Wednesday, September 9, 2009

NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security Announces Third Annual Essay Competition

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security ( is seeking entries for its Third Annual Essay Competition. The competition carries a $1,500 prize for the winning entry and the writer will be invited to the Center’s campus for its annual Forum. This competition strives to stimulate original thought and analysis on issues in Homeland Security and Homeland Defense. The competition is open to anyone with an interest in homeland security issues. The criteria for the essay and its submission are:

Statement of Purpose: According to the National Strategy for Homeland Security, the objectives of homeland security are to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur. The purpose of this competition is to promote innovative thinking that addresses these objectives.

Essay question: How can, or should, the United States make homeland security a more layered, networked, and resilient endeavor involving all citizens?

Responses may be general or may focus on a specific aspect (organizational, policy, strategy, practice, technological innovation, social impact, etc.) or discipline/field, such as emergency management, public health, law enforcement, critical infrastructure or intelligence. The essay may also be written from any perspective — e.g. government, private sector, cultural, local community or citizen.

Who may enter: Anyone interested in homeland security issues. Individuals associated with CHDS past and present are not eligible.

Competition Guidelines: The essay should be no more than five pages, single spaced, 12-point type and in Word or PDF format. Do not include author’s name on the essay. Entries will be submitted via webpage instructions. Deadline for submission: January 31, 2010.

Notification: The winner and finalists will be announced no later than May 31, 2010.

Essays are judged according to the relevance of the response to the question, innovation of ideas, strength of the argument and quality of the writing.

Award: The winner will receive a $1,500 cash award and will be invited to the Center for Homeland Defense and Security, located at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., where he or she will be recognized at the CHDS Forum.

Last year’s winning entry was titled “Emergency Response, Public Health and Poison Control: Logical Linkages for Successful Risk Communication and Improved Disaster and Mass Incident Response” and authored by Valerie Yeager, research assistant and writer at the University of Alabama at Birmingham South Central Center for Public Health Preparedness. The essay was the top essay out of 147 entries.

The winning essay for the first year of the contest was titled “Reducing the Risk” by Matthew Allen, a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California. This essay was chosen out of 80 entries.

For contest information and to enter, visit

About CHDS: Established in 2002 on the campus of the 100-year-old Naval Postgraduate School, the Center seeks to educate homeland security leaders in strategic thinking and leadership from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The Center’s master’s degree program graduates 90 senior officials every year and is noted for offering the nation’s first master’s degree in homeland security. The Mobile Education Team (MET) travels around the country and has conducted more than 100 seminars for governors, mayors and their homeland security teams. More than 3,000 senior officials have participated in the MET program since its inception. The Center’s Executive Leaders Program draws leaders from government and private industry to provide an educational forum to enhance senior leaders’ capacity to identify and resolve homeland security problems. For information, visit

About NPS: The mission of the Naval Postgraduate School is to provide unique advanced education and research programs in order to increase the combat effectiveness of the U.S. and Allied armed forces as well as enhance the security of the United States. For information, see

For more information, contact:

Heather Issvoran
Director, Strategic Communications
(831) 402-4672

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