Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL) is the new name for the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), a collaboration between the Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Founded by Professor of Law Emeritus William C. Banks in 2003, the Institute has its roots in the global response to terrorism in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It has since expanded to work across the Syracuse University campus and beyond on a wide spectrum of national and international security topics, including homeland security, the law of armed conflict, violent extremism, postconflict reconstruction, disaster response, the rule of law, veterans’ affairs, critical infrastructure, cybersecurity and emerging technologies.
The Institute’s new name and identity reflect this growth in topics and activities, and it acknowledges the Institute’s longstanding flexibility in addressing evolving security challenges—both within the United States and around the world—through interdisciplinary research, teaching, public service and policy analysis.
The Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law is led by the Hon. James E. Baker, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and former legal adviser to the National Security Council. The Institute’s deputy director is Vice Admiral Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), former director of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and former director of naval intelligence.
“Our new identity recognizes the essential interdisciplinary nature of contemporary security challenges,” says Judge Baker. “As the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law, we continue our mission to conduct leading-edge policy and law research and analysis across disciplines and to educate and inspire the next generation of security thought leaders and practitioners.”
“A prime mover in national security policy and law for more than 16 years, the re-positioned Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law is poised for the future,” says Dean Craig M. Boise, College of Law. “I am particularly excited about the Institute’s expansion into emerging technologies, the private practice of security and diversity in the intelligence community. These changes are transforming the workplaces our students are entering. By staying abreast of these trends, the Institute is and will remain a premier training ground for future practitioners across all security sectors.”
“This new identity change reflects the expansive ways in which policy, law and governance intersect a broad array of issue areas that shape not just U.S. national security, but human security around the world,” says Dean David M. Van Slyke, Maxwell School. “As a top-ranked research institution, Syracuse University provides boundless opportunities for us to explore these intersections across campus.”
SPL’s growing subject-matter expertise and diversity is evident in the range of sectors that the Institute’s certificate program graduates work across, in the national and international security community, for U.S. and foreign governments, international humanitarian organizations, the intelligence community, public health agencies, the private sector, think tanks and nongovernmental organizations. Alumni serve in all five branches of the U.S. military.
SPL offers three interdisciplinary certificates of advanced study, in security studies, national security and counterterrorism law, and postconflict reconstruction. It has graduated more than 700 students from its academic programs since 2003.
Adding to its emerging research and practice areas of expertise, the Institute recently played a key leadership role in generating external funding for two major collaborative research initiatives.
The first award is a research and production partnership with the Georgetown University-based Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). As part of the $500,000 agreement, SPL will assist CSET in investigating the legal, policy and security impacts of emerging technology, supporting academic work in security and technology studies and delivering nonpartisan analysis to the law and policy community. Judge Baker is the grant’s primary investigator.
In the second, federal award, Syracuse University was named a U.S. Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (ICCAE) with total support for the new program up to $1.5 million over five years. Known as the Partnership for Educational Results/Syracuse University Adaptive, Diverse and Ethical Intelligence Community Professionals (PER/SUADE), Syracuse University is leading a consortium of universities and colleges to recruit and educate talented, diverse students interested in public service careers in the intelligence and national security fields.
The grant’s goal is to help diversify the U.S. government’s intelligence and national security pipelines. The program is open to all Syracuse University students—graduate and undergraduate—from all schools and colleges, as well as partner schools (Wells College, the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Norfolk State University). PER/SUDAE’s primary investigator is Vice Admiral Murrett and Judge Baker is the co-primary investigator. Multiple University faculty are helping to design the program as co-investigators, including the SPL Director of Research Corri Zoli and faculty from the College of Law, Maxwell School, College of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, College of Engineering and Computer Science, University College and elsewhere.