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Press Release | Aug. 7, 2013

National Defense University Information Resources Management College Hosts Cyber Beacon Thought Leader Meeting

Contact: Patricia Coopersmith
Director of Outreach & International Relations
National Defense University iCollege

Washington, DC. The National Defense University (NDU) Information Resources Management College, also known as the iCollege, hosted nearly 40 government, academic, and private sector leaders on 24 July 2013 for an exclusive cyber leadership education discussion. The meeting objectives were to:
  • Identify the knowledge and skills required by leaders in today’s cyberspace era;
  • Discuss what government leaders need to know about cyber to address strategic issues in an unpredictable and complex world;
  • Outline what is currently taught about cyberspace, clarify the gaps that exist in current cyberspace-related curricula, and chart a path to fill the gaps; and
  • Discuss additional cyberspace programs/projects, including those with the private sector, which may be needed to ensure that U.S. government organizations meet the demand for well-educated leaders.
The NDU iCollege Chancellor and Deputy to the NDU President for Cyber & Information, Dr. Robert D. Childs, kicked off the invitation-only meeting with remarks about the importance of developing cyber leaders. According to Childs, “Cyber is a team sport, and the technical workforce and senior leaders need to have a shared understanding of cyber. That’s where the iCollege comes in.” Childs chronicled establishment of the iCollege’s cyber laboratories, certificate programs, and international outreach efforts. Major General Brett Williams, USAF, US CYBERCOM J3 discussed the need for freedom to maneuver in cyberspace while protecting against risks and vulnerabilities.

Two panels then discussed current government cyber education efforts and how the private sector retains their cyber workforce. Faculty members led break-out sessions regarding cyber education to help the college enhance its industry-leading Cyber Security and Cyber Leadership certificate programs. Other keynote speakers included Melissa Hathaway (Hathaway Consulting), Bruce McConnell (Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Cyber, Department of Homeland Security), and Michael Daniel (U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator). Mr. Daniel discussed the “new normal” of living in a cyber era and how cyber crosses boundaries relatively fluidly. Daniel mentioned the need for Congress to pass cyber legislation and for government to educate its leaders in a broad set of cyber skills. Patricia Coopersmith, NDU iCollege Director of Outreach & International Relations, closed the meeting by stating, “Universities have a key role to play in cyber by bridging the gap between concepts and practice, between theory and reality. The iCollege is an amazing cyber education resource for the DoD, government agencies, private sector, and international leaders.” The college hopes to host additional thought leader sessions in the near future.

The NDU iCollege, a U.S. Department of Defense institution, prepares military and civilian leaders to optimize information technology management and secure information dominance within cyberspace. Although most students come from DoD (military and civilians), the school also accepts federal agency, private sector, and international students into its graduate programs. Courses at the NDU iCollege are completed on campus and/or online. For more information about the college, please contact or visit the college’s Facebook page or website

NDU is the premier national security institution focused on advanced joint warfighter education, leader development, and scholarship. The University provides rigorous Joint Professional Military Education to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and select others in order to develop leaders who have the ability to operate and creatively think in an unpredictable and complex world. For more information about the National Defense University, please contact: Daniel Magalotti, Acting Public Affairs Officer, at 202-685-3140 or; or visit