As the culmination of their semester-long Capstone project, four Master’s Program in International Affairs (MPIA) Bush School students traveled to Brussels, Belgium to present the results of their research. On December 10, they presented the report to US intelligence officers at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Second-year students Michael Wise, Robert Altman, Ashley Faddis, and Bill Dunker were asked to come to NATO headquarters for the presentation. The report focused on open source analysis research and was presented to their Capstone advisor, Joel Maloney, Director for Defense Intelligence and Director of National Intelligence Liaison for the US Mission to NATO. The Capstone team also included Jordan Nalle and Trip McIngvale, who did not attend the trip.
In addition to providing the Bush School with significant exposure at NATO, within the intelligence community, and internationally, students who participated recognized how their Capstone experience added to their education, particularly their understanding of international affairs. “I have read about NATO for years in school, but this experience allowed me to apply my reading and research to what this international organization actually does,” Ashley Faddis said. “I was able to see how all countries work together at NATO and how military and civilians from around the world interact together.”
The project’s goal was to research and summarize how selected NATO countries gather, manage, and report intelligence. The students studied intelligence operations in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, and Turkey. Their report included details on how agencies in these countries process intelligence and the relationships of these intelligence agencies with their respective governments.
While at NATO, the students also met with the Deputy Chief of Mission to the US Mission to NATO, Joseph Manso, and the USNATO Mission public affairs officer, David Siefkin. “The Deputy Chief of Mission provided us with knowledge about the future of NATO and the specific US role to NATO,” Faddis said. “It was a unique experience to get that kind of information, and we learned a lot from the meetings.”