An Alumnus’ Perspective on the Talent Demand for International and National Security

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Joseph deTani

Ambassador Joseph R DeTrani is president of the Daniel Morgan Academy, a nonprofit, independent graduate school in Washington, DC enhancing and advancing the education of those interested in a career in the national security field. Previously, he served as special envoy for the Six Party Talks with North Korea and was the Senior Advisor to the Director of National Intelligence. He is a graduate of New York University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and attended the NYU School of Law and Graduate School of Business Administration.

The United States finds itself in the most challenging strategic situation it has faced since the Cold War. In order for us to address the latest global challenges, we need more people who are well educated in supporting the US national interest. Given the nature of the issues we face, there are several broad areas that are now particularly relevant to the national interest, and in which there is the most pressing need to educate and develop a national cadre of experts.

The first area is national security, broadly defined. Specifically, this means contending with threats to the US as well as opportunities to advance strategic political and economic interests, including promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. National security also entails applying the means necessary to take advantage of opportunities and meliorate challenges. Every aspect of national security requires educated experts to develop innovative ideas and strategies, encompassing both the national defense and foreign relations of the US, and utilizing military, diplomatic and covert intelligence assets to protect the country and its citizens from attack or other danger. Experts in numerous departments and agencies of government require an array of regional and functional specializations to assess and contend with, for example, the Russian conflict with the Baltic States, North Korean nuclear and missile development, and the flood of Syrian refugees to Europe, to name but a few.

Intelligence also requires well educated specialists, who collect, assess, and disseminate information and analysis to assist US government policymakers in making decisions in support of US national security. They may analyze countries’ intentions within specific geographic regions; reveal the secret instructions of nuclear negotiators; or utilize sophisticated signals for intelligence, human intelligence, and other means to locate extremely dangerous terrorists.

Additionally, there is a requirement within several agencies of government for highly educated experts in a field less well known outside government circles, described as “information operations.” Information operations apply digital and human influence methods to affect the perceptions, decision-making, and behavior of leaders, groups, or entire populations, in support of US national security objectives.

At the Daniel Morgan Academy, a new graduate school focusing on national security studies, we take a unique approach to preparing our students for successful careers in these three specialized areas. We rely heavily on practitioner scholars to instruct our students in the areas of national security studies, intelligence studies, and information operations studies — the only educational program in information operations outside the US Government. Our students are prepared in foreign and security policy, as well as regional studies, from the perspective of scholars who have not only written about it, but lived it. Our students are trained to analyze and communicate well, both in written and oral form, by professionals who have learned through professional practice what succeeds and what doesn’t in government, and who can convey some of the tradecraft in which they have been steeped. While the US Government, corporate, and NGO demand to recruit national security professionals remains strong, at the Daniel Morgan Academy we hope to provide our students the kind of unique competitive edge that will help propel them to successful careers.

If you are interested in getting more information about graduate study opportunities at the Daniel Morgan Academy, visit

If you are interested broadly in international careers, attend the upcoming “Careers in Distressed Areas” panel on April 29th, 2:00PM.