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Commentary | Sept. 15, 2022

28 DHS professionals join the National Defense University Class of 2023

By DHS Connect

Last month, twenty DHS civilians and eight United States Coast Guard Officers began their pursuit of a master's degree in national security studies at one of four colleges within National Defense University's (NDU), each with its own specializations and concentrations:

DHS's participation in Department of Defense (DOD) Senior Service Schools, like NDU, is vital to advancing the quality and effectiveness of the Department's strategic planning, while demonstrating DHS's leading role in national security. The NDU Master's Programs are rigorous and intensive, with a goal to develop and educate future strategic leaders across the national security enterprise. To prepare for these programs, DHS participants are chosen through a selective application process.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates obtain a strong skillset in the analysis of national security strategy and policy, a superb professional network of strategic leaders from across the U.S. national security enterprise, and critical interagency policy skills in focus areas including counterterrorism and cybersecurity. This year's NDU class includes the most DHS participants in the College of Information and Cyberspace to date.

“Our partnership with NDU is a tremendous benefit for DHS employees who really want to push themselves through rigorous academic development," said Laurie Boulden, the DHS Chief Learning Officer. “The strategic thinking and leadership aspects of NDU programs—not to mention the extraordinary exposure to leaders from across the government—make these one-year programs among the top developmental opportunities we can offer DHS employees. We are extraordinarily proud that these students will represent our Department at NDU and excited by their potential for future senior leadership roles." 

For more information on the DHS/DOD Senior Service partnership please visit the Academic Programs page on Connect.

This year's DHS NDU Master's Degree participants are:
College of Information and Cyberspace

  • Christopher Browning (CBP)
  • Carey Davis (CISA)
  • Michael Niman (USSS)
  • Kerry O'Connor (CISA)
  • Andrew Pasternak (CISA)
  • Rachel Russo (CISA) 
  • Susan Wright (CISA)
  • Cmdr. Jonathan Tillman (USCG)

College of International Security Affairs

  • Kimberly Allen (CBP)
  • Lauren Herrera (CBP)
  • Maria Lee (CBP)
  • Cmdr. Charles Banks (USCG)

 Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy

  • Rosaura Arenas (HQ-OCPO)
  • Michael Brown (TSA)
  • Martin Cota (CBP)
  • Vy Nguyen (USCG)
  • Nakenia Spruill (USCG)
  • Anne Sylvester (ICE)
  • Aaron Wulf (CBP)
  • Cmdr. Benedict Gullo (USCG)
  • Cmdr. George Hall (USCG)
  • Cmdr. Justin Smith (USCG)
  • Cmdr. Nicholas Worst (USCG)

National War College

  • Travis Johnson (CBP)
  • Nathan Lesicka (USSS)
  • Cynthia O'Donnell (CISA)
  • Cmdr. Jared Harlow (USCG)
  • Cmdr. Randy Preston (USCG)