The Global Security in the 21st Century Certificate Program, designed by the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University (FIU), aims to enhance the skills and knowledge of practitioners in the NGO, government, and civil society sectors. 

This intensive paid-program offers a comprehensive overview of the national security landscape, equipping participants with the tools to align development projects with broader security goals. The course will be led by distinguished professionals, including retired four-star Admiral Craig Faller and retired two-star General John Wharton, and will feature interactions with current and former national security practitioners and academics. 

Program Instructors

  • Admiral (Ret.) Craig S. Faller
    Senior Fellow, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Major General (Ret.) John F. Wharton
    Senior Fellow, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Leland Lazarus
    Associate Director of National Security Policy, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Brian Fonseca
    Director, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Dui Turner
    Senior Fellow, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Gabriela Hoberman
    Professor, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
  • Randy Pestana
    Director of Cybersecurity Policy, Jack D. Gordon Institute
  • Mike Asencio
    Program Director, Jack D. Gordon Institute

General Objectives for the Global Security Certificate Program 

  1. Develop a Comprehensive Understanding of National Security: Equip participants with a deep understanding of the interplay between development, defense, and diplomacy. We will also cover the roles and responsibilities of U.S. intelligence agencies, great power competition, climate challenges, and violent non-state actors.
  2. Enhance Strategic and Analytical Skills: Provide advanced insights into the strategic, policy, and operational dimensions of national security. Through guided discussions, interactive workshops, and case studies, participants will enhance their ability to analyze complex security environments, understand the interplay between policy and operational practices, and develop innovative solutions to emerging security challenges.
  3. Foster Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Networking: Promote the exchange of best practices and innovative solutions among practitioners from NGOs, government, and civil society sectors. 


  1. Exploring the Interplay Between Development, Defense, and Diplomacy
  2. Great Power Competition and Other Nation-State Actors
  3. Cyberspace, Information Operations, and Artificial Intelligence
  4. Violent Non-State Actors
  5. Nuclear Weapons, Energy, and Environment


Program Agenda

Monday, October 21st, 2024

Welcome Reception

AfternoonParticipants Arrive
18:00 - 21:00Welcome Reception at the Double Tree Hotel

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2024

Module 1: Exploring the Interplay Between Development, Defense, and Diplomacy

8:00 - 9:00Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:15 - 9:30Program Overview
9:30 - 10:00Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:30Defining National Interests: Role of Policy, Process, People, and Institutions
11:30 - 13:00Lunch
13:00 - 13:15Description of Group Presentations (Thinking about how development projects serve national security objectives)
13:15 - 14:15Inter-agency Cooperation “In the Field”- The “tools” available to USAID FSOs (ie. DSCA, FMF/FMS, COCOMs, etc. 
14:15 - 14:30Coffee Break
14:30 - 15:45Intelligence and National Security- overview of 18 U.S. Intelligence Agencies and Roles 

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2024

Module 2: Great Power Competition and Other Nation-State Actors

8:00 - 9:00Breakfast
9:00 - 10:15Discussion on Geostrategic and Geoeconomic Competition
10:15 - 10:30Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:45Great Power Competition: U.S. and China
11:45 - 13:00Lunch
13:00 - 14:15Great Power Competition: Including Rogue States
14:15 - 14:30Coffee Break

Module 3: Cyberspace, Information Operations, and Emerging Technology

14:30 - 15:45Cybersecurity and Governance
15:45 - 16:00Coffee Break
16:00 - 17:45Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Threats

Thursday, October 24th, 2024

Module 4: Violent Non-State Actors

8:00 - 9:00Breakfast
9:00 - 10:15

1.Transnational Organized Crime/ 

2.Countering Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking 

10:15 - 10:30Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:45Violent Extremist Organizations
11:45 - 13:00Lunch

Module 5: Nuclear Weapons, Energy, and Environmental

13:00 - 14:15Nuclear Strategy and Policies
14:15 - 14:30Coffee Break
14:30 - 15:45Women, Peace and Security
15:45 - 16:00Coffee Break
16:00 - 17:15Energy and Environmental Security

Friday, October 25, 2024

Presentations, Closing of the Program, and Cultural Day

8:00 - 9:00Breakfast
9:00 - 10:15Presentations
10:15 - 10:30Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:45Presentations
11:45 - 12:00Coffee Break
12:00 - 13:00Delivery of Certificates of Participation and Closing of the Program