Center on National Security

Building on our Washington D.C. advantage, we aim to become the preeminent place for ethical national security innovation and problem solving in a rapidly-changing and interconnected world.

Government entities – historically, the central actors on national security – are not generally well suited for innovation. Georgetown is. We will do so by:

  • Launching our new 360 Innovation Incubator to tackle real-world problems;
  • Training the next generation of national security lawyers and leaders;
  • Advancing the national security conversation through scholarship, publications, and rigorous debate.

Our Values

Our approach is underpinned by several unique and defining characteristics:

  • Georgetown’s deep commitment to social justice, public service, justice, and the rule of law, and our renowned expertise in ethics;
  • Georgetown’s commitment to non-par­tisan, rigorous, and independent debate and thought;
  • Georgetown’s deep bench of multi-dis­ciplinary, cross-sectoral, and diverse schools, centers, and institutes, such as the Ethics Lab, the Institute for Technol­ogy Law & Policy, the Human Rights Institute, the Climate Center, the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, the Center for Security & Emerg­ing Technology, the School of Foreign Service, and the McCourt School of Public Policy;
  • Georgetown’s central location in Wash­ington D.C. and our well-placed faculty, adjunct, and alumni network, which provides a bridge to all branches of government, private industry, non-gov­ernmental organizations, and think tanks.

Our Approach

Traditional approaches to national securi­ty focused on post-Cold War hierarchies, legal frameworks based on geography, industrial age conceptions of security and conflict, and a state-based national security architecture designed to protect territorial integrity from incursions by adversaries. These approaches are no longer suited to the multi-faceted, inter­disciplinary, and cross-cutting security challenges in our interconnected world, but the field continues to struggle with the implications of these changes and how best to respond.

The Center is developing an innovation methodology, borrowing from civilian and military design and creative problem solving approaches and change manage­ment tools, and tailoring it to law and policy problems sets. We will be utilizing and refining this methodology through our 360 Incubator.

Alumni Profile

Avril Danica Haines is the Director of National Intelligence for the Biden-Harris administration. She is the first woman to serve in the country’s most senior intelligence position. Prior to her appointment to the CIA, she served as Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs in the Office of White House Counsel.