Combating Transnational Threats Senior Executive Seminar “Technological Innovation & Security Challenges in the NESA Region”

From 22–26 January 2024, the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies hosted a Combating Transnational Threats Senior Executive Seminar (CTSES) titled “Technological Innovation & Security Challenges in the NESA Region,” held at National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

Group photograph of the Combating Transnational Threats Senior Executive Seminar from 22–26 January 2024.


The five-day CTSES engaged 33 participants from 24 countries, including Armenia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Zambia. Twenty-four percent of participants who completed the course were female, exceeding NESA’s DoD goal of 20%.

Course Director Prof. David Des Roches speaking during the tenth session.


Professor of Practice David Des Roches led the seminar, where leading experts in the field delivered lectures on the impact of new technology on security, and the requirements and conditions needed to translate technological developments into true security capacity. The seminar engaged in prolonged discussions with a broad range of experts in fields such as climate change, missile defense, cyber warfare and defenses, drone defenses, simulations in security training, and fostering technological innovations. The eleven sessions began with speaker presentations followed by question-and-answer periods under Chatham House rules.

Speaker Kirsten Fontenrose during the fourth session.


The seminar also discussed the U.S. political system and the role of government in developing and enhancing technological developments and security. To help further develop the atmosphere for technological development, the group also visited the U.S. Capitol and the former U.S. Patent Office.

Speaker Joseph Wier during the fifth session.


NESA Center speakers included COL David Lamm, USA (Ret.)(Acting Director, NESA Center), Dr. Roger Kangas (Academic Dean, NESA Center), David Des Roches (Professor, NESA Center), and Dr. Gawdat Bahgat (Professor, NESA Center). Guest speakers included Kelly Rosenberger (Executive Vice President Government Business, Enginuity Power Systems), Kirsten Fontenrose (President, Red Six International), Joseph Wier (Director, CAE Defense & Security International Business Development), James Moran (Former Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives), Tom Wingfield (Senior International/Defense Researcher, RAND Corporation), Dr. T.X. Hammes (Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies), Justin Anderson (Senior Fellow, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction), Kristen Smith Diwan (Senior Resident Scholar, Arab Gulf States Institute), and Tom Karako (Senior Fellow/Director, CSIS).

Read about the previous CTSES from 11–15 September 2023 on “Emerging Security Platforms in the Digital Age.”

Combating Transnational Threats Senior Executive Seminar “Emerging Security Platforms in the Digital Age”

The views presented in this article are those of the speaker or author and do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its components.