From the Back of an Envelope: How NSEP Was Born

October 13, 2010 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Education Abroad

By Janice Mulholland

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to hear former Senator David L. Boren (D-Okla.), now president of the University of Oklahoma, recount the creation of the National Security Education Program. I found the story to be so interesting and refreshing considering today’s difficult and tenuous political environment that I wanted to share it with you.

It was 1991, and Senator Boren had just come out of a meeting about the need for national mineral reserves and was headed to the Senate floor for a vote on the Intelligence Authorization Act. The meeting about creating mineral reserves prompted him to start thinking about which other reserves the country could benefit from having. What he realized on his way to the Senate floor was that the country desperately needed a talent reserve – a reserve of graduates who could speak other languages, understand other cultures, and help provide the nation with a level of security it couldn’t have absent those skills. He said he got to the floor, discussed his idea with Senator Cohen (R-Maine), and then scribbled an amendment on the back of a torn brown paper envelope to establish a program that would begin to create this talent reserve. He then sent the envelope up to the parliamentarian as an amendment to the intelligence act.

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Ireland Launches Five-Year International Education Strategy

By Kevin Dillon

Last week, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen launched an ambitious new plan to establish Ireland as a hub of international education. With the aim of expanding international students in higher education by 50% and in English language schools by 25% over the next five years, the industry would contribute some 1.2 billion euro to the economy by 2015. Ten separate strategic aims are set out in the plan to achieve in the Taoiseach’s words, a reputation as “a world-leading provider of international education.”... See More

The Power of Stories in DREAM Act Advocacy

September 20, 2010 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy, Immigration Policy

By Anne Galisky

It has been quite a week. Our documentary film, “Papers” went on sale the same day that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the DREAM Act would be brought to the floor as part of the Defense Authorization bill. The DREAM Act would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth who graduate from high school and attend two years of college or serve two years in the military. It was first introduced in 2001, and many believe it has the best chance of passage this year, starting with a cloture vote tomorrow.... See More