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University of Southern California (Photo Credit: Riki Ellison)

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) continues to lead the advancement of thinking around effective missile defense and the development of the next generation of leaders in this field. The Missile Defense enterprise across the government, military, and industry is rightly targeting and closing the gap between theory and practice. To be successful, this will require a world-class inter-disciplinary educational effort to advance innovative thinking. We must educate the next generation of senior leaders across the National Security space.

MDAA is honored and excited to announce the start of the Executive Program in Global Space and Defense which MDAA developed in partnership with the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy and Viterbi School of Engineering. This 8-month program is designed to educate aspiring senior leaders from the military, government, and industry communities about the intersection of public policy and engineering in developing effective responses for missile defense and the challenges we face in space. It is designed to close the widening gap between theory and the practical application of National Security constructs. 

Friday, September 24th, 2021 marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the education, training, and development of our nation’s future senior Missile Defense leaders. MDAA and the University of Southern California will be welcoming the first cohort of professionals into its new Executive Program in Global Space and Defense this week. This cohort is made up of professionals from various commands and organizations that all contribute to the safety, the defense and security of the American homeland, our forces, and our allies.

Specifically, we will be creating an intellectual cauldron to inspire extraordinary leaders and practitioners, drawn from the diverse fields of missile defense, space science, technology, engineering, and development to set a winning pace against our near-peer adversaries. The program will commence with an introduction to the way missile defense fits into an effective overall strategy for defense and deterrence. The program will also discuss a new framework for Integrated Missile Defense Roles and Responsibilities. The course then proceeds with instruction on a systematic approach to solving complex problems and seize new opportunities for the rapid development and fielding of essential capabilities for the Combatant Commander’s most critical policy and engineering challenges. Students will complete the course with multiple Capstone Projects that are designed to analyze the toughest engineering and policy problems and produce tangible solutions that will positively impact our National Security enterprise for the enduring successful defense of the homeland. 

Setting the pace on the first day, this Friday, our first guest lecturer to the cohort will be VADM Jon Hill, Director of the Missile Defense Agency(MDA) and on the second course day with guest lecturer Lt Gen Neil Thurgood, Director of Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space, and Rapid Acquisition of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. MDAA Board member and former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, John Rood, will also speak to the group on the first day.

“Technological advances alone do not constitute change. The most dramatic advances in military operations over history have been borne of ideas – ideas about warfighting, organization and doctrine. The Army’s most critical asset will not be technology; it will be critical thinking.”- AUSA Torchbearer National Security Report, March 2005

“We’re rewriting operational deterrence theory and asking a number of very hard questions. But we can’t do this alone. This will take a national academic undertaking. Only when we get a fundamental understanding of how deterrence theory is applicable in today’s strategic environment, can we inform strategy, create a mutual understanding of that strategy and threat, and then execute plans in our national defense.” Adm Charles Richard, U.S. Strategic Command, SMD Symposium, Huntsville AL, August 12, 2021

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.