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  • National Security Studies

  • Fall - 2021 National Security Management Course September 23 - November 19, 2021

    National Security Management prepares senior executives in military, civilian, and commercial enterprises to participate with confidence in the formulation and execution of national security strategies. It does this by delivering to students lecture-discussions from a world-class faculty of experts; engaging students in an intensive crisis simulation exercise; and immersing students with in the development of a practical strategy that addresses a contemporary national security challenge.

    The NSM Fall-’21 course delivers 60 hours of instruction by a combination of online and on-campus components. The first segment of the course is delivered online across the Microsoft Teams platform, over seven, 3-hour sessions, which occur every Thursday from 23 September to 4 November, 2021. The second segment of the course is delivered in-person, on-campus beginning Saturday afternoon, 13 November and concluding midday on Friday, 19 November, 2021.  

    Each of the first 10 sessions explores a building block of national security management by a combination of keynote addresses and panel discussions with the class:

    • The Next Global Order
    • National Defense Strategy
    • Net Assessment
    • The Discipline of Strategy
    • Soft Power
    • The Future of Defense
    • Great Powers
    • Acquisition Management
    • Technology
    • Leadership for National Security

    The on-campus component will focus on three objectives :

    • "In the Arena", first-hand accounts of national security leadership case-studies
    • "Operation Old Believer", a crisis simulation wargame
    • "The Marshall Maxim", a study-group exercise to articulate the "right question" that unlocks a strategic challenge

    Register for  Fall 2021

    “This is my third executive education experience as a General officer and it is by far the BEST! From the incredible instruction, dynamic speakers, to the logistics and organization, it is obvious to me that much work and effort went into putting on this class.” — 2019 NSMC Participant

    National Security Studies (NSS) is a premier professional development program for senior civilian and military executives in both the public and private sectors. The curriculum of this executive education program will include topics of foreign policy, intelligence, terrorism/counterterrorism, management, leadership, homeland security, global economics, and trouble spots around the world, to an array of current challenges facing the nation. This course will specifically focus on a wide spectrum of leader development competencies.

    The cost of the program is $9,000 for each attendee. This covers room, board, tuition, group transportation and materials upon arrival. Payment for the course is due before the first day of class. Transportation to and from Syracuse is at the expense of each participant. We have 50 seats available and there is no limit as to the number each agency or organization can send. Personnel at the ranks of 06/GS15, as well as Flag and General Officers, SESs, or those of a non-defense equivalent status, are welcome.

    “Thank you for creating this amazing program and the opportunity to meet so many other senior leaders. This is hands-down the most well thought out and professional course I have attended.” — 2019 NSMC Participant

  • About NSS

    The Maxwell School of Syracuse University has provided this program to participants since 1996 with a concentration on developing management, leadership, and decision-making competencies. This is done in the form of a two-week management course conducted each spring at Syracuse University. The National Security Studies Program offers a unique curriculum designed for each course at which distinguished guest speakers and members of the Syracuse University faculty interact with participants in the form of lectures, extended discussions, case studies, and simulations. The goal of the program is to address lessons of history and issues of contemporary relevance to national security.

    NSS is a fully accredited OPM executive development program that is included for credit as a developmental opportunity as part of the SES Candidate Development Programs. NSS is recognized for credit by the Department of Defense, DOD Agencies, the Military Departments, and other Federal Agencies to whom the program has been opened. The Maxwell School of Syracuse University is an accredited institution of higher learning, and the NSS program is a recognized and qualified Executive Leadership Program within the school. An NSS participant is eligible for graduate credit if he/she completes our two-week National Security Management Course, then pursues three credits by submitting an approved topic in the form of a written paper.

    The three credits are awarded through the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School, a top-ranked school of public administration in the nation. The Department and School are members of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), a recognized professional body that reviews and accredits graduate degree programs in public administration. Additionally, Syracuse University is a member of the Middle State Association (MSA), a regional academic accreditation organization.

    During the time the program has resided at Syracuse University, over 2,000 people have participated in the NSS program. Each has received a Certificate of Completion signed by the Maxwell Dean and the Program Director.

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Non-Attribution Policy

    This is an unclassified executive development program, and all presentations, comments, and discussions among peers, staff, faculty, and guest speakers are not for attribution.


    You will be assigned a computer account and given access to the library. On campus, you may use Maxwell's internet to complete your assignments and access your home systems.

    FAQ for on-campus segment:


    The program fee covers the cost of all ground transportation to and from course-related events. Program participants, or their sponsoring agency, are responsible for the total cost and arrangements for transportation to and from Syracuse, New York. Please indicate on the Administrative Registration Form the specific details of your travel plans so we can be prepared to assist you.


    You will stay at the Sheraton University Hotel and Conference Center, just a five-minute walk from the Maxwell School, where the majority of your classes will be held. Once you register for the course, we will secure your reservation at the Hotel.

    The tuition covers all lodging expenses and meals, the majority of which will be served either in private hotel dining facilities or catered on campus. Telephone charges and miscellaneous expenses such as room service, alcoholic beverages, movies, or dry cleaning are your own personal obligations.

    Daily Schedule 

    Morning classes begin at 9:00 am and generally last three hours. Afterwards, lunch is provided and typically host to distinguished guest speakers. There are three or four hours of lecture and class work in the afternoons, followed by an informal dinner at the Sheraton from 6-8 p.m.

    The Sheraton Hotel offers free wifi and high-speed ethernet access to those who bring their own laptops.

    Contacting You during the Program

    Colleagues, friends, and family will be able to contact you by mail, email, and phone at either the Maxwell School or the Sheraton Hotel. Contact details will be provided prior to the start of the program.

    Weather and Fun

    Fall weather in upstate New York in May is unpredictable but most often cold. Our area also boasts of beautiful lakes, rivers and streams where you might enjoy fishing, canoeing, or kayaking in your free time.

    As a participant of the program, you will have access to campus fitness and workout facilities.

    The Syracuse area is surrounded by some of upstate New York's finest golf courses. If you play golf, bring your clubs. The academic agenda is quite full but does include one afternoon for a golf outing for the class; all participants, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to play a round of golf as our invited guest.

    Optional Activities

    We are proud to have both an Army and Air Force ROTC program here on the SU campus. Each year during the program, volunteers from the class speak to the cadets if available.

  • NSS Staff

  • David Van Slyke

    David Van Slyke
    Co-director, NSS
    Dean, Maxwell School

    Steve Lux

    Steve Lux
    Co-director, NSS
    Director, Executive Education

    Steve Grundman

    Steven Grundman
    Program Manager

    Sue Virgil

    Susan Virgil
    Assistant Director, NSS
    Phone: 315-391-7721 

Executive Education Programs
219 Maxwell Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
Phone: +1.315.443.3759