2013 MIT Senior Congressional and Executive Branch Staff Seminar

The MIT Security Studies Program hosted its first Seminar for Senior Congressional and Executive Branch Staff titled “National Security in a Time of Austerity.” The seminar was held April 3-5, 2013 and was a project of the Frankel (MIT) Global Policy Program Fund.

Thirty-two congressional hill and executive branch staffers attended the three day event which opened with a welcome address by MIT Vice President Professor Claude Canizares followed by a luncheon keynote presentation from (Ret) Admiral Gary Roughead, Distinguished Visiting Annenberg Fellow at the Hoover Institution and former CNO.  His topic was “Burden Sharing in Asia,” and focused on the changing role of the US military with regard to “the pivot.” Wednesday evening was capped by a dinner featuring Dr. David Chu, President and CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses and former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Dr. Chu spoke on “Lessons From Past Draw-Downs.”

All of the seminar session panels were made up of faculty, alums, or associates of the MIT Security Studies Program. The five SSP sessions were: “US Grand Strategy: Reform or Transformation?”; “Asia: The strategy and diplomacy of rising powers”; “The Defense Program: Capabilities, Costs and Constraints”; “Civil Wars and Insurgencies: Enduring Problems, Unsatisfying Solutions”; and “Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Proliferation and Counter Proliferation: Diplomatic and Military Approaches.”

The seminar participants, SSP faculty and guests also received an overview and tour of Lincoln Laboratory from Lab Director Dr. Eric Evans and Dr. Steven Bussolari. The group toured and heard presentations on new technology and military efficiency, including advanced capability demonstrations, laser communication, microelectronics and wide area persistent surveillance.

The seminar welcome address and keynote lunch presentation video will be available on the SSP website at a later date.


Roughead speaking

Keynote speaker (Ret) Admiral Gary Roughead


SSP Panelists
from left to right: Owen Cote, Vipin Narang, Richard Samuels, Taylor Fravel