Welcome to the Institute for Security Governance

depiction of ISG logo

The Defense Security Cooperation University’s (DSCU) Institute for Security Governance (ISG) is the Department of Defense’s leading implementer for Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) and one of its primary international schoolhouses. As a component of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), ISG is charged with building partner institutional capacity and capability through tailored advising, education, and professional development programs grounded in American values and approaches.

Latest News

Hands

Resident Course Refresh: Women, Leadership, and National Defense

June 18, 2024

The Defense Security Cooperation University’s Institute for Security Governance (ISG) recently hosted the latest iteration of its Women, Leadership, and National Defense (WLND) resident course at its headquarters in Monterey, California. This course brought together 11 participants from 11 different nations, including three civilians and eight military personnel.

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Civil Military Responses to Terrorism

June 13, 2024

We are proud to announce the successful culmination of the Civil-Military Responses to Terrorism course. This course gives those who drive and are responsive to domestic and international counter-terrorism efforts with tools to develop effective, integrated, and forward-looking measures that go beyond force alone to prevent, combat, and contain terrorism and build resilience to terroristic violence.

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Institutional Capacity Building for Logistics

June 6, 2024

The Defense Security Cooperation University's Institute for Security Governance (ISG) recently concluded the resident course: Institutional Capacity Building for Logistics in Monterey, California. This course educates students from allied and partner nations (civilian ministerial level and senior military leaders) about the importance of increasing the professionalization of their logistics forces to better sustain defense and security force capabilities, from a public administration and civil-military relations perspective.

picture of personnel attending the African Martime Forces Summit

ISG Lends Expertise to Support Key African Conventions

May 29, 2024

The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) recently sent a team of functional experts and regional advisors to support the second annual African Maritime Forces Summit (AMFS) and third Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium-Africa (NILS-A) in Accra, Ghana. Held in tandem in 2024 for the first time, AMFS and NILS-A provided a platform for over 350 government personnel and military leaders, representing 41 nations, and spanning four continents to expand maritime cooperation and coordination. The Ghana Navy, U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF), and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa (MARFORAF) served as hosts for these gatherings aimed at improving interoperability across domains and continents.

Cyber Policy DASD Eoyang Visits ISG

Cyber Policy DASD Eoyang Visits ISG

May 21, 2024

The Defense Security Cooperation University's Institute for Security Governance (ISG) recently hosted Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, Ms. Mieke Eoyang, and her team at the Institute’s headquarters in Monterey, Cali., for a productive senior-level meeting. DASD Eoyang shared Department of Defense (DOD) priorities on building ally and partner defensive cyberspace capabilities and provided updates on DOD guidance documents shaping U.S. cyber policy and priorities.

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May On-Site

May 15, 2024

The Institute for Security Governance Team just wrapped up an action-packed, three-day, in-person on-site at its headquarters in Monterey, California. Drawing over 100 participants from across ISG’s mission, this bi-annual onsite aimed to strengthen the bond between personnel and the Institute; to foster stronger relationships among colleagues; and to achieve tangible process- and implementation-related improvements.

picture of the panelist at the Africa Land Forces Summit

Blaire Harms: Panelist at Africa Land Forces Summit (ALFS)

May 8, 2024

ISG Regional Program Lead Ms. Blaire Harms recently participated in the plenary session on Human Trafficking and Migration Impacts on Security hosted by the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) in Livingstone, Zambia. During the session, Ms. Harms provided expertise on Women, Peace, and Security impacts related to human trafficking and migration to U.S., partner, and ally community members. ALFS 2024 brought together senior leaders from across Africa and other partner nations to solidify relationships, exchange information on current topics of mutual interest, and encourage cooperation in addressing challenges. Kudos to Blaire for contributing to this important forum.

FY25 Calendar

FY25 Calendar

May 6, 2024

ISG is pleased to announce the FY25 resident course schedule. Resident courses are primarily conducted at ISG headquarters in Monterey, California in an adult-learning style with breakout groups, interactive exercises, student-led presentations, and related approaches — providing adaptable, scalable, and tailored education programs across a wide array of functional areas to address U.S. and partner nation security objectives.

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International Defense Acquisition Negotiations

May 2, 2024

Congratulations to the latest cohort of International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) "International Defense Acquisition Negotiations" graduates. This course focuses on planning for and negotiating complex issues related to international defense contracts. Particular emphasis is placed on the strategies, techniques, and characteristics of good negotiators.

graphic of the Policy Brief Series publication

Dr. Whitney Grespin Published on Private Security Assistance Activity in the Horn of Africa

April 23, 2024

ISG Africa Regional Program Lead Dr. Whitney Grespin recently contributed a chapter on “Private Security Assistance Activity and Oversight in the Horn of Africa” to the policy brief series published by Addis Ababa University’s Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS).

Civil-Military Coordination in Disaster Relief

Civil-Military Coordination in Disaster Relief

April 22, 2024

We are proud to announce the successful culmination of the Civil-Military Coordination in Disaster Relief course. This course develops a comprehensive understanding of how national governments organize and use their armed forces to support domestic and international disaster response operations. The course emphasizes cross-community understanding and communication skills that improve the ways that armed forces, government civilian agencies, and non- and inter-governmental organizations can work more effectively alongside one another in disaster relief.

Objectives include:
♦ Deepen their understanding of disaster response communities 
♦ Develop knowledge of national systems for coordinating disaster responses 
♦ Explore the methods used by the international community to support national governments during disaster response 
♦ Exercise their capacity to build trust, identify shared objectives, and promote collaboration 
♦ Explore emerging concepts and initiatives from various communities 
♦ Build cross-community professional networks

Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George

Liberia’s First Female MINDEF – ISG Alum

April 17, 2024

Retired Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George, who was recently appointed as the new Acting Liberian Minister of Defense, is the first woman to serve in this role in the country’s history, making this appointment an historic step forward for the country and the continent.

BG George is also a graduate of several Institute for Security Governance (ISG) Resident & Mobile Education Training courses.

ISG Turns Five

ISG 5th Anniversary

April 15, 2024

5 Years of Impact at ISG!
In five years under the auspices of DSCA, and our nearly 30 years of history as a DoD Security Cooperation implementing component, ISG has grown remarkably into a pivotal force within the Department of Defense, expanding our reach with our foreign partners and continuing to innovate and implement in all aspects of Security Cooperation.

Going forward, our primary mission remains our focus: to advance U.S. national security interests by strengthening the institutional capacity of partner and allies’ defense and security sectors.

Co-Authors Blog Post on Medium.com on Nonstate Security Actors

Grespin: Co-Authors Blog Post on Medium.com on Nonstate Security Actors

April 11, 2024

In a compelling exploration published on Medium.com, ISG Africa Regional Program Lead Dr. Whitney Grespin and coauthor Dr. Caroline Batka, a senior military analyst at Comenius University, reflect on why the language around private actors in international security services matters. This analysis, rooted in the authors’ extensive background in security governance, underscores the pivotal role terminology plays in shaping the perception, regulation, and behavior of these actors.

The article makes a compelling case for the necessity of a refined and expanded lexicon to accurately reflect and regulate the activities of these diverse groups. By highlighting the intricacies of terminology in international security, Drs. Grespin and Batka contribute significantly to the ongoing discourse on how we understand and engage with private actors in this critical field. We commend our colleague, Dr. Grespin, for her thought leadership.

Principles of Defense Procurement & Contracting

P159202 Principles of Defense Procurement & Contracting

April 8, 2024

DSCU’s Institute for Security Governance recently concluded the resident course: PRINCIPLES OF DEFENSE PROCUREMENT & CONTRACTING in Monterey, California. This International Defense Acquisition Resource Management (IDARM) course provides a theoretical and practical examination of fundamental concepts and challenges associated with national and global defense contracting.

Participants examine methodologies that ensure needs based requirements, work in groups to develop and issue requests for tender, and use reasoned decision-making in supplier selection. Critical post-award contract management considerations are also discussed. U.S. and international best practices are examined, as are challenges associated with institutionalizing efficient and effective procurement systems.

About Institutional Capacity Building

Wondering about the approach of DSCA and its components to institutional capacity building (ICB)? Check out this video, which explains how ICB encompasses Security Cooperation activities and directly supports ally and partner nations; how DSCA manages and executes ICB initiatives; and how building capacity extends beyond the provision of defense articles and services to ensure full-spectrum capabilities.