Previous Events

Current Challenges and Potential Solutions for Global Infectious Disease

Dr. Perkins Global Infectious Diseases TalkThe Albuquerque Committee on Foreign Relations held a dinner lecture with Dr. Douglas J. Perkins, Professor of Medicine and Director of the UNM Center for Global Health, and Dr. Steven B. Bradfute, a Research Assistant professor in the UNM Center for Global Health, speaking on “Current Challenges and Potential Solutions for Global Infectious Disease” at Tanoan Country Club on Tuesday October 28, 2014.  A group of NSSP scholars and Program Manager Matthew Baca attended the event as part of the collaborative relationship NSSP has with the committee.

Assistant Secretary of State Meets with NSSP Scholars

Assistant Secretary CountrymanNSSP hosted Department of State Assistant Secretary Thomas Countryman, who oversees the department's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. He has been with State for over thirty years and has served in many areas, with primary expertise in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.   Most recently his office has helped bring about the demise of the Syrian Chemical Weapons stockpile.  He spoke to the scholars about nonproliferation issues related to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

UAE Consul General Speaks at Jackson Center

uae consul generalThe United Arab Emirates Consul General from Los Angeles spoke to UNM students, faculty and staff at the ASM Jackson Student Center on October 15, 2014. UAE Consul General Abdulla Alsaboosi gave a general overview of the UAE-US bilateral relationship, including political, economic and social-cultural developments within the UAE. He also offered his thoughts on pressing regional issues from a UAE government perspective.  NSSP Co-PI and Faculty Advisor Manuel Montoya introduced the Consul General.

State Department Diplomat in Residence Welcomed to UNM

diplomat in residenceA new Diplomat in Residence, Ann Callaghan, was welcomed to UNM Career Services by Vice President for Student Affairs Cheo Torres and NSSP Program Manager Matthew Baca at a small gathering on September 12, 2014. A career senior Foreign Service officer with the U.S. State Department, Ms. Callaghan was most recently the U.S. Consul General in Vancouver B.C. Her presence at UNM helps to increase student awareness of, and access to the many internship, fellowship and career opportunities available with the Department of State.

NSSP Hosts 'Backlash Against Democracy' 

tom garrettOn September 15, 2014, NSSP hosted a luncheon presentation for NSSP Scholars titled 'Backlash Against Democracy' by Tom Garrett,Vice President for Programs at the International Republican Institute, whose work complements that  of the International Democratic Institute. Previously, Garrett served as regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. Garrett has served as resident country director for Ukraine; he later oversaw programs in Belarus and Moldova as well as in Ukraine. Garrett's presentation discussed the integration of democracy assistance into foreign policy along with how authoritarian governments have gone from ignoring international assistance from NGOs and civil society in their countries to actively working to harass and even ban their presence.

National Security Symposium

2014-symposium-heinrichThe National Security Studies Program (NSSP) hosted a symposium entitled “National Security and Individual Privacy - Legal, Technical, and Moral Challenges ” on April 10-11, 2014 in the UNM Student Union Building.  A keynote speech was given by US Senator from New Mexico Martin Heinrich titled 'America both Safe and Free:  Balancing Civil Liberties with National Security in a Digital Age.'  Presentations were made by national and local experts.nssp-symposium2012

"The Symposium was excellent!  I gained so much from attending.  The insight into current events, the manner in which various organizations are focusing their efforts, and the tips on job searching were all invaluable. The speakers were top-notch."  - NSSP Scholar.

Speaker topics included 'Who is Snowden:  Savant, Scoundrel or Spy?', 'Grand Challenges in Cybersecurity', 'Cybersecurity and Market Failure',and 'After Snowden: Quo Vadis?' Panel topics were 'Ethics and Data Privacy' and 'Strategic Career Opportunities'. The symposium was open to all UNM students, faculty, staff and the UNM community and was very well attended.

NSSP at Shared Knowledge Conference

The 2014 Shared Knowledge Conference was hosted at the UNM SUB on April 9th and 10th.  The event celebrates diversity, multiple forms of research, and scholarly endeavors with presentations covering a range of formats and topics. Focused on National Security, NSSP scholars gave individual and group presentations of their research on the 10th. NSSP Senior Advisory Committee Member 'Sandy' Cochran did a great job of moderating the presentations while NSSP 2014 Symposium panel member Alex Cochran evaluated and gave excellent feedback to the scholars. 

cia-internship-fall2012Five Eyes Analytic Workshop and Days of Intrigue

In March, NSSP Program Manager Matthew Baca traveled with 3 scholars to Oxford, Mississippi for the Five Eyes Analytic Workshop held at Ole Miss from the 25th to the 27th. One of the three scholars that presented their research at Five Eyes stayed for the Days of Intrigue simulation exercise held on the 28th and 29th.

Steven Maloney talks about career opportunities in the U.S. Department of State

The NSSP scholars had the opportunity to interact with UNM Diplomat in Residence Steven Maloney on October 23, 2012 with an informative presentation on State Department careers and internships. Scholars who had summer internships shared their experiences with a number of scholars and prospective scholars at the meeting. He also spoke at the UNM law school on November 20, 2012 on the same subject.

mark-worthyProfessional Development Seminar Series with Mark Worthy

The NSSP hosted the second session of the professional development seminar series for its scholars on October 16, 2012. These sessions focus on the fundamental aspects of speech construction, organization and presentation of ideas in a logical and convincing fashion, and development of effective listening skills.

steven-marshall-fbiNSSP hosts FBI Seminar for Law Students 

The NSSP hosted an informative presentation by FBI's Chief Division Counsel Steven Marshall on careers and internships for law students on September 26, 2012. Many law students attended the event and it proved to be an excellent outreach platform for the NSSP at the same time.

cia-internship-fall2012CIA Internship Opportunities Workshop

On September 24-25, 2012 the NSSP hosted an internship opportunities meeting for NSSP scholars. In conjunction with the meeting, a representative of the CIA was available to meet with scholars one-on-one to talk about career opportunities with the agency, while an Analytic Methodologist met one-on-one with scholars who had an interest in Data Scientist positions at the CIA. 

National Security Symposium 2012 

The National Security Studies Program (NSSP) hosted a two day symposium entitled “Global Community Trends 2030” on September 6-7, 2012 in the UNM Student Union Building. During the symposium, NM and national experts discussed anticipated global trends through 2030; a time when most of today’s current college students will be in their mid-careers, and what they can expect and plan for in the future.  

nssp-sym2012-speakerSession topics included: Key Trends by 2030: How have they shifted from previous Global Trends reports; Projected evolution of terrorist threats to the U.S.; Is a positive future possible for US/Pakistani relations?;  NATO and its role in shaping world events; What the changing Middle East will be and mean to the US over the next two decades; South Asia security, nonproliferation and the war on terrorism; The New Nexus: Energy, Water, Environment and Security; Cyber Trends and the challenges to world security and privacy; and Intelligence Community Career Opportunities. The symposium was open to all UNM students, faculty, staff and the UNM community and was very well attended on both the days.


NSSP partnered with STARTALK, which offers classes to high school students in the critical languages of Arabic and Chinese during the summer. NSSP co-sponsored a number of afternoon cultural activities and additional sessions focusing on the IC and national security.

startalk2012-fbi-visitNSSP activities developed an IC awareness and interest in global affairs. Presentations were made by leading experts on the conflicts and interests between U.S., China, and the Middle East. Students also participated in various hands-on learning including a field trip to the Albuquerque FBI headquarters. Students also visited the Albuquerque Nuclear Museum where they learned about the history of many national security issues, nuclear weapons, espionage, and U.S. strategies during WW II, and the Cold War, and the reduction in nuclear arms. The integration of the two ODNI funded programs, STARTALK and NSSP, proved to be a win-win for both programs.

nhyrl2012-field-visitNational Hispanic Youth Research and Leadership Program

nhyrl2012-nuclear-museumThe NSSP welcomed a group of thirty high-achieving Hispanic high school students from around the country as part of the Department of Energy’s National Hispanic Youth Research and Leadership Program. The NSSP partnered with the UNM College Enrichment and Outreach Programs to host the two week residential program from July 2-14, 2012. While CEOP conducted leadership training courses and oversaw the logistics on campus, the NSSP led in developing and implementing an academic program focusing on the mission of the Dept. of Energy, a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and home of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Students learned about the global relationship between national security, energy dependence and environmental impacts; including water resource shortages as a continuing and escalating destabilizing factor is various areas of the world.

egypt2012-pyramidsCultural Immersion 2012

egypt2012-auc-scholarsThe National Security Studies Program organized its Summer 2012 cultural immersion travel to Egypt from May 14-30, 2012.   Scholars attended lectures related to the recent events of the Arab Spring, and selected topics focusing on financial and industrial policies, as well as the study of anthropologically important historical sites.   

Classroom lectures were organized at the American University in Cairo, interspersed with travel excursions throughout this ancient country. Egyptologists lectured on Ancient Egypt, religions in Egypt, and Egyptian people and culture.

The program was designed for students seeking a deeper and participatory understanding of other cultures and viewpoints on cultural, national security and international policy in order to prepare for careers in government service, international relations or international business.

Afghanistan vs. Vietnam, a lecture by Dr. Gregory Gleason

Dr. Gregory Gleason, POLS, was back at UNM for a short period of time and gave a lecture on Thursday afternoon, April 5th.  The lecture was open to the UNM community. Dr. Gleason contrasted 2012 Afghanistan and Vietnam of the early seventies.  The focus was on the substantial differences and considerable similarities between Vietnam and Afghanistan.  There was an opportunity to meet with Dr. Gleason prior to his talk, at a reception in the Dane Smith Hall atrium area.

Skill Set Workshop by the DIA and the CIA

cia-dia-skillset-workshop-spring-2012On March 27 and 28, the NSSP hosted a Skill Set Workshop for NSSP scholars. The workshop sessions were presented from an agency point of view and designed to help scholars develop the critical skills necessary to be competitive in careers in the Intelligence Community. Critical writing, critical thinking, critical analysis and analysis using the scientific method were covered in the two day event. 

In conjunction with the workshop, a representative of the CIA was available to meet with scholars one-on-one to talk about career opportunities with the agency. The CIA is responsible to the President through the Director of National Intelligence and accountable to the American people through the Intelligence Oversight Committees of the Congress. A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) human resources person was available as well, to meet one-on-one with scholars. The DIA provides timely, objective, all-source military intelligence to policy-makers, to U.S. armed forces around the world, and to the U.S. acquisition community and force planners to counter a variety of threats and challenges across the spectrum of conflict.

Brigadier General John Adams & Chris Courtney talk on diplomacy and civic engagement

adams-courtney-spring-2012At the February 28 Scholars’ meeting, a presentation was given by Brigadier General Adams (retd.) and Lieutenant Colonel Courtney (retd.) focused on the 'Why and How of Diplomatic Engagement with Potential Foes' and discussed when engagement makes sense. Two contemporary case studies: Iran and Cuba were highlighted. There was also an  opportunity to learn more about careers with the intelligence agencies.

Dr. Timothy Hoyt of the U.S. Naval War College lecture titled Pakistan – Four Futures for a Troubled Relationship

hoyt-spring-2012On Sunday, February 26, Dr. Timothy Hoyt of the U.S. Naval War College gave a lecture titled Pakistan – Four Futures for a Troubled Relationship.  Pakistan is a critical American ally in our efforts to combat global terrorism.  It has a large army, a significant nuclear arsenal, and a long – if troubled – history of alliance with the United States.  Nevertheless, America’s relations with Pakistan are difficult, a fact brought home by the killing of Osama Bin Laden in a compound only thirty miles from Pakistan’s capital.  As the U.S. re-examines its policies in South Asia, including a possible withdrawal from Afghanistan and a growing friendship with India, the U.S. also needs to consider its relationship with Pakistan and Pakistan’s future.  Professor Hoyt laid out four different possible futures for Pakistan and lead a discussion of how the U. S. can best contribute to Pakistani stability and development in the coming decades.  Lunch following the lecture allowed NSSP scholars and those enrolled in the spring 2012 NSSP course on non-proliferation to meet and interact with Dr. Hoyt.

Charles Bergman talks about China: Menacing Monolith or Fragile Superpower?  

charles-bergmanAt the first 2012 Spring NSSP scholars’ meeting on February 9th, Mr. Charles Bergman gave an informative presentation about whether to consider China as a menacing monolith or a fragile superpower in the globalized world.  The presentation focused on China’s intentions, and objectively assessed the country’s strengths and weaknesses, including its military strength and potential flashpoints with the U.S.  He advised the audience to maintain an unbiased view of China’s critical role in the global economy.

A Stanford University graduate in East Asian Studies, Mr. Bergman studied Chinese at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, while on a Henry Luce Foundation fellowship. He currently serves as a faculty member at the Albuquerque Academy.

National Security Symposium 2011

symposiumThe National Security Studies Program (NSSP) hosted a two day symposium entitled “9/11 Ten Years After:  Evolving Threats and U.S. Responses” on September 22-23, 2011 in the UNM Student Union Building. 

During the symposium, NM and national experts discussed the causes and many changes in our lives since the attack on New York and Washington D.C., and what we can expect and plan for in the future.   Session topics included: The Muslim brotherhood, Al-Qa’ida and franchise terror groups, U.S. Intelligence and Espionage in New Mexico; The terrorist choices: nuclear, bio or cyber? and much more. The symposium was open to all UNM students, faculty, staff and the UNM community and was well attended on both the days. Read more...

Ambassador Roger Pierce talks about career opportunities in the U.S. Department of State

amb roger pierceThe fist NSSP scholars' meeting of the fall 2011 semester was held on September 8, within an informative presentation by UNM's Ambassador in Residence Roger Pierce on State Department careers and internships. Scholars who had summer internships shared their experiences with a number of scholars and prospective scholars at the meeting.

NSSP collaborates with the Air Force Research Laboratory La Luz Academy

NSSP orientated 35 high school teachers at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) La Luz Academy. The Teacher Institute is a week-long science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professional development activity conducted by the AFRL La Luz Academy. During the Institute, participating math and science teachers listen to guest speakers, tour facilities, engage in various hands-on STEM activities, and discuss how these concepts can be taken back and applied in their classrooms. This venue provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the NSSP to a number of high school teachers in New Mexico. This was the second summer that the NSSP participated.

NSSP cosponsors USDA-UNM Agricultural Leadership Program at UNM

usda agroterrorism sessionIn July, the NSSP also partnered with the 2011 USDA-UNM Agricultural Leadership Program for high school students. This program was designed to solicit a pool of bright, dedicated, and responsible students with a demonstrated interest in (or willingness to explore) an academic area that has relevance to the missions of the agencies within the U.S.Department of Agriculture and/or national security. This was an ideal partnership opportunity for NSSP as it meshed with the security aspects of agriculture and food supply in the U.S., as well as food supplies as a political weapon in developing countries.

usda simulation usda causes of famine and food shortagesSelected students participated in a 10 day long summer program, where they stayed on campus for the first 5 days and were introduced to various USDA and IC agencies through a series of presentations, field visits, and lectures on issues of food and agricultural security. A session was dedicated to the IC in the United States conducted by a special agent with the FBI, who specializes in food/agriculture related terrorist threats. Students attended the session and participated in a question-answer session afterwards. The special agent also made a presentation on ‘Agro terrorism’ and participated in a crisis simulation exercise conducted by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel.

The last 5 days of the program were spent in a youth camp at Jemez Springs, NM where students engaged in hands-on learning and gained scientific knowledge pertinent to food and agriculture security.

NSSP partners with ODNI sponsored STARTALK program

startalk chinese trackNSSP partnered with STARTALK which offered classes to high school students in the critical languages of Arabic and Chinese from June 6 through July 1, 2011. NSSP was able to co-sponsor a number of afternoon cultural activities and also add additional sessions focusing on the IC and national security careers.

startalk arabic trackThe NSSP activities focused on developing an IC awareness and interest in national security issues. To support this effort there were presentations by NSSP Senior Advisory Committee Members that ranged from the history of the IC to the international youth movement today. A field trip to the Albuquerque FBI headquarters enabled the students to learn more about the structure, function, and operation of the agency.

startalk simulationThe integration of the two ODNI funded programs, STARTALK and NSSP, proved to be a win-win for both programs. The program culminated with a two day simulation of the Cuban Missile Crisis, developed by Florida International University (FIU), Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies, and implemented by the NSSP team.