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Inclusive Security and Defense 2024
course masthead - 202402 ISD


ISD is a five-day virtual course to familiarize participants from government, security, and defense institutions with key concepts of diversity and inclusion, within a context of defense policy, strategy, and operations. The course will introduce concepts and definitions used in the study of diversity and inclusion, while allowing for discussion and exchanges of different interpretations among participants. It will establish understanding and general terms of reference for discussion and application of inclusion considerations for institutional governance, policy, and strategy, focused on human rights, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, climate change, transnational threats, cybersecurity, and other ministerial-level priorities.



Application Period:
28 Sep 2023 -
17 Nov 2023
Online Phase:
26 Feb 2024 -
01 Mar 2024


This course is designed to support the community of security and defense professionals in the Americas to pursue collaborative approaches to mutual opportunities and challenges in diversity, equity, and inclusion. The increasingly dynamic and complex strategic environment in which the state and its institutions must operate to meet the expectations of a more demanding and varied population requires understanding, awareness, consideration, and inclusion of all categories of the people for it to fulfill the social contract inherent to successful democratic governance. This course and the corresponding modules explore and facilitate participants’ understanding of different sectors of representation, inclusion/exclusion, and vulnerabilities, along with efforts of protection, prevention, help or recovery.


ISD is a week-long, fully virtual and bilingual course that will take place on Zoom (with simultaneous interpretation) and the Blackboard learning platform. In this environment, participants have the unique experience of listening to and exchanging ideas with key experts and practitioners from across a range academic, civilian government and non-government, and military fields in different countries. This provides exposure to diverse perspectives, responsibilities, bureaucratic considerations, and policy challenges and preferences. The curriculum combines recommended reading, online discussion boards, lectures, question and answer sessions, moderated panels, and working group discussions and exercises led by Perry Center professors. This course includes short online writing assignments (discussion boards and online journals).

The course enables deeper understanding and general terms of reference for discussion and application of inclusion considerations for institutional governance, policy, strategy, human rights, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, climate change, transnational threats, cybersecurity, and other security and defense areas. This course will be structured in modular format. ISD Modules will include many of the following topics:

  • UNSC Resolution 1325 & Inclusion Concepts and Terms of Reference
  • Inclusion as an internal and as an external consideration
  • Recruitment and retention of historically marginalized groups:
    • LGBTQ+ populations
    • Indigenous populations
    • Afro-descendent populations
  • Navigating institutional inertia
  • Considerations for human rights and rule of law
  • Considerations in humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations
  • Considerations for security and defense responses and resilience to climate change
  • Considerations for transnational threats (crime, terrorism, other)
  • Considerations for cybersecurity


This course is for mid-level and senior-level officials responsible for developing or influencing legislation and policies related to improving force structure design and talent management within the 21st Century strategic environment (junior candidates will be considered on a case-by-case basis). Candidates should be familiar with or interested in better addressing under-represented populations (including women, LGBTQIA+, indigenous communities, and others) and implications defense and security policies, strategies, and planning, potentially including a re-conceptualization of the “ideal” soldier, police officer, or ministry official. Participants should be from one of the following communities:

  • Career officials from the ministries/secretaries of Security and Defense (civilians and military officers).
  • Officials from other ministries/secretaries, such as Interior, Justice, Banking and/or Finance, Foreign Affairs, Communications and/or Information, and Security.
  • Officials from the legislative and judicial branches that interact with security and defense (planning, control, and oversight).
  • NGO and think-tank staffs involved in security/defense matters, educators, academic researchers, journalists, and members of political parties.
  • NGO and other community advocacy groups for under-represented populations.
  • Police and active-duty military officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and above, and senior non-commissioned officers.

The course will operate in a completely virtual environment. As such, the usual restrictions affecting Western Hemisphere nations designated as “high income” by the World Bank (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Chile, Guyana, Panama, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay) do not apply.

Candidates must possess a university degree or, in cases where a candidate does not hold a degree, equivalent practical experience. Military and police personnel must have completed a command and staff course or equivalent. Exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

This course is conducted in both English and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided during plenary sessions. Participants will be organized into single-language working groups for discussion and exercises. Due to the literature available on this topic, the ability to read in English is highly recommended, but not required.


Arturo Sotomayor
Dr. Arturo Sotomayor
Course Director