Catholic University Introduces New Intelligence Studies Program

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden speaks at a recent ethics and intelligence event at Catholic. Courtesy of University Communications

By Alex Santana

The Catholic University of America’s new Certificate in Intelligence Studies is an exciting program for Catholic University students interested in pursuing careers in the U.S. Intelligence industry. Directed by visiting politics Professor Nicholas Dujmovic, the Intelligence Studies program was approved last spring by Catholic University’s Academic Senate and requires six courses for completion or seven courses for non-politics majors. Three of the six courses are required while the other three are electives from an approved list.

According to Professor Dujmovic, “The foundational required course is POL 260, Introduction to American Intelligence, which I teach. Students get a broad survey of U.S. Intelligence organization, activities, and history.  In addition to POL 260, students must take Homeland Security (POL 412A) and the other course I teach, POL 471, Issues in Contemporary U.S. Intelligence, which explains the tensions and issues that arise when our democracy undertakes intelligence operations.”  

Asked why he chose to start this program at Catholic University, Professor Dujmovic stated that he was “recruited by the Provost, Dr. Andrew Abela, who had the idea to start an intelligence studies program here because of CUA’s location in Washington, D.C. and because of the existence of such programs at other universities.”

Professor Dujmovic says that Provost Abela “heard about me (CIA officer and historian, adjunct professor at American University) and asked if I would consider retiring from the CIA and creating such a program and teaching in it. That was in late 2015. By the summer of 2016, I was hired as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Politics Department, and the intelligence program began that fall.”

Since the Certificate in Intelligence Studies is an interdisciplinary program, two of the electives towards the certificate cannot be Politics courses. Professor Dujmovic stated that there are excellent choices available in Psychology, Sociology, Library Science, Computer Science, and Business Intelligence. In addition, he is bringing to CUA adjunct professors who are former intelligence professionals to teach specialized intelligence courses. This spring, for example, Dr. William Nolte, formerly of the NSA, will teach a course on Cyber Intelligence and U.S. Policy. Dujmovic hopes to have a former FBI special agent come next fall to teach a course on the FBI and Counterintelligence.

Complementing the new Intelligence Studies program is the recently created Catholic University Intelligence Club. This new student organization brings successful speakers in the intelligence field and also sponsors field trips to intelligence agencies like the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).

Sophomore politics major Jacob Cowan is one student who is pursuing this Certificate in Intelligence.

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning about American intelligence and an absolute must if you’re considering a career in the intelligence community,” Cowan said. “Dr. Dujmovic is a former CIA analyst and historian so there’s really no one better to learn from.”

Professor Dujmovic was recently the moderator of last week’s “Double Lives and Moral Lives: An Exploration into the Ethics of Intelligence” event held in Heritage Hall. Co-sponsored by the Intelligence Studies Program and Catholic University’s new Institute for Human Ecology (IHE), the event included four speakers that spoke about ethics and responsibility in the intelligence field. The featured speaker was retired U.S. Air Force four-star general Michael Hayden, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama from 2006-2009. Before he served as CIA Director, General Hayden was Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush from 1999-2005. Other speakers included V. Sue Bromley, a 31-year veteran of the CIA, Jamil Jaffer, the current Director of the National Security Law and Policy Program at George Mason University and founder of the National Security Institute, and David E. Hoffman, a contributing editor at The Washington Post.

Regarding morality and the people that work in the intelligence field, General Hayden stated that, “Given the nature of the work and the circumstances, if you do not have a healthy moral compass, this work will destroy you. Ethical behavior is at the core of success inside this vocation.”

Towards the end of the conference, Ms. Bromley asked how many students in the room were interested in pursuing a career in intelligence, and many raised their hands.

She then said, “Our country will be safe because of people like you.”

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