Senior officials from Rutgers University announced that the Rutgers Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security (IEPHS) has been designated by the federal government’s intelligence agencies as a Center of Academic Excellence. In conjunction with this designation, Rutgers has received a $1.95 million grant to support the design and delivery of intelligence-related curricula and related programs at Rutgers.
Through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, under the auspices of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the designation of IEPHS as a Center of Academic Excellence and the accompanying grant are the product of a competitive process involving over 50 universities; Rutgers is among eight selected. The purpose of the designation and grant is to enhance the intelligence community workforce with applicants who have the education, training and skills to carry out the country’s intelligence and national security objectives.
“We are thrilled to have been designated an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence,” said Rutgers University President Robert Barchi. “By drawing upon expertise ranging from mathematics and engineering to criminal justice, medicine and law, the Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security is undertaking precisely the kind of collaborative and interdisciplinary work envisioned in the university’s strategic plan. I am pleased to announce that Rutgers’ central administration will promote this work through the recruitment of the first Henry Rutgers University Professor in Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.”
Led by Professor John J. Farmer Jr., the grant’s principal investigator, who led New Jersey’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as New Jersey’s attorney general and served as senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, and Clifton R. Lacy, former New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services and the director of IEPHS, a team of experts at the university will begin the design and multi-year implementation of the new intelligence program at Rutgers.
“As recent events have shown, the need for reliable, legally obtained intelligence has never been more acute. This designation and grant will enable Rutgers to build on the expertise that already exists at the university to shape intelligence policy and to educate and train the next generation of intelligence professionals,” said Farmer.
“The institute brings together within one entity a large number of subject matter experts for robust multidisciplinary collaboration in research, education, community outreach and preparedness initiatives,” said Lacy. “This new grant funds a vitally important education and training initiative. Although some of our projects involve the theoretical, the main thrust of our efforts is the development of practical advances useful in the real world.”
An example of this practical focus is the institute’s initial project, the Faith-Based Communities Security Program, which examines the threat posed to communities of faith by the rise of extremist violence. Thanks to the generosity of Rutgers alumnus Paul S. Miller and the Miller Family International Initiative Fund, an interfaith summit was convened at Rutgers School of Law in September 2014. Teams from Rutgers have been on the ground working with community leaders in Paris during the terrorist attacks as well as in Copenhagen and Malmo in the days following the Copenhagen attack. Rutgers teams also have conducted interviews in Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, London and Washington to assess the threat to faith-based communities and to identify and recommend best practices for both law enforcement and affected communities.
Housed in the university’s Office of the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs under the leadership of Richard L. Edwards, IEPHS is a universitywide, multidisciplinary center of excellence, blending expertise and experience in the sciences and humanities from Newark, New Brunswick and Camden, and with federal, state, national and international partners in the public and private sectors, to address all aspects of emergency preparedness, disaster response and homeland security.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to build on our existing strengths in national security and intelligence, said Edwards, “and the resulting work will benefit the Rutgers community, New Jersey, and the nation.”Related Articles: