What IWOs can expect from Harvard

What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby 12345qwert » Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:49 am

With just over a month until graduation from Harvard Kennedy School's (HKS) one year Master in Public Administration (MPA) Program, wanted to follow-up on a post about getting into the POL-MIL program/Harvard (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1182) with a post to urge other IWOs to spend a year at Harvard as part of the POL-MIL/NSF program.

BLUF: The diversity of the experience as a National Security Fellow (NSF) or an MPA candidate will allow you to contextualize U.S. foreign policy in ways in which you’ll never be able to do at another school. This is a transformational experience from both an intellectual and social perspective.

Classmates: Of the 900 students at HKS (200 of which are in your “cohort,” there are 150+ countries represented). The discussions you will have in/out of class will help contextualize regions and give you a “real” understanding of how U.S. policies affect people in Africa/Middle East/Asia/Europe. Because of the NSA scandal (which broke the month before classes started last summer) there was initial unease over all of us in the military – especially those with intelligence backgrounds. However, after overcoming those concerns, you are able to attend an Africa Study group where the speaker of the house in Nigeria debates with a member of the African Union about international action in Central African Republic, learn about Latin American negotiations/trade from diplomats from Mexico/Chile/Argentina/Panama, hear about middle east strategy from the King of Saudi Arabia’s strategist, or leaders from Israel/Egypt/Lebennon/Palestine. These international students are also in class with you, and challenge some of the perspectives that have been reinforced throughout your career/education and force you to strengthen your arguments by taking into account competing perspectives.

Leaders you will interact with: Every single day, you have to choose what outside events you want to go to - you will turn down small group (20 people) conversations with the Andrea Mitchell (NBC news) because you want to see GEN Odierno speak. These are a few of the discussions I have attended (off the top of my head).

US: President Obama, fmr Senator Romney Henry Kissinger, Tom Donilon (Fmr National Security Adv), Mike Morrell (fmr CIA Dir), Senators Reed/McCain/Rand Paul/etc, US AMB to South Korea/China/India/Iraq/Pakistan/Brazil, Gov Patrick (MA), etc., etc.

US Military: GEN (RET) Petraeus, ADM Ferguson (VCNO), ADM Rogers (NSA/USCC), GEN Odierno, GEN Shelton (head of USAF space/cyber forces), Lt GEN Hayden (CIA/NSA director), etc., etc.

International: President of Ecuador (Correa), Fmr President of Mexico (Calderon), Fmr Vice Chancellor of Germany (Westerwelle), Fmr Prime Minister of Greece (Papademos), SecDef of Greece, head of the European Central Bank, AMB from China/India/Pakistan/Japan/South Korea/etc and many/many/many more.

Classes: You must select a minimum of 8 classes over the year from HKS, MIT, Tufts, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, or any of Harvard's other graduate schools.

Here are a few of the courses that I took that apply directly to us as IWO/military officers:
* Central Challenges of American National Security, Strategy, and the Press (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teac ... ng/iga-211): The course is taught by Graham Allison (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/facult ... am-allison) who worked as a special advisor/Assistant SecDef under Presidents Reagan and Clinton, along with David Sanger (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/facult ... nger/(page)/faculty), who is the current Chief Washington Correspondent for the NYT. Each week, you are given 250 pages of reading on topics ranging from the International response in Syria to China's actions in SCS/ECS, from red lines for nuclear weapons in Iran to the military's budget, from the NSA leak scandal (and how the press decides to leak national secrets) to red-teaming a terrorist attack against the US. Students are given a 4 page "case" based on the readings that require them to write a 1-3 page policy memo to a senior US leader (president/SecDef/SecState/etc) and make policy recommendations. This forces you to synthesize your thoughts, think through US strategy within a given framework (to include vital/extremely important national interests), and defend your recommendation.
* International Regimes in the Cyber Age (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teac ... g/iga-130m) taught by Joseph Nye (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/facult ... joseph-nye), the man who developed the theory on soft power and is now a leading theorist on cyber power. Course walks through the policy implications of cyberwar/cyber espionage/cyber norms/cyber crimes/internet governance/etc.
* Great Power Competition in the International System (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teac ... ng/iga-116) taught by Nicholas Burns (http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/exp ... burns.html), who was the Undersecretary of State and US AMB to NATO. In the course, you follow three rising powers (India/China/Brazil) and three (relatively) declining powers (US/EU/Russia) through a myriad of topics and geographic areas (cyber/new forms of energy/military budget/SCS/Indian Ocean/Africa/international trade/etc). Of note, Prof. Burns firmly believes that cyber is the number one threat to the US over the next two decades.
* Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age (http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teac ... g/iga-236m): Learn about cyber from the tactical to the strategic level by some of the original inventors of the Internet, who still work at Harvard/MIT, to differentiating between white/gray/black hackers from the hackers themselves.
* Negotiation at the Law School (http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/cu ... g/?o=64295). This intense three week workshop taught me how to be a better small group negotiator, not by manipulating my counterpart, but understanding their perspective, how to find solutions, how to develop a framework and how to “increase the size of the pie.” Course uses intense simulations and offers extensive one-on-one feedback.
* Economics of National Security (http://www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu/co ... ty-seminar): This is the best-kept secret at Harvard – invite only to those with a national security background (only 40 people are allowed to attend). Each TUE meets for dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club for an off the record conversation, this years speakers were: Gary Samore (fmr WMD Czar) to discuss Iran, GEN (RET) Allen (fmr head of ISAF) to discuss East/Central Asia and the Middle East, Michele Flourney (fmr Undersecretary of Defense and head of military budget) to discuss Military Budget cuts, Dennis Ross (fmr head of State Department Policy) to discuss Middle East/Arab-Israeli Conflict, Michael McConnel (fmr DNI/DIRNSA) to discuss cybersecurity and cyber intel, Roy Stapleton (fmr US AMB to China) to discuss China), Paula Dobriansky (Fmr Undersecretary of State) to discuss Russia, Max Boot (military historian) to discuss counterinsurgency and future of War, Steven Bosworth (former US AMB to Korea/Philippines) to discuss North/South Korea, Shelia Smith (council on Foreign Relations) to discuss Japan and East Asian conflict, and Meghan O’Sullivan (fmr deputy National Security Adv) to discuss consequences of changing global energy picture.
* Privacy, Technology, and National Security (http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/cu ... ml?o=65809) is at the Law School and taught by fmr deputy US Attorney General. Focuses on the implications of intelligence collection in the digital age, with extensive discussion on 4th/5th amendment rights, FISA courts, and the impacts of 3rd parties in technology. Helps better understand the intended limitations to foreign/domestic intelligence collection
* International Relations in the Cyber Age (http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/political-sc ... 1/Syllabus) at MIT. Discusses the implications of cyber on the existing international relations framework
* Digital Innovation and Transformation: (http://www.hbs.edu/coursecatalog/2134.html) at Harvard Business School> Course discusses how the digital age is changing every facet of our lives, from case studies on Facebook and Google advertising, to the implications of crowdsourcing (using TopCoder), to the limited cybersecurity that is being built into the infrastructure. All of these lessons directly apply to our work in the IW field.
* Many, many more – PM if you have specific questions.

Cyber Lunches: Every other week, Professor Nye hosts a closed door/off-the-record cyber lunch. here were this year's speakers:
Sept. 18: Bruce Schneier (Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University)
Oct. 2: Ron Deibert (Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto)
Oct. 16: Scott O. Bradner (Senior Technology Consultant, Harvard University)
Oct. 30: Roger Hurwitz (CSAIL, MIT)
Nov. 13: General Michael Hayden (Former Director, National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency)
Dec. 4: Katie Moussouris (Head of Security Community Outreach and Strategy, Microsoft)
Feb. 5: Chris Demchak (Professor, Naval War College)
Feb. 19: David Sanger (Chief Washington Correspondent, The New York Times; Senior Fellow and Adjunct Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School)
Mar. 5: Christopher Painter (Coordinator for Cyber Issues, U.S. Department of State) and Alexander Klimburg (Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School)
Mar 26: Simson Garfinkel (Professor, Naval Postgraduate School)
Apr. 9: Nazli Choucri (Professor of Political Science, MIT)
Apr 23: Melissa Hathaway (Senior Advisor, Project on Technology, Security, and Conflict in the Cyber Age, Belfer Center)

Family: My wife/son are in a playgroup with kids from Finland/Iceland/France/Nigeria/Italy/Israel/El Salvador/Mexico/Malaysia. I don’t think your family can have a better cultural experience.

Travel: During Spring Break, you will have an opportunity to go on a “trek” by selecting from a WIDE variety of countries: China/North Korea (seriously), Japan, South Korea/Morocco/Columbia/Panama/Israel/Palestine. AMAZING opportunity to see the culture, understand the people, and hear from people you would never be able to see if you weren’t traveling with Harvard.

Projects: Worked with GEN (RET) Cartwright (former Vice CJCS) on a project that tried to integrate tactical cyber technologies, and reviewed new technologies that were a part of the QDR for the Independent Review Panel.

National Security Fellows: Each year, there are approximately 24 NSFs that are comprised of Senior Officers (O-5/O-6 post command) from the joint services are joined by senior leaders from the IC community – you will have 4-5 of them in all of the national security classes, and they come to many of the HKS events.

I cannot overstate what an incredible opportunity that this is – and GENUINELY encourage those looking to complete their graduate degrees as a senior O-3 through junior O-5 to apply for POL-MIL and post-command O-5/0-6 to apply for NSF!
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby Sum1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:01 am

When they select you for the program, how is your school determined? I don't recall the selection board results message having specific schools assigned to specific people. Actually, to confirm, I looked up the last message, and it only selects to a 2 year program or 1 year program.

http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/r ... V13327.txt

How did they determine that you would go to Harvard?
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby 12345qwert » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:36 am

You have to be accepted to BOTH the POL-MIL program AND the school you want to attend (Harvard/Tufts/Michigan/NYU/Princeton/John's Hopkins/Georgetown/etc). You apply to the school and have to be accepted as a part of the normal application process. Because of timing (results of POL-MIL come out in mid-late NOV and Harvard application is due late NOV-early DEC), you have to start your application to some of the grad schools (Harvard/Princeton -the other schools have applications that are due the first week in JAN) BEFORE you know whether or not you're accepted into POL-MIL program (because of essays, LORs, official transcripts, etc - the applications can take a few months to complete (I started mine in OCT with no idea whether or not I would get accepted into the POL-MIL)). We've heard that about 100 people apply for the POL-MIL each year, but I have yet to see any numbers published from the board.

From the 2014 class that is graduating this year, ALL of the POL-MILs applied to and were accepted by Harvard (6 1-year and 1 2-year) - and I believe there are similar numbers in the Class of 2015 (unfortunately, none of this year's selectees were IW/IDC). Of note, the VCNO was here last week and all of us recommended expanding the program to eight (by splitting the 2-year into two 1-years). He was an NSF and was looking at the ROI of the programs for the Navy.

There are also a few people at Harvard this year that took a year off from the Navy to get their degree using the GI Bill. They had applied for the POL-MIL a few times and not been selected (although they HAD been accepted into Harvard). There are others who are using the degree to transition out of service and into another field.

Be aware that for the one year programs there are minimum experience requirements (5-9 years depending on the school) that you have to meet in order to apply.

As for the Naval NSFs, they ARE placed in the schools - these are senior O-5s/O-6s that do not have to "apply" to the schools - there are set spots at each school (from the Navy, we currently have one O-5 Seal coming out of his command tour and one O-6 SWO coming out of his CSG CO tour) and the Navy decides based on their package and their personal preferences where to place them.

Hope that helps.
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby Sum1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:58 pm

Ahhh... see, I always thought the Navy spread the POL-MIL love around to all or many of those schools. I wasn't aware of the fact that it was entirely up to you to apply and be accepted, and if you (or everyone) got accepted to Harvard, so be it.

I'll have to look this up about the minimum experience requirements. I feel like being in the Navy for 13 years (6 of that commissioned as an IWO and 7 as a linguist) would count, but I'll just go ahead and make certain of that. I like the idea, though, of taking a year off to do the program if the Navy won't select for the funded degree. Frankly, I would make that sacrifice in a heartbeat if it meant walking away in a year with that kind of academic experience and credential. I can't imagine that program being cheap, though, and if I were to guess, I'd say the GI Bill likely would only fund about 25% of the actual cost.
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby arvizo » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:11 pm

12345qwert, thanks for the detailed writeup. It sounds like a really great program and excellent opportunity. Where will you go for the payback tour?
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby 12345qwert » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:30 pm

"Sum1;"

Good afternoon.

Here is the OPNAV instruction on the "Navy Career Intermission Pilot Program" (http://doni.documentservices.dla.mil/Di ... 330.2B.pdf) and here is a FAQ that does a great job of explaining the program (http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/05/16/ ... m-updated/)

I would definitely apply for the POL-MIL a few times BEFORE you pursue this route (unless you feel crunched for time). That being said, you can DEFINITELY apply to Harvard (or ANY other school with a comparable 1 year program) next year - even if you are not accepted into the POL-MIL, but ARE selected into Harvard, you can "defer" your acceptance for up to two additional years (meaning that you don't have to re-apply and you have THREE years to apply for POL-MIL). Already having your acceptance into Harvard (or any other school) should also improve your POL-MIL package the NEXT year (if you aren't selected the first time up).

We have one officer that is in the Intermission Program this year - he is an O-5 F-18 pilot, who applied for the POL-MIL program three times - didn't get accepted, so he took the year off, then will go back into the Navy after graduation. We also have one DEVGRU O-4, another F-18 pilot (O-4), and an O-4 JAG who have all left naval service and are using the degree to transition into the private sector (the school is VERY military friendly - but you should also look into the Business School and Law School - depending on what your interests are - Kennedy School is the only school you can go to on the POL-MIL).

You can use your GI Bill AND apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program (which will help cover some of the costs of tuition/fees) - and your enlisted/officer service both count toward the 5-9 year service requirement (again, number of years is school dependent. Your application will be a timeline of your entire life since high school graduation and you have to account for every month (including ALL of your transcripts - there is a specific section where you can write an essay if you had any bad grades). Please note that they are NOT expecting perfection - if you weren't a straight A student in college, but have done exceptionally well in Naval Service (as seen through your three LORs), you should definitely apply.

"Arvizo;"

After completing the degree, you get the 2000P subspecialty code and the 240 AQD (both for strategic planning). As a result of the education, you owe a three-year payback tour and it is supposed to be at supporting "strategic" planning (based on preliminary discussions with the detailer, these will typically be USCC/OPNAV/COCOM).

IW JO detailer has been AWESOME in finding a unique job that should leverage the education! Headed to the State Department to be the Military's Cyber Liaison Officer for the next three years (it's a new position).

Hope that answers the questions! It would be GREAT to get you both (or any others) into the program this coming year! Shoot me a PM if you'd like personal help with your packages - would love to "pay it forward" (for all of the mentors who sacrificed time for me through the application process a year ago)!
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby Sum1 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:48 pm

If you are who I think you are, I sent you an email not too long after your results came out to say congratulations and ask questions. I'd love the help... I've been interested in this program since I learned about it not long after commissioning.
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby Messiah62 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:37 am

Would these types of programs be open to Reserve IWOs? What if you already have a Masters degree? This sounds like an excellent opportunity!
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Re: What IWOs can expect from Harvard

Postby 12345qwert » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:29 pm

Here is the link to last year's announcement message (which outlines the details of the program): http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/r ... V13171.txt

You can expect this year's announcement msg to come out in the first week of JUL.

I am not sure if reserve officers can apply for POL-MIL (all of the officers that are here now are active duty), but feel free to reach out to the POCs on this message if you are interested - it's definitely worth the effort. Happy to help if you're able to put in an application!
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