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USC SHIELD Class of '24 in front of Bovard Hall, photo taken on 9/22/23

Dear Members and Friends,

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), in collaboration with the University of Southern California (USC), is honored to announce the beginning of the 2023-2024 USC SHIELD Executive Program in Global Space and Deterrence. This program serves as a beacon of excellence as it cultivates, promotes, and influences leaders in space and defense. USC SHIELD ’24 is an extraordinary alliance between the University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy and the Viterbi School of Engineering and MDAA, as well as key stakeholders from government, the military, and industry. Together, we are dedicated to preparing national security professionals to fortify our nation and create a safer world. 

On Thursday, September 21, 2023, we embarked on the third year of this remarkable journey, marking another exciting chapter in the education, training, and development of our nation’s future leaders. Our USC SHIELD ’24 Class comprises representatives from 11 commands, including US IndoPacific Command, Space Systems Command, US Northern Command, US Strategic Command, Air National Guard Bureau, 94th Army Air, Pacific Fleet, Pacific Air Force, and Missile Defense Command, Space Training and Readiness Command, PEO US Army Missiles and Space, Missile Defense Agency, Space Development Agency, the US Army Research Lab, and two esteemed defense industry participants. In total, we have 25 highly accomplished cohort members participating in this transformative eight-month program, which is expertly designed to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and the practical application of National Security concepts.

The USC SHIELD ’24 program establishes an intellectual haven within a world-class academic and research institution, complete with an illustrious faculty dedicated to nurturing exceptional leaders and practitioners. Together, we form a crucible of competitive excellence, united as a team to confront our nation’s formidable challenges. This course is a systematic approach to solving intricate problems and seizing fresh opportunities for the rapid development and deployment of essential capabilities, addressing the most critical policy and engineering challenges faced by our Combatant Commanders.

The USC SHIELD ’24 Cohort will culminate their journey by producing multiple capstone projects, each meticulously crafted to tackle the most daunting policy and engineering dilemmas. Through these projects, we aim to deliver tangible solutions that will significantly enhance our national security enterprise and contribute to the enduring defense of our homeland. Together, we will shape the future of space and deterrence, advancing innovative thinking and empowering the next generation of senior leaders in the national security arena.

Fight On!

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.