Sample Sessions

The Senior Manager Course in National Security Leadership offers lectures from internationally-renowned national security and foreign policy experts regarding multidimensional global challenges. The program gives participants the opportunity to analyze a broad array of subjects, ranging from nuclear proliferation to the national security budget to Latin American security challenges. Below are some examples of topics explored in previous courses:


Forging the Strategic Narrative

Presenter: Dr. Matthew Levinger, NSSP Program Director

How do leaders use "mythic histories" and other narratives to forward a national security objective? How do leader's connect their "glorious past" with tomorrow's goals? Dr. Levinger discusses how to craft stories to help reach organizational goals.



The Resilience Imperative

Presenter: Professor Stephen Flynn, Northeastern University

Professor Flynn discusses the common attributes found in social and ecological systems, as well as the role of "translational leadership" in enhancing resilience of social systems under stress.




Nuclear Proliferation: North Korea

Presenter: John Park, Harvard University

What instruments can the U.S. government use to exercise influence over North Korea? Should U.S. policymakers focus their efforts primarily on containing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, or should they also place a high priority on addressing its human rights violations? Dr. Park explores key issues surrounding U.S. policy toward North Korea. 



Strategic Communications

Presenter: Heather Hurlburt, New America

Ms. Hurlburt and participants examine the role of strategic communication tools that can help advance organizational missions. Drawing on experiences from her professional career, Ms. Hurlburt illustrates the power of effective communication in achieving professional goals. 



Negotiation Skills for Senior Leaders

Presenter: Anthony Wanis-St. John, American University

Professor Wanis-St. John leads discussions and exercises focusing on negotiations strategies and tactics. Participants explore key issues for negotiating in an increasingly complex global environment. Some issues include:

 - How can the principles of “interest-based negotiation” support efforts to arrive at a mutually beneficial resolution to a conflict?

 - What are the differences between the roles of negotiators and mediators? Does a mediator need to be a neutral party in order to be effective in this role? 

 - What are keys to negotiating effectively across cultures?