Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Overview

How CISA’s curriculum addresses WPS

The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) initiative is an important element to professional military education and CISA strives to integrate a gendered perspective into its curriculum. In 2022, CISA’s curriculum review team identified the need for a closer appreciation of WPS global principles and the U.S. WPS Strategy throughout CISA curriculum. Among other initiatives, CISA’s new Curriculum Action Group will incorporate a gender analysis of course syllabi: for example, recommending inclusion of women authors or case studies involving women in conflict prevention.

In May 2022, CISA Associate Dean of Academics Dr. Matthew Dearing chaired the annual WPS essay competition at NDU. The essay contest sought student submissions that reflected research with a gendered understanding, perspective and/or approach to advance peace, national security, economic and social development, and/or international cooperation. The committee received ten essay submissions. The 2022 winner was COL. Jacqueline Stingl (Eisenhower College), "In the national security equation: excluding women from the draft does not add up." The other finalists were: Julie Szegda (CISA), "Extreme women: the case of female recruits to the Islamic State," Lt Col. Ann-Kristine Thrift (JAWS), "Achieving the promise of diversity on joint planning outcomes," and Lt Col. Jaina Donberg (NWC), "Full potential of the alliance: a US strategy promoting Japanese gender equality." The essays were catalogued at the NDU Library.

CISA contributed to a variety of scholarship on WPS. For example, in March 2022, Dr. Spencer Meredith presented on Female Civil Affairs Soldiers at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst WPS conference. During the 2022 academic year, two CISA students focused their research on gender-related topics: one of the College’s Homeland Defense Fellows wrote a paper on Sex Trafficking in the Arusha Region in Tanzania and the negative effects climate change has on that issue, and a Regional Defense Fellowship Program student wrote an irregular warfare strategy to counter Islamic State recruitment of women and girls from refugee camps. Finally, in recognition of Women’s Equality Month, CISA hosted a virtual talk with Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese, titled "The Women, Peace & Security Imperative for Security Practitioners.” Dr. Johnson-Freese is a Professor Emeritus, National Security Affairs, Naval War College and expert in Women, Peace, and Security. View the recording of the talk below:



CISA participates in Women in National Security (WINS)

In August 2022, CISA, along with the College of Information and Cyberspace, developed a student affinity group, Women in National Security-CISA/CIC (WINS-CISA/CIC). The purpose of the organization, as a student affinity group, is to provide networking opportunities, share leadership perspectives, and promote awareness about the value and need for diversity and inclusion of women as national security leaders. CISA collaborates with WINS groups from our sister colleges—CIC, NWC and ES—and seeks to merge and create a Women in National Security-National Defense University (WINS-NDU) organization.

Meetings are held monthly and have included guest speakers such as Brigadier General Lorna Mahlock (USMC). In January, an executive panel discussion on “Disrupting Unconscious Bias” featured panelists Sue Gordon, Former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Lt General Mary O’Brien, Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computer/Cyber, and Chief Information Officer, J6, Joint Staff, and Dr. Charles Barber, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, National Science Foundation,



In conjunction with Women's Equality Day, CISA hosted the soft launch of WINS-CISA/CIC on August 2022 with great participation from WINS-ES and WINS-NWC.