CTU at Homeland Security and Defense Education Summit
by Nadav Morag, Ph.D.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure to speak before the attendees of the Eighth Annual Homeland Security and Defense Summit. This year’s conference was held in Colorado Springs. Prior to the start of the conference, I was asked to participate in a meeting consisting of a small group of academic leaders from universities around the country tasked by the Department of Homeland Security to determine expectations and educational goals for a graduate curriculum in Homeland Security.
The conference included four tracks covering the areas of: protecting critical infrastructures, cybersecurity, homeland security education, and homeland security in an international context. I spoke in the morning plenary session after the keynote speaker, General Charles Jacoby, commander of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORTHCOM is the military command tasked with defending the US homeland and providing support to domestic Homeland Security agencies and NORAD is the joint US-Canadian command responsible for the air defense over the US and Canada. General Jacoby outlined the role of his command and his sense of the challenges facing the United States in the Homeland Security and Homeland Defense contexts.
My presentation focused on categories of existing and emerging threats to Homeland Security with an eye to informing future curriculum in Homeland Security programs. These threats included existing and emerging terrorist threats, public health threats, climate change, global demographic changes, emerging technologies that could constitute threats (such as nano-technology and genetic engineering), the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological), the threat of active shooters and lone-wolf terrorists, the threat of organized crime and drug trafficking organizations, and the increasing nexus between national security threats and homeland security threats).
These threats and changes in the Homeland Security environment should be informing academic programs in Homeland Security nationwide and then certainly inform our curricula and programs here at Colorado Technical University.
Ultimately, the conference demonstrated that Homeland Security (which is a new field, developed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001), is starting to mature as an academic field and most of the academic experts in this field are able to largely agree as to what constitutes this comparatively new academic discipline.