National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program (NSSPP)

The National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program (NSSPP) is a weeklong workshop that gathers a diverse group of mid-career professionals to explore the character of contemporary war and its future.

The NSSPP gathers 25-30 individuals in the mid-stage of their careers for a one-week workshop on the future of war, exploring U.S. competitive advantages and disadvantages, large questions about the changing nature of conflict, the use of alternative scenarios to understand them, and possible implications for the United States, to include strategy and force structure.


Participants have the opportunity to engage with their peers, senior scholar-teachers, and distinguished guests in both the formal program and informal discussions. Past distinguished guests and faculty have included Strategic Studies and Merrill Center Director Dr. Mara Karlin, Dean Eliot Cohen, LTG David Barno (USA, ret.), Dr. Nora Bensahel, Ambassador Eric Edelman, Dr. Thomas Mahnken, Prof. John McLaughlin, Dr. Thomas Rid, Prof. Adam Szubin, and General Angus Campbell of the Australian Defence Forces, among others. Joining the program this year will be Strategic Studies’ new Associate Director, Dr. Paula Thornhill (Brig Gen USAF, ret.).


The JHU SAIS Merrill Center covers associated costs, including domestic economy travel, meals, and lodging for the duration of the program. If selected, participants must commit to attending the entire workshop and to being an active participant in workshop preparation and discussions. Participants should expect substantial readings in advance and may be asked to give short presentations.


Applicants must have a minimum of 10 years post-undergraduate work experience in national security, international affairs, or a related field. Participants will be selected to ensure a balance among several categories: government; academia; business/private sector; and outside influencers (including think tanks, Federally Funded Research Centers, consulting firms, defense industry, and journalism). We also encourage those who have a variety of experiences or unique experience that may not fall strictly into a category above to apply.

NSSPP 2022 will take place from June 6 to 10, 2022.

The application period for the 2022 National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program (NSSPP) is now closed. Please watch this space for our 2023 session.

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National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program, 2019 Cohort

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The National Security Scholars and Practitioners Program takes place on the shores of Lake Champlain.

2019 Cohort

Chris Bassler, U.S. Department of Defense

Caroline C. Baxter, RAND Corporation

Yara Bayoumy, The Atlantic

Marguerite Rivard Benson

Laura G. Brent, NATO

Jacob Cohn, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

Luke Collin, U.S. Department of Defense

Robert Cowden, National Intelligence Council

Jud Crane, National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service

John W. Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tim Hwang, MIT/Harvard University

Mariam Jalalzada, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Louis Lauter, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Eric Lindsey, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems

Matthew Lundgren, George Mason University

Dan Magruder, U.S. Air Force

Jenny Marron, U.S. Department of State

Aaron Mehta, Defense News

Jim Mitre, Govini

Craig Neuman, U.S. Air Force

Henry Nuzum, Central Gulf Lines, Inc. and Waterman Steamship Corp.

Katherine Obradovich, U.S. Department of Defense

Alex Pascal, Macro Advisory Partners

Jim Perkins, Amazon Web Services

Kaleb Redden, U.S. Department of Defense

Andrew Scott, U.S. Government

Hope Hodge Seck,

Lizzy Shackelford, Independent Consultant

Nina S. Wagner, U.S. Department of Defense

Jonathan Welch, RAND Corporation, USMR

2018 Cohort

Michael Albertson, U.S. Department of State

Brian Arakelian, U.S. Department of Defense

Susanna Blume, Center for a New American Security

Anna Borshchevskaya, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Luke Condra, University of Pittsburgh

Scott Cooper, Human Rights First

Matthew Cordova, U.S. Department of Defense

Scott Cuomo, Georgetown University

Jessie Evans, Independent Consulting

Greg Grant, U.S. Department of Defense

Christopher Hamner, George Mason University

Jacob Heim, RAND Corporation

Kate Higgins-Bloom, Brookings Institution

Michael Hunzeker, George Mason University

Brian Katz, U.S. Government

Miriam Krieger, U.S. Air Force Academy

Michael O'Hara, U.S. Naval War College

Matthew O'Kane, Office of Management and Budget

Mira Rapp-Hooper, Yale Law School

Eric Reid, U.S. Department of Defense

John Schutte, U.S. Air Force

Erin Sikorsky, National Intelligence Council

Erin Simpson, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Sarah Wildman, Foreign Policy

Matthew Williams, U.S. Senate