Initiatives

Major Conferences and Public Events

In March of 2018, ISP hosted its fourth annual symposium Confronting 21st Century Challenges featuring a keynote address by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats as well as remarks by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). During the conference, a panel of serving officials, scholars, journalists, and open government advocates discussed Intelligence Community (IC) efforts to build and sustain democratic legitimacy. A second panel, including former Acting Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Nick Rasmussen, addressed the challenge of sustaining core competence or "Answering Questions U.S. Intelligence Cannot Get Wrong". The DNI's spring visit to Austin followed successful campus visits by then-Director of the Central Intelligence (CIA), Mike Pompeo in October and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo in February. 

In March of 2017, ISP partnered with the Business Executives for National Security (BENS) in hosting Intelligence in Defense of the Homeland, a conference on the challenges our intelligence and law enforcement agencies face in detecting and disrupting attacks inside the U.S. by violent extremists. The event featured keynote remarks by then-Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and Thomas Bossert, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. ISP's 2016 symposium Intelligence and National Security in American Society included discussions on intelligence oversight with White House Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, prominent scholars, and journalists. ISP's first symposium in October 2014 Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade examined the period since the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 ushered in a sweeping reorganization of the U.S. Intelligence, creating the Office of the DNI and the NCTC. Then-DNI James Clapper and his predecessor Mike McConnell, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and former UT-System Chancellor and commander of the United States Special Operations Command William McRaven spoke at the event. 

ISP will continue hosting IC leaders and distinguished experts at public events in Austin. The schedule for upcoming ISP events can be found here.

Scholarly and Academic Endeavors

In May, ISP hosted the inaugural Texas Intelligence Academy (TIA), an intensive academic program focused on intelligence and national security in Washington D.C. An impressive cohort of 12 undergraduate students from UT-System institutions participated in lectures and social events with distinguished scholars and practitioners, simulation exercises, and visited intelligence-related venues like CIA Headquarters, Capitol Hill, the International Spy Museum, and Gettysburg National Military Park. The TIA schedule is available here

During the 2017-18 academic year, ISP sponsored a Policy Research Project (PRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs on "Spies and Special Operations: Unity of Effort in the Gray Zone Between War and Peace". This PRP, led by ISP Senior Fellow Paul Pope, was undertaken on behalf of policy clients at ODNI and the National Security Council (NSC). Students conducted dozens of research interviews and briefed their findings and recommendations to senior IC and NSC officials. The "Gray Zone" PRP report is available here

Shortly after its establishment, ISP launched the "Bobby R. Inman Award" competition to recognize outstanding student scholarship in the field of intelligence. ISP announced the inaugural recipient--together with two semifinalists--in June 2015 and recognized successive rounds of winning authors in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The winning papers from all rounds of the Inman Award competition may be viewed herehere, here, and here.

ISP is currently helping to integrate its first post-doctoral research fellow, Kiril Avramov, and CIA's Resident Officer, Alan Kessler, into the instructional and research programs at UT-Austin.  Dr. Avramov is researching and writing on Russian "active measures" and will offer a fall semester undergraduate seminar "Information Wars: Contemporary Political Warfare and Propaganda". Dr. Kessler will represent the CIA at the LBJ School and lead a Fall Semester graduate seminar on "Strategic Communications for National Security".