Security Scholars Program

Our Security Scholars Program is the flagship initiative of PSSI, dating back to its inception some thirteen years ago. This is because we accord highest priority to providing a set of world-class, intensive educational experiences in the field of international security studies for advanced students and young professionals in the Czech Republic and the region more broadly. We believe it is essential that security-minded students have access to global luminaries in the field in small group settings, along with our organization and funding of regular expert gatherings covering a wide spectrum of cutting-edge security challenges. It is only through specialized training programs like this one that post-communist societies will produce successfully the generations of highly trained young security professionals necessary to safeguard the hard-fought freedoms of these countries and make them valuable contributors to common security, economic and foreign policy structures like NATO, the EU and others. PSSI was the first public policy group in the Czech Republic – and one of the first in the region -- to take on this educational mission with the active encouragement and involvement of former Czech President Václav Havel, who was a leading member of PSSI’s distinguished International Advisory Board. Finally, this is also the signature program of our beloved Co-Founder and Executive Director, Olda Černý, whose legacy  will honored through the brilliant careers of our almost 600  student alumni – with many more to come.

PSSI has long offered what is regarded by many in academia and government to be its elite Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program (RMSSP). Roughly 15-17 of the Czech Republic’s most talented and advanced students (as well as occasional foreign participants) are selected annually for a two-semester series of lectures and roundtable discussions (along with some written work) provided by senior current and former security policy professionals from the Czech Republic, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. These rather exclusive, smaller gatherings permit our students more practical exposure to decision-makers with hands-on experience from the historically important events they have managed or supervised. PSSI takes pride in the quality of the distinguished speakers it has been able to attract over the years, including those well-versed in free-market economics, not just more traditional political/ military issues.

In 2006, PSSI joined with the prestigious Charles University to sponsor and structure a Master’s Degree Program in International Security Studies under the Faculty of Social Sciences. This degree program commenced in the Czech language in 2007 and was accredited by the Ministry of Education with an entirely English-language curriculum in 2012. It has been a signal success and has already attracted partnerships and exchange programs with other University graduate programs in the field from Germany to Canada. More recently, PSSI has configured a new course, beginning in the Spring semester of 2015, entitled “Space Security in the 21st Century” and will initiate a new mini-course (pilot program) in the Fall Semester of 2015, entitled “Introduction to the Global Economic and Financial Threat Domain”.

Finally, PSSI has conducted its NATO Summer School for over ten years. In coordination with the NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, we convene an intensive, one-week program for some 25 graduate students on a lovely campus outside of Prague that is very conducive to near full-time interaction among the exceptional students (representing some dozen nations) and the distinguished international lecturers brought in for this session. Topics include such issues as the Ukrainian crisis, the new brand of Russian hybrid warfare, the trajectory of cyber warfare, economic and financial statecraft, the appropriate scope of NATO out-of-area coverage, etc.