Home » Defense Governance 2023
Defense Governance 2023
course masthead - DG 2023

Defense Governance (DG) explores relevant concepts, institutions, norms, values, processes, and methodologies related to the functioning and effectiveness of Defense Governance within a democratic state.

The course content is tailored in response to the policy priorities of both the Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Security Cooperation offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as the objectives of US Southern and Northern Commands. In particular, the DG course focuses on subject areas addressing improved ministerial capacity through better institutional governance of the security and defense sectors, in order to have these produce more effective and sustainable contributions. The DG course thus contributes to the larger DoD enterprise focus on Defense Institution Building (DIB).



Application Period:
06 Mar 2023 -
01 May 2023
Online Phase:
21 Aug 2023 -
01 Sep 2023
In-Person Phase:
11 Sep 2023 -
22 Sep 2023


At the end of the DG Course, participants must be able to:

  • Define defense governance
  • Explain the nature of defense and the peculiarities of the military culture
  • Discuss the applications of governance within security and defense establishments
  • Identify the balance between defense mandates and legislative oversight in democracies
  • Discuss the relevance of leadership to defense governance
  • Explain the role of defense institutions and of defense documents within a democratic environment
  • Characterize the peculiar nature of Americas' defense institutions
  • Discuss the relevance of "integrated deterrence" concepts to Defense Governance in the Americas
  • Propose models to improve defense institutions in democracies


Defense Governance (DG) is a 4-week course that explores relevant concepts, principles, values, norms, institutions, processes, and methodologies related to the effective functioning of Defense Governance institutions within a democratic state. The DG course thus contributes to the larger DoD enterprise focus on Defense Institution Building (DIB).

The course is divided into two phases: 2 weeks of distance (online) learning followed by 2 weeks in-person.


Participants should be senior-level practitioners (O-5/O-6, senior non-commissioned officers,  and civilian equivalents, e.g., Director-level) from security and defense establishments, understood broadly, with responsibilities for advising and/or contributing to the improvement of security and defense decision-making processes. Particular emphasis should be placed on individuals who are either currently in positions of influencing change (e.g., legislative defense committee chairs) or are expected to move into positions of influence in the near future (e.g., O-6 level officers expected to become flag officers and assume key positions in the institution).

In accordance with Department of Defense policy, citizens of countries with designated income levels established by the World Bank are not eligible for scholarships. At this time, this restriction applies to the following Western Hemisphere nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. Citizens of these countries may still apply to courses, but in a self-funded status.

Candidates must possess a university degree; military and police personnel must have completed a war-college course or equivalent. Exceptions to the above will be made on a case-by-case basis with minimum requirements including command and staff college (or equivalent), or substantial professional work experience in the case of civilians without an appropriate degree.

The DG course is conducted in Spanish. Lectures and discussions are all conducted in Spanish. All required/recommended readings are in Spanish.


Dr. Luis Bitencourt
Dr. Luis Bitencourt
Course Director