National Security Studies in Action

As part of a Joint Leadership Program Seminar conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), a team assembled as part of the National Security Studies (NSS) Program presented a two-day simulation in Washington, D.C. in July for 23 participants representing many of the 16 intelligence agencies in the federal government. This was a professional development pilot program in response to the Director of National Intelligence’s plan to increase the cooperation and collaboration amongst the various agencies who represent the ODNI.

Starting with a prepatory session on July 16th conducted by the Chief Facilitator Ed McGrady, the NSS Director Bill Smullen and long-time NBC National Security Correspondent Fred Francis, they introduced the simulation and provided a “Meeting the Media” primer in preparation for the media interaction that would occur during and be an active part of the simulation on July 17 and 18.

Entitled “Baron Death,” the exercise involved engaging the participants in an effective decision-making response to a national security threat. This required agencies of the federal government which participants represented in the simulation to work collaboratively to determine how best to respond to the posed threat to the homeland. The intelligence community involvement was key component of the exercise.

The participants were assigned to various breakout groups or cells, each of which had a mentor who was part of the assembled NSS Team. Also participating were NSS staff members and interns.

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Fred Francis and Bill Smullen conducted a “Meeting the Media” primer for participants of the “Baron Death” exercise.

Fred Francis and Bill Smullen conducted a “Meeting the Media” primer for participants of the “Baron Death” exercise.