“The National Intelligence University” – with its President Scott Cameron

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Summary

J. Scott Cameron (LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss the National Intelligence University (NIU). He is the President of this unique “skiffed” institution.

What You’ll Learn

Intelligence

o The NIU – what it is, what it does, and what it does differently.

o NIU’s position within the American intelligence ecosystem

o How NIU “banks knowledge” without compromising intelligence

o What it is like to be a student in a Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (TS-SCI) research facility

Reflections

o 20th century institutions for 21st century problems

o Scott’s journey from a plant biologist who has been shot at, to his recruitment into the IC at a high school soccer match, to NIU President

And much more…

Quote of the Week

"We do work in secret. So how do you bank knowledge in that kind of a community? All communities that are healthy bank knowledge and learn from it. So, our job is not just to be a classroom, but to be that defender of knowledge building in the community to make sure that we're learning from ourselves, that we understand ourselves and advance our mission by better ideas and then empowering the next generation to take those and equip them with the confidence to go out there and do something with it." – Scott Cameron

Episode Notes

“TS-SCI” is one of the major terms you will hear with regards to American intelligence, but what happens if you cross that with the concept of “the university,” a place that relies on sharing information, pooling knowledge, and the free flow of ideas? To find out how this circle is squared, Andrew sat down with President of the National Intelligence University, Scott Cameron.

The NIU, which is housed at the Intelligence Community Campus Bethesda (ICCB), alongside our friends at the NCSC and quite a few other agencies, is unique in many ways. It is behind “guards, guns, and gates,” you need TS-SCI clearance to apply, and tuition is courtesy of the government. The staff-student ratio is also in the very top tier of the 4000 or so degree granting institutions in the United States. It transitioned from the DIA to the ODNI in June of 2021.

And…

Scott’s grandmother was from Glasgow, as was Allan Pinkerton, Bobby Thompson, Craig Ferguson, and Christina Conte (try her fish n’ chips recipe!). Incidentally, there are many more Glasgow’s in the United States than in Scotland, at 21.

Further Resources

SpyCast Episodes

· Joint Special Operations University President “Ike” Wilson

Virtual Exhibition

· Wall of Spies (ICC-B)

Books

· China’s Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem, R. Uber (2020)

· History of American Higher Ed., R. Geiger (2016)

· Higher Ed. & the Growth of Knowledge, M. Segre (2015)

· NIU’s Role in Interagency Research, Johnson et al. (2013)

Articles

· Eisenhower Signs National Defense Intelligence Ed. Act (Politico, 2018)

· Goldwater-Nichols & the Evolution of JPME (CRS, 2016)

· The Origins of JPME (JFQ, 2005)

Audio

· NIU Moving Under ODNI Umbrella (FedNewsNet, 2021)

Websites

· NIU Degrees (NIU)

· NIU Catalog, 2021-22 (NIU)

· College of Strategic Intelligence (NIU)

· School of Science & Technology Intelligence (NIU)

· Institute for Intelligence Research (NIU)

· IC Centers for Academic Excellence (DNI)

Primary Sources

· The American Scholar, R. Waldo Emerson (Em.Cent., 1837)

· The Idea of a University, J. H. Newham (1852, 1858)

· National Defense Education Act of 1958 (FedEdPolicy)

· Degree Granting Authority for NIU (GovInfo, 2012)

· US Intelligence Community’s Human Capital Vision 2020 (DNI, 2014)

· The National Intelligence Strategy of the US (DNI, 2019)

· NIC - Global Trends 2040 (DNI, 2021)

Wildcard Resource

How to set up a “SCIF,” aka:

· “Technical Specifications for Construction & Management of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities” (DNI, 2020)

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