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Program Highlights

Interactive Speaking Events

Be introduced to leaders in the fields of diplomacy, intelligence, and defense operations, who face the tough decisions that protect our country. Previous guest speakers have included defense service veterans and top officials from the National Security Agency (NSA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Keynote Speakers

Military official speaking to high school students at NYLF National Security

Hear an insider’s perspective on what a career in national security can mean to your future and the world.

Past speakers have included:

  • Chuck Hagel, U.S. Secretary of Defense
  • Jonna Mendez, Former Chief of Disguise in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Veterans Toby Montoya, Sal Gonzalez, and Jeffrey Sinchak, Wounded Warrior Project
  • Maureen Baginski, Executive Assistant Director of Intelligence, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Colonel Michael Peffers, Military Executive and Senior Military Representative of the Analysis and Production Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • Jami A. Miscik, Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA
  • Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Gary Crocker, Foreign Service Office, U.S. Department of State (Ret.)
  • Richard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State
  • George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence
  • General Peter Schoomaker, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
  • Wade Townsend, Office of Infrastructure Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • General Keith Alexander, USA (Ret.) Former Director, National Security Agency (NSA)

Military and Government professionals participating in panel discussions for high school students at NYLF National Security

Career Exploration Panel Discussions

Participate in panel discussions with speakers representing the fields of diplomacy, intelligence, and defense. Explore the various career opportunities available in national security and gain valuable insight on potential career paths. Previous panel speakers have included representatives from the NSA, U.S. Department of State, FBI, Peace Corps, World Bank Group, and representatives from all three branches of the Department of Defense.



Cybersecurity Panel

Take a deep dive into understanding the nation's stance on cybersecurity from field experts working in governmental organizations, such as the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, and U.S. Senate, as well as private sector companies, such as Northrop Grumman, Washington Cyber Center, and many more. You will have the opportunity to not only hear more about ongoing threats but also how to better protect yourself against them.

Past panelists have included:

  • Lelo Wade, Homeland Security
  • Linus Barloon, U.S. Senate, Office of the Sergeant at Arms
  • Susi Hajeski, FBI
  • Robert Osgood, Digital Forensics & Data Analytics, George Mason University
  • Kenneth McCreedy, Division of Cyber and Aerospace, Maryland Department of Commerce
  • Frederick Haggerty, Digital Forensics, Northrop Grumman
  • Curtis Jordan, TruSTAR Technology
  • Kevin Newmeyer, Washington Cyber Center

Site Visits

Visit distinguished government agencies and military facilities, where you will meet with civilian, military, and intelligence officers to get an inside view of duties and daily operations.

Past site visits have included:

U.S. Department of State* – The United States State Department plays an integral role in fostering relationships throughout the world in order to advance the country's interests and resolve issues peacefully. On an exclusive tour, scholars had the opportunity to hear from a high-level speaker on matters of diplomacy and international relations.

Pentagon*  Scholars had the opportunity to participate in a guided tour of one of the world’s largest office buildings. All scholars were exposed to the Department of Defense’s mission and each of its branches of service. They also visited numerous displays that highlight and depict significant moments in military history.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Headquarters*  Scholars took a trip to the FBI headquarters, where they were greeted by current and former FBI representatives. They had the rare opportunity to look into the FBI’s rich history and current division operations. This experience helped scholars gain insight into the various careers and functions of the FBI in the field, in communities, and at headquarters.

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) – Scholars had the opportunity to explore USNA’s beautiful campus and hear about the admissions process and career opportunities for Academy graduates. They also visited the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, enjoyed lunch at the Drydock Restaurant, and learned about the history of this iconic campus.

A Foreign Embassy – Scholars were fully immersed in the diplomacy field as they learned about role of an embassy and its relationship with the United States. They gained insight into the importance of a foreign nation's culture as well as the daily life of its citizens and developed a better understanding of the cultural differences between that nation and the U.S., which can strain or support diplomatic relations. Meeting embassy staff allowed scholars to also learn about the day-to-day operations and top challenges that diplomacy professionals face today.

High School students explore a career in National Security, Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense 1

Arlington National Cemetery – Scholars witnessed the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns within Arlington National Cemetery. They even had the opportunity to write an essay to be selected to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony.






 *Indicates a secure site visit, which requires information from a government-issued form of photo identification be submitted at least 30 days prior to the start of the program session and the student's possession of that form of identification while at the program.

National Security Crisis Simulation

High School students explore a career in National Security, Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense 2Near the end of NYLF National Security, you and your fellow scholars will face a simulated national security threat that will require you to use the knowledge you have gained about intelligence, diplomacy, and defense operations to take action. Working in teams, you will take on a character role within the media, intelligence, diplomacy, defense, legislative, or executive branches and work together to resolve challenges. Teams will receive information in real time that will affect your decision-making process and how you interact with your peers to determine resolutions. During this true-to-life culminating simulation, you will face the challenges of interagency coordination and decision making, and will have to evaluate a wide range of alternatives, weigh the risks, consider possible adversary counter-measures, and determine opportunity costs before finalizing a strategy to neutralize the threat.

National Security Career Fair

High School students explore a career in National Security, Diplomacy, Intelligence and Defense 3Explore careers in the fields of diplomacy, intelligence, and defense operations. Visit with representatives from federal agencies, military academies, private companies, and branches of the military to get the answers you need to help you determine the next step in your education and career. 

Past career fair participants have included:

  • National Security Agency (NSA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • World Bank Group
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Peace Corps
  • U.S. Navy
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Marines
  • U.S. Air Force
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Please note: We are currently evaluating all aspects of NYLF National Security and may make changes to the curriculum or site visits to ensure the program meets the most up-to-date health and safety standards.