The National Security Education Board was established in 1991 as a part of the National Security Education Act and as a part of a broader federal initiative called the National Security Education Program (NSEP). This week, the White House announced the newest appointees to the board, including Sean Bigley, a security clearance attorney and ClearanceJobs contributor. Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to the President was also named to the board.
The focus of NSEP is to build a ‘broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills’ to work in government and national security. Initiatives of the NSEP include scholarships, fellowships and training programs, language training centers, and veteran outreach.
The National Security Education Board includes eight Cabinet-level members, with representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Presidential appointees serve a term of up to four years, and are to be “experts in the fields of international, language, area, and counterproliferation studies education.”
The board was created by George H.W. Bush, and was designed to bridge the gap between national security and academia, and ensure security professionals. It specifically works to facilitate the NSEP scholarship program, ensuring qualified applicants are awarded scholarships and fellowships, and also ensuring the needs of the program remain current with national security challenges.
NSEP acknowledges the difficulty in attracting the right professionals into national security careers, particularly those with critical foreign language experience. NSEP scholarships and fellowships all require awardees to continue to serve the government in federal careers. Scholarships and fellowships create a pipeline of talent with the most in-demand international and foreign language skills. The program doesn’t end with the awarding of scholarships; it works with awardees for federal job placement. The aim of the board is also to work with academia to ensure a qualified talent pool of individuals from colleges and universities across the country, and to help encourage those individuals to pursue national security careers.