Dr. Celeste Ward Gventer
I am thrilled to be coming on board as the new DSCU President on December 1, 2021. After more than two decades working as a national security professional, with service in government, academia, and the private sector, this role is especially exciting to me, as it brings together my experience as a practitioner with my academic background and interests.
Most recently, I worked in the Advising and Consulting Division as a Senior Lecturer and Regional Program Lead for Europe at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Institute for Security Governance (ISG). In this role, and as a subject matter expert for ISG’s predecessor organizations, I engaged with several partner nations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe on Institutional Capacity Building, work that has shown me first-hand the vital role Security Cooperation plays in safeguarding the nation’s security. As an academic, I studied the history of defense organizations and had the pleasure of teaching national security policy at the University of Texas and at Texas A&M, so I am excited to be a part of an organization committed to training the next generation of SC professionals.
DSCU’s work is vital to supporting the SC community, and to assisting the Department of Defense and Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the implementation of our national security and defense strategies. DSCU also bears a special and central responsibility to implement the Congressionally-mandated Security Cooperation Workforce Development Program (SCWDP), which supports training, certification, and career paths for the thousands of DOD civilian and military employees executing SC programs and activities around the world. To support the SCWDP, DSCU has worked steadfastly over the past several years to develop programs and curricula across core areas of concentration to prepare the SC workforce for the evolving SC mission.
Beyond the SCWDP, DSCU’s International School of Education and Advising (ISEA) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) portfolios include critical institutional capacity building programs and training programs. As I step in as DSCU President, I am committed to ensuring these programs continue to provide value to DSCU’s military personnel and international partners. I am also committed to professionalizing and upskilling the Institutional Capacity Building workforce to ensure we are developing and implementing the most innovate and effective approaches to this vital mission.
My vision for DSCU is that it continues to develop into one of the finest overall training programs in DoD, that it creates new knowledge in SC and vastly expands the SC community of interest, and that it continues to develop highly skilled, motivated, and mission-focused professionals that materially advance the national security of the United States every day by building and sustaining our vital alliances and partnerships.
I look forward to engaging with DSCU’s partners to hear your perspectives, gather your advice, learn from you, and deepen our collaboration in service of our common missions. Thank you for all of the support and assistance you have already provided to DSCU.
Yours in partnership,
Dr. Celeste Gventer