Institute for Security Governance (ISG)

Director: Steven Peterson

Institute For Security Governance

Naval Support Activity Monterey

1635 Cunningham Road (Bldg. 259)

Monterey, CA 93943-5011


Phone: +1 831.656.3171

Fax: +1 831.656.3351

DSN: 756-3171,



The Institute for Security Governance — situated within the Defense Security Cooperation University’s (DSCU) International School of Education and Advising (ISEA) — is the Department of Defense’s Center of Excellence for Institutional Capacity Building (ICB). As a component of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), and one of its primary international Security Cooperation schoolhouses, ISG is charged with building partner institutional capacity and capability through tailored advising, education, and professional development programs grounded in American values and approaches.

Formerly Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR), ISG is a tenant activity at NPS.


Advance national security and foreign policy objectives by building partner institutional capabilities and enhancing the approach and conduct of Institutional Capacity Building to address security challenges.


Promote and advance American values, interests, and objectives through the development, integration, and advancement of the field and practice of Institutional Capacity Building.


The ISG team is comprised of a civilian faculty and staff of over 90 personnel. ISG personnel are augmented by a contract support team, a robust group of adjunct faculty, and team of subject matter experts drawn from the military, government, industry, academia, and non-government organizations.

To learn more about our Team:

Our Approach:

Advising Institutions to Build Capacity

Our long-term advising efforts enable partners to govern, manage, operate, maintain, and sustain defense capacity and capabilities. ISG's experienced teams work with specific partner institutions to cultivate security governance, defense management, operational planning, resources management, defense logistics, human capital and professional military education and many other critical tasks. Powered by detailed scoping and custom project design, ISG integrates innovative assessment, monitoring, and evaluation practices into each capacity building effort.

Educating Individuals to Build Capability

 ISG designs and delivers short-format education and professional development courses that accelerate participant understanding of complex security and defense issues. Delivered in the U.S. or abroad, our offerings bring applied learning practices into bilateral or multilateral classroom environments. Participants are encouraged to engage in open, peer-to-peer learning and form lasting international and interagency networks.

Advancing the Field and Practice Of ICB

As the ICB Center of Excellence, ISG is charged with pushing the field and practice of ICB forward. We contribute to research and development in emergent domains within the field and remain a key resource for ICB-related information; including best practices, common challenges, and lessons learned. ISG also serves as a space where ICB methodology is discussed, refined, and strengthened.

Enhancing ICB in Security Cooperation

 ISG seeks to deepen understanding of ICB throughout the security cooperation community. This includes orienting and integrating existing capacity building efforts, offering opportunities to coordinate and collaborate, providing helpful tools and resources, and growing future ICB military and civilian leaders. To meet these objectives, ISG reports to the Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU) and works closely with other security cooperation education and training bodies.

Focus Areas:

  • Global Institutional Advising
    • Africa
    • Europe
    • Indo-Pacific
    • Middle East & Central Asia
    • Western Hemisphere
  • Governance & Management Education
    • Security Governance
    • Civil-Military Relations
    • Strategy, Policy & Planning
    • Resource Management
    • Defense Acquisition
    • Logistics
    • Human Capital
    • Professional Education
  • Capability Education & Development
    • Cyber Capability
    • Maritime Security
    • Peacekeeping & Exercises
    • Emergency Management & Resilience
    • Conflict, Terrorism, & Protection
  • ICB Knowledge &
    • Practice Development
    • Doctrine & Methodology
    • Assessment & Integration
    • Research & Development
    • Outreach & Communications
    • Security Cooperation Education Integration
    • Communities of Practice and Interest


All ISG projects are custom-designed to the individual conditions and requirements of the recipient country, and are in accordance with sponsor and stakeholder guidance.

Non-Resident Advising

Conducted both in Partner Nations and virtually several times a year – including continuous intersessional touchpoints – focusing on building adaptable Institutional Capacity Building programs to meet shared bilateral Security Cooperation objectives.

Resident Advising

Deploy to select Partner Nations for 12-24 months – with the option of extension – partnering senior Department of Defense civilian experts with allied counterparts to improve ministerial capacity in key areas.

Resident Education

Primarily conducted at ISG headquarters in Monterey, California in an adult-learning style with breakout groups, interactive exercises, student-led presentations, and related approaches – providing adaptable, scalable, and tailored education programs across a wide array of functional areas to address U.S. and Partner Nation security objectives.

Mobile/Virtual Education Teams

Conducted in bilateral or multilateral formats in Partner Nations – or in the case of Virtual/Hybrid, in a synchronous or combination synchronous/asynchronous formats – tailored to the bilateral and/or regional context, and designed in working group, workshop, and seminar formats. They too provide adaptable, scalable, and tailored education programs across a wide array of functional areas to address U.S. and Partner Nation security objectives.

Multinational Exercises

ISG provides customized support to unique exercises that challenge U.S. and multinational military staffs to function effectively and coordinate full-spectrum missions in complex operational spaces. Advising programs can be itinerate or placement of a resident advisor.

Course Titles:

For resources related to the Institute’s educational programming offered in resident, mobile, virtual, and hybrid formats -- including the content and timing of these various offerings: