FIU’s Gordon Institute Inducts Largest Intelligence Workforce Development Program Class

 Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Abby Johnson provided remarks to the incoming cohort.

The beginning of Fall 2023 served as a key moment for many students, for some it is their start of their university experience and for others it nears the end as they approach their graduation. For the Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (IC-CAE) Intelligence Fellowship class of 2023-2024 it served as their official beginning as an IC-CAE scholar as they completed their Induction Ceremony on August 25th.

Recognized by the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines during a Fall 2021 visit, the Intelligence Fellowship is a one-year workforce development program open to all students regardless of educational background. It provides students with invaluable and experiential learning and preparation for careers with one of the 18 U.S. intelligence agencies.

A distinguished assembly welcomed the eighth Fellowship cohort led by FIU’s Provost, Dr. Elizabeth Bejar, Dean of the Steven J. Green School of International Affairs, Dr. Shlomi Dinar, and Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute, Brian Fonseca—all who have vested interested in our students and their pursuit into the workforce. The ceremony also featured notable keynote speakers, including Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Abby Johnson, United States Southern Command Director of Intelligence Major General Dustin Shultz, and Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director of Open Source Enterprise Dr. Quintrella V. Cahee.

Deputy Director Johnson encapsulated the essence of the evening. Considering this was her inaugural visit to campus, not only did she give a thought-provoking keynote speech, but she also shared her thoughts in a private fireside chat. Johnson’s words echoed in the room as the next generation of intelligence professionals listened, "You are our next generation of leaders, and we need you. Creative problem-solving is one of the keys to tackling national security challenges, and it’s your diversity of thought and background that will infuse the intelligence community with the adaptability necessary for progress.”

As students embark on this journey, they will have access to research and mentorship opportunities to hone their analytical skills, an alumni network to navigate the program, multidisciplinary coursework, and hands-on experience with agencies in the intelligence field. As a result, the IC-CAE Intelligence Fellowship has seen a roughly 80% success rate in fellows receiving conditional offers of employment from the top leading intelligence agencies, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, and NCTC.

“The Jack D. Gordon Institute was the start of my career. Besides the advanced courses taught by former or current national intelligence professionals and CompTIA certification training, the biggest reward was lifelong connections. Without it, I wouldn't be sitting where I am today,” said Danay R., who graduated from the Fellowship in 2022. “Countless careers have grown and will continue to flourish out of the Jack D. Gordon Institute."

Concluding the evening on a powerful note, Deputy Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, Hector Cadavid, delivered inspiring words: “By being here this evening, you’re beginning to crack the code. Your unwavering dedication and relentless drive have led you to this point. The intelligence community eagerly anticipates you, and we’re thrilled to witness your growth and impact firsthand.”

The newly inducted eighth cohort exhibits great promise, standing as the largest and most diverse group to date. With over sixty students, 64% female and 36% male, the majority of which come from a Hispanic background (73%), this cohort’s significance is magnified. Equally impressive, 56% of these young professionals are trailblazers in their families, representing the first generation of students.

Applications for the 2024/2025 IC-CAE Intelligence Fellowship are now open.

For more information on the IC-CAE Intelligence Fellowship, click here.

By: Cesar Cabot