GWSB Becomes New Center of Excellence for DHS

July 08, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has selected the GW School of Business to lead a new Center of Excellence that will deliver an MBA program focused on security technology transition. This is exciting news that demonstrates GWSB’s ability to leverage its unique Washington, D.C., location to partner with the federal government to create cutting-edge, in-demand academic programming. Securing the contract and creating this new program is a testament to GWSB’s commitment to providing academic customizability, flexibility and accessibility. Read the DHS news release.

The MBA in Security Technology Transition program is a professional MBA program (46.5 credit hours), consisting of 12 MBA core courses, seven courses on security and technology transition topics, and two capstone courses. Richard Donnelly, professor and chairperson of the Information Systems and Technology Management Department, will serve as the program’s faculty director. This program will be supported by several GWSB departments:

  • Global & Experiential Learning (G&EE): Along with faculty, G&EE will provide guest speakers, site visits and study tours, case competitions, improvisational cases, and pro-bono projects to enhance the learning experience.
  • F. David Fowler Career Center: The career center’s successful communities of practice model will be extended to include a new community of practice in Security Technology Transition. Communities of practice enable students to achieve interview and career readiness through immersive experiences, including a mentor program focused on case interviewing, job search strategies, personal branding exercises, professional networking, and pro-bono short-term projects.
  • Student Engagement: The student engagement team in the Office of Graduate Programs will further student engagement with the security technology industry through alumni meet and greets, roundtable events, and the George Talks Business interview series.

The GW School of Business Center of Excellence in Security Technology Transition will also establish an industry advisory council which will be composed of industry and policy leaders including GW alumni. A cross-functional team of existing GWSB staff will be convened to support the program. Courses are scheduled to take place both on the Foggy Bottom campus and online. Students will apply with the same admissions standards as the regular GWSB graduate program application process and are subject to the same application requirements as GWSB’s Professional MBA program.

Technology development, transition, acquisition and procurement are key to DHS’ strategy for keeping pace with current and emerging threats. This Center of Excellence will provide education and practical experience in the technical, legal and business aspects of research, development, and technology transition. The initial cohort of students will comprise of DHS employee from the 14 operational and support components and other qualifying candidates from industry and academia, offering them an MBA degree in Security Technology Transition that is the first of its kind in the Federal Government.

The GW-led Center of Excellence joins a growing list of university-led consortia that were established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to be a “…coordinated, university-based system to enhance the Nation’s homeland security.” The centers work with industry, DHS components, other government and homeland security agencies (federal, state and local), and first responders to develop critical technologies, analyses, and ensure a vibrant and capable national security workforce. The centers are managed by DHS Science and Technology’s Office of University Programs, whose mission is to bring innovation and new capabilities to DHS by harnessing the expertise of the Nation’s colleges and universities.

Dean Anuj Mehrotra congratulated Liesl Riddle, associate dean for graduate programs, Diana Paulraj, managing director of finance and administration, Richard Donnelly, and Susan Kulp, faculty director for MBA programs, for “their excellent work in preparing the bid-winning proposal for this exciting new program” adding “their successful efforts, and those of all who worked with them on this project, truly represent GWSB at its best.