WASHINGTON, D.C. (bdpatoday) — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) hosted an industry outreach summit and career fair for the Intelligence Community (IC) on September 15, 2016, in Washington, D.C. during their 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC ’16). The Summit on Increasing Diversity in the Intelligence Community brought together business leaders, policymakers, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) with senior executives from the United States’ intelligence community (IC) to discuss national security challenges and unique opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and mid-career professionals.
Mr. R. Donahue Peebles (left), CBCF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, provides closing remarks to this year’s IC Summit and Career Fair. ALC ’16 IC Summit Moderatiors were (L-R) U.S. Representative André Carson (D IN-07) and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D AL-07)
— Photo: bdpatoday
Moderated by U.S. Representative André Carson (D IN-07) and U.S. Representative Terri Sewell (D AL-07), distinguished panelists included Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI); Mr. John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, USMC, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; and Mr. Francis Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Representatives Carson and Sewell are members of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and are charged with the oversight of the America’s intelligence community, which includes the intelligence and intelligence related activities of 17 elements of the U.S. Government, and the Military Intelligence Program.
This year’s unclassified summit identified community relations, government relations, and public relations as challenges across the IC’s traditional encounters within underserved and minority communities, minority-owned businesses, HBCUs, and minority serving institutions. With significant STEM, IT, and cybersecurity overtones, the summit also highlighted unique challenges with new pathways forward for undergraduates and institutions to obtain security and facility clearances in direct support of IC programs and missions with DoD/IC agencies, DHS agencies, and their contractors. Lack of agency spending, corporate sponsorships, champions, and mentors within the IC was cited as contributing factors that historically and disproportionately affected HBCUs, MSIs, and small business engagements.
Dr. Ba-Shen Welch, former Principal Investigator (PI) and Director of Miles College’s Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) participated in the summit’s question and answer session. Over 40 students and staff from Miles College, an HBCU in Fairfield AL, attended this year’s session with Dr. Welch and the Honorable William A. Bell, Mayor of Birmingham. Miles College served as a Center of Academic Excellence by The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) from 2009 to 2013 and currently carries the distinction of “CAE alumni institution”. Miles College is the only institution in the State of Alabama to have received this designation, and there are fewer than 37 other colleges and universities in the nation to have received this designation.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and DHS jointly sponsor the National Centers of Academic Excellence program. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in our national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research and producing professionals with new expertise for the Nation. This year’s panel also addressed exit strategy concerns, mission support, and pathways forward for institutions transitioning from their five-year CAE periods of performance.
Immediately following the panel’s questions and answer segment, participating IC agencies conducted a career fair to introduce students and professionals to immediate IC opportunities. The following agencies presented opportunities to this year’s audience: ODNI, DIA, CIA, NSA, FBI, State Department, DEA, DHS, ONI, and DoD.
Students, professionals, and BDPA Members may visit the IC’s booth, next to National BDPA’s booth, during the ALC ’16 Career Fair this week in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. now through Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Cover photo © 2016 bdpatoday.
(L-R) Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI); Mr. John Brennan, Director, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, USMC, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and reconnaissance; and Mr. Francis Taylor, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).