Press Releases

National Defense University iCollege Has Its First Master’s Degree Graduates

UNRELEASED | June 16, 2011

On Thursday, June 9th, the first twenty graduates to receive the Master of Science Degree in Government Information Leadership (GIL) graduated from the Information Resources Management College (iCollege) of the National Defense University (NDU).

The GIL Master’s Degree curriculum is designed to educate defense and government leaders who seek to lead complex and diverse 21st Century organizations. Successful graduates from the program are able to employ information and information technology for strategic advantage; evaluate the roles, challenges, and opportunities of organizations within the context of homeland, national, and global security; and, apply strategic critical and innovative thinking methods to become Information Age leaders.

Dr. Robert D. Childs, Chancellor of the NDU iCollege, bestowed diplomas on 12 GIL Masters Degree graduates who were there in person and gave tribute to the eight graduates who were not present due to service deployments. The GIL graduates represented the Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines), the State Department, and the Department of the Treasury. The degree was approved by the U.S. Department of Education in December 2010, with the graduates part way through the program.

A total of 654 students graduated from four NDU colleges at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC: the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the College of International Security Affairs, the National War College, and the iCollege. Making the event even more special, the NDU iCollege proudly graduated 20 students with its new Government Information Leadership (GIL) Master of Science Degree.

Vice Admiral Ann E. Rondeau, President of the National Defense University, welcomed graduates and guests to the ceremony and thanked the NDU faculty “for their unwavering dedication to educating tomorrow’s future leaders.” She recognized several faculty members from the four colleges, including NDU iCollege Professor Cathy Downes for her commitment to integrating cutting edge technology in the classroom.

General James N. Mattis, US Marine Corps, Commander, United States Central Command, was the key note speaker. He told the graduates to be, “100 percent dedicated to excellence, work hard, (expect some blood, sweat, and tears), devote themselves to a strategic perspective, and continue to hone their strategic thinking skills.”

Admiral Thad Allen, US Coast Guard (retired), received an honorary Doctor of National Security Affairs degree, Honoris Causa. In his remarks, he advised the graduates that “Critical problem solving will require cognitive diversity; collaboration, networking, and partnering to succeed.”

A special guest, Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, congratulated the graduates and to offered his thanks to the global community. He said, “We especially owe our gratitude to the American people and the US Military for their vigilant 24/7 support of Japan,” after the horrific March earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people. “We are making a comeback,” Ambassador Fujisaki said.