National Security Decision Making: Theory and Practice

As the senior leaders of tomorrow, the Fellows will need a firm grasp on the past, present, and future of important issues impacting the defense sector.  Future leaders must understand the impetus behind the decisions of the past and what leaders now are considering for issues of the future. The national security courses will put these considerations and issues into context as well as oblige the students to think strategically and critically about these issues. 

Sample Topics: From Articles of Confederation to the Constitution; U.S. National Security Apparatus; Ethics in the U.S. Armed Forces

Strategic Communication

Leaders must be able to effectively communicate their thoughts, ideas, and directives not only to peers, bosses, and employees within their organization, but to those audiences external to their organization (including the media, collaborating organizations, and other unrelated, but interested, audiences). Throughout the SSFP, our faculty will provide the tools and practices necessary to communicate effectively within each of those environments. 

Sample Topics: Media Relations & Crisis Communications; Negotiations; Storytelling

Business Process, Innovation, and Management Strategy

As the environment continually shifts and changes, leaders need to be able to adapt and alter their organizations to face new challenges, whether these challenges are a new type of enemy, budgetary fluctuation, or technological advance. The SSFP business faculty, drawn mostly from UNC’s Kenan-Flager Business School, and corporate executives will challenge students to think critically, creatively, and innovatively about their organizations and management processes.

Sample Topics:  Anticipating Scenarios; Critical Decision Making; Strategic Innovation

Strategic View of the US Government (non-DoD)

As the U.S. military and defense sector continue to expand beyond traditional roles to nation building and disaster response, an understanding of the organizations that will be working with the military and defense sector on these tasks is imperative. SSFP courses explain the roles, overlaps, and intricacies of many of these organizations. 

Sample Topics: The Art of Diplomacy; Intelligence Reform; Civil-Military Relations

Strategic Global Outlook

As long as the United States continues to have a global presence, it will be vital for leaders in the military and defense sector to have a current and clear comprehension of international affairs. Crucially, an understanding of the global environment will allow future leaders to better predict where the next conflict, disaster, or problem state will emerge and allow them to better prepare the nation’s defense for these potential conflicts and missions. 

Sample Topics:  U.S. Foreign Policy; Global Finance and International Security


Capstone Team Project

In addition to graduate-level course work, the Fellows will engage in a capstone-applied learning project with their classmates. The goal of this team project is to allow the students to collaborate and work through a difficult issue currently affecting the U.S. defense sector and will continue to affect this realm long term. The topics are consulted with senior military leadership and the final projects will be briefed to a panel that will include several of these senior leaders. 

Institute for Defense & Business
1250 Environ WayChapel HillNorth Carolina 27517 USA
Telephone: (919) 969-8008 Fax: (919) 969-6792