses evidence-based knowledge to continuously learn and improve the field of security cooperation.  In concert with legislation and NDS initiatives, the Young Institute aims to strengthen and professionalize the security cooperation workforce.

“DSCU’s Young Institute answers the global demand for security cooperation research and lessons learned,” said Gventer. “It also answers the mandate in the FY2024 NDAA for DSCU to advance ‘the profession of security cooperation through research, data collection, analysis, publication, and learned.’  DSCU faculty already serve as subject-matter experts in their disciplines, contribute research, and engage in academic dialogue with national and international partners, think tanks, and universities.  The launch of the Institute formalizes DSCU’s priorities of promoting access to and production of security cooperation knowledge.”

Kareem Oweiss, the DSCU Young Institute Director, provided an overview of what to expect from the Young Institute.  He emphasized it is time for his team to roll-up their sleeves and turn this vision into a reality. 

Oweiss highlighted the annual Security Cooperation Conference (2023 report available here), speaker series, and lessons learned efforts underway by  Young Institute faculty and staff.  He added that thanks to the FY2024 NDAA and Department of Defense Appropriations Acts, DSCU is now able to begin executing research grants and cooperative agreements administered by the Young Institute.  Learn more about the DSCU Grant Program, including eligibility and how to apply here

DSCU strives to be the center of intellectual life for the security cooperation enterprise; we prepare a global network of professionals to achieve outcomes that enhance the security of the United States and its partners and allies.


Group photo