Hello I-SEC!!

I’ve had the chance to meet many of you in my first semester as the director of the I-SEC program, and as director of the Center for Security Policy Studies.  But i’m eager to meet more of you, whether you’re new to the program or wrapping up your coursework.  You’ve heard from Nick about next semester’s offerings, and i thought it would be a good time to invite you to provide me some feedback and to hear about some of my early ideas to strengthen the program with some additional courses and activities.  

Here are some times, both midday and in the evening before the 720 classes begin.  If five or six people are available, we can meet in my office..and if only one person comes, that’s fine too.  i will be available for each of these timeslots:

LUNCHTIMES  NOON TO ONE IN MY OFFICE FH530:  Tuesday, Oct 31, Thursday Nov 2, Tuesday Nov 7
EVENINGS 615-7 PM in MY OFFICE:  Wed Nov 1, Wednesday Nov 8, Thursday Nov 9

I hope you’ll find the electives choices for Spring 2018 interesting..i’m offering a course on Information and Intelligence in Support of Smart Power, that looks at the information needs of government, and the diverse ways knowledge is created to support wise policymaking, from robust intelligence collection and analysis, to use of data and ideas from non-government sources.  It’s a chance to explore the new controversies about whether true expertise is valued in an information-saturated culture, and how people, from citizens to government officials, develop their own information strategies.  It will hopefully provide insights to make you a more conscious and critical consumer of information and knowledge, and to learn how international security experts are both producers and consumers of information and intelligence.  It will explore the new ways intelligence is used in support of smart power, and how it is shared as a diplomatic tool.  

There are several others that are new this spring, and others that are hardy perennials of Schar offerings.  I’ll welcome feedback on what kinds of courses you’d like to see in the future.  

Do let me know if you plan to come to one of the sessions i’ve identified, in case we need to find a larger space.

with my thanks, and best wishes for a good weekend.

Ellen Laipson
Director, International Security Program
Schar School of Policy and Government
George Mason University
Founders Hall 530
3351 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201