Press Releases

International NDU Alumni and Global Information Leaders Unite for Continuing Education and a 2-Day Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection

UNRELEASED | February 17, 2011

More than 30 National Defense University (NDU) international alumni from over 10 countries met on 31 January in Dubai, UAE to complete a continuing education seminar, and many of these same alumni joined a global group of 150 private sector, government, and academic leaders from across the globe for the NDU iCollege’s “Regional Collaboration in Critical Infrastructure Protection Conference” on 1-2 February 2011. The events were held at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Center over the three- day period, and participants raved about excellent speaker presentations, outstanding educational content, and numerous networking opportunities.

NDU’s Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies and the International Student Management Office (ISMO) hosted their first-ever continuing education seminar on 31 January for international alumni in the Gulf region. Additionally, NDU alumni attended from as far away as Poland and Nigeria, including the current Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, General Mieczys┼éaw Cieniuch. The seminar included academic panels on “Lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan,” and “Energy Security: Challenges and Opportunities,” as well as alumni and research updates from the university. COL Aref Alzaben of the Jordanian Armed Forces provided an enthralling presentation on the work of the Jordanian Special Operations task force in Afghanistan, including their work to counter homegrown extremism in Afghan communities. Mr. John Charlton (ISMO Senior Director), Dr. John Ballard (NESA Dean) and Ambassador Thomas Krajeski (NDU Senior Vice President) were in attendance and provided remarks to the alumni audience. Due to the success of this inaugural seminar, NDU plans to hold biannual alumni seminars in the future, including partnering with the iCollege for their Malaysia event in Fall 2011.

NDU’s iCollege, with its focus on information leadership and security, co-hosted the Critical Infrastructure Protection conference on 1-2 February with the UAE Higher Colleges of Technology. This international conference brought together approximately 150 senior defense and military leaders, public and private sector senior executives, and academics from nearly 20 countries. The conference was conducted under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research & Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE. Special guests of honor included His Royal Highness Prince Naef bin Ahmed bin Adbulaziz Al-Saud from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and The Honorable John G. Grimes, former U.S. Department of Defense Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration/DoD CIO.

Dr. Robert D. Childs, Chancellor of the NDU iCollege, opened the conference and provided attendees with a challenge to take what they learn over the two days and apply it to infrastructure improvements in their organizations. Conference delegates discussed techniques and strategies for protecting the region’s critical infrastructure (electrical, water, transportation, etc.), the latest in Cybersecurity policies/tools, public/ private partnerships, international collaboration, and educating international leaders on key infrastructure and cyber topics. Speakers and panelists from various government organizations (U.S. DoD and DHS, UAE CNIA, aeCert, Abu Dhabi Water/Electric, Japan Cabinet Secretariat), private sector companies (McAfee, Tibco, Cisco, Cellcrypt, Center House, Kustar), and academia (NDU, HCT, Zayed University) provided varied insight to attendees. NDU iCollege professors John Saunders and Jay Holcomb provided hands-on laboratory experiences in SCADA and Cyber Defense.

In addition to formal education programs, under the direction of Chancellor Childs, the NDU iCollege recently began hosting international conferences and events to highlight faculty expertise, bring together global decision makers, and share best practices. Completed events include: “Regional Collaboration in Cybersecurity” (Singapore, July 2010); “Cloud Computing” (London, Oct 2010); “Social Media Implementation” (Washington, DC, Nov 2010); and “Regional Collaboration in Critical Infrastructure Protection” (Dubai, Feb 2011). Upcoming events: “Virtual Worlds Conference & Expo” (Washington, DC, May 2011); “2ND Annual International Cyber Conference” (Malaysia, Sept 2011); and “CIO Roles/Challenges/Path Forward” (Belgium, Dec 2011). Early planning is also underway for international events in Australia, Africa, and South America. Registration and information on events can be found on the college’s event page: .