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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Feb. 1, 2023

Announcing MIT Seminar XXI Opportunity for Coast Guard Members

By Zach Shapiro, MyCG Writer

Attention, Coast Guard workforce! Here is your chance to build your policy and leadership skills through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Seminar XXI: Educating U.S. National Security Leaders Program. Members of the Coast Guard, including civilians and reservists, are encouraged to apply. Officers in or selected for paygrades O-5 to O-8, and civilian employees in grades GS-14 to SES, are eligible. The Coast Guard will nominate up to four individuals from the Washington, D.C., area for Seminar XXI. While members from any location may apply, you must be stationed in the Washington, D.C., area during the program in order to participate.

Seminar XXI is a prestigious policy program for senior military officers, government officials, and industry executives in the national security policy community. Coast Guard military and civilian members have participated in the MIT Seminar XXI program since 1991.

Ideal candidates will be strong communicators with an ability to explain the Coast Guard’s evolving missions and broader role to a range of audiences. The best suited candidates will be those who can translate military concepts for civilians in an engaging manner. Ultimately, candidates should be excited to seize this unique opportunity to network with ascendant military, government, private sector, and foreign policy professionals. 

Through seminars and social events, Coast Guard members can build lifelong relationships with rising leaders in the political and national security sphere, along with renowned MIT faculty. 

Alumni of the MIT Seminar XXI program have held many prominent positions including Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA). 

Coast Guard alumni include Adm. Charles Ray, former vice commandant, Rear Adm. Michael Platt, Military Advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security; and Rear Adm. Joanna Nunan, Assistant Commandant for Human Resources.

The next MIT Seminar XXI session convenes in the Washington, D.C., area in September 2023 and concludes in May 2024. The format includes nine sessions in the Washington, D.C., area. Each session brings together distinguished faculty from American and foreign universities. 

If you are interested in this opportunity, beginning in February, you will need to submit your package for a Coast Guard internal review panel. The panel will select four nominees and help them apply to MIT by April 15. Acceptances are issued in mid-June. Please bear in mind that multiple letters of recommendation are required and should be factored into your plans and timelines accordingly. For more information on the application process, please see the Coast Guard’s MIT Seminar XXI portal page.

Interested applicants are encouraged to reach out to alumni, whom you may locate on MIT’s website.

If you have any questions, contact Senior Education and Fellowship Program (SEFP) manager Lt. Cmdr. Emily Brockway. Stay tuned for further announcements about the application process.