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

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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.

Building Institutional Capacity in Georgia

Building Institutional Capacity in Georgia

April 3, 2024

The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) recently concluded another successful Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) engagement in Tbilisi, Georgia with its Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Georgian Defense Force (GDF) counterparts. Working alongside its Georgian partners, ISG continued to support the development of a centralized Career Management capability within the GDF; conducted a workshop focused on data analytics and policy decision-making in the MoD; and supported Georgian efforts to effectively message change management and enhance organizational trust. Supporting a more effective and nimbler Georgia will not only directly impact the country’s defense and territorial deterrence capabilities but will also enhance its interoperability as an important U.S. Security Cooperation partner.

April Heron

ISG Heron April Issue

April 2, 2024

Announcing the latest ISG Heron – a quarterly newsletter highlighting our work in Security Cooperation and Institutional Capacity Building as well as the people who contribute to this important mission.

In this issue, ISG:

• Spotlights a successful senior leader delegation visit to ISG & DRMI.

• Welcomes seven new outstanding Regional Advising and Functional Experts.

• Profiles the expansion of security governance in Sri Lanka.

• Explores the pivotal role of the U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialog in regional security.

• Offers a standing ovation to Africa Regional Program Lead, Dr. Whitney Grespin.

• Interviews Director Ian Wexler on his dual engagements in the Philippines.

National Resilience for Defense & Security

P179928 National Resilience for Defense & Security

April 1, 2024

Congratulations to the latest cohort of participants of the National Resilience for Defense & Security course. This course aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills to develop national resilience frameworks that can improve national and collective security in the face of complex threats and hazards, including large scale disasters, domestic crises, and irregular or hybrid warfare.

The course emphasized planning considerations and capabilities requirements for countering full-spectrum threats and hazards that target the civil population and critical infrastructure and services. It explored government coordination with the civil and private sectors, reflecting the interconnected and interdependent nature of defense and security requirements.

Exercise Shanti Prayas IV

Exercise Shanti Prayas IV

March 20, 2024

ISG’s Peacekeeping and Exercises (PKX) Team recently concluded its support to Exercise Shanti Prayas IV – a Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise co-hosted by the Nepali Army and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command at the Birendra Peace Operations Training Centre (BPOTC) in Panchkhal, Nepal from February 20 – March 4, 2024.

This exercise, hosted rotationally between regional US partners, is the largest annual Peacekeeping exercise in the world annual exercises and designed to support peacekeeping operations. Participants included combined service members from 19 countries as well as a series of high-ranking dignitaries.

Building National Resilience in Bulgaria

March 18, 2024

In partnership with United States European Command (USEUCOM) and the Government of Bulgaria, ISG recently convened a workshop in Sofia to fortify Bulgaria's public-private partnerships (PPPs) in support of national resilience. The collaborative event – hosted by the NATO Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR) Center of Excellence (COE) – gathered key stakeholders from Bulgarian national ministries and institutions as well as international partners to engage in strategic planning and Institutional Capacity Building (ICB).  

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.