Foundation Seminars

Foundation Seminars

The NESA Center leverages the collaborative interests and knowledge of U.S. military organizations including U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Army Central (ARCENT), and the Joint Staff to render a specialized set of 22 programs addressing specific regionally sensitive security and defense issues. The flagship of the NESA Center’s annual programming is the Foundation Seminar series, consisting of the recurring Senior Executive Seminar (SES), Executive Seminar (ES), and Combating Transnational Threats Seminar (CT-SES).

NESA programs provide a collaborative space for policymakers to rigorously discuss key issues impacting the NESA region, ranging from counterterror and countering violent extremism to the perceived return of great power competition. NESA programs employ Chatham House Rules of non-attribution to facilitate free discussion of sensitive topics.

Senior Executive Seminar

Tailored towards senior policymakers, the NESA Senior Executive Seminar programs bring together general- and flag-level military officers and civilian government leaders (including at the ambassadorial and ministerial levels) to catalyze solutions to crucial regional challenges.

Representative themes of previous SES programs include “The New World Order: Challenges and Opportunities”, “Policy and Strategy in World Conflicts”, and “A New U.S. President Takes the Helm”.

Executive Seminar

Conducted three times a year and usually longer than SES programs, NESA’s ES programs are geared towards mid- to senior-level military and government officials from U.S. partner countries in the NESA region and beyond.

Representative themes of previous ES programs include “Security Along the Border Areas”, “The Next Era of Innovation”, and “Non-Traditional Security Challenges”, an iteration of the ES which featured a guest lecture from former CIA and NSA Director General (Ret.) Michael Hayden.

Combating Transnational Threats Seminar

With coursework, case studies, and exercises designed specifically for professionals in the counterterror (CT) space, the NESA Center’s biannual CT-SES programs seek to encourage international security cooperation and empower NESA region allies to better synchronize whole-of-government efforts in countering violent extremism and transnational terrorism.

CT-SES programs address crucial themes including: defining transnational threats; assessing regional, sub-regional and national responses to counterterror; tools, strategies and best practices for combating terrorism; and strategies for enhancing national and regional cooperation.