Rutgers University has received a $1.95 million grant from U.S. intelligence agencies to develop programs that prepare professionals to work in intelligence and national security positions.
Through this grant, Rutgers becomes one of eight schools designated as an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. More than 50 universities nationwide applied for these grants.“As recent events have shown, the need for reliable, legally obtained intelligence has never been more acute,” said John J. Farmer Jr., the grant’s principal investigator. “The 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.”
Farmer is a professor in the Rutgers School of Law-Newark and serves as the university’s special counsel. He led New Jersey’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as New Jersey’s attorney general and served as senior counsel to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission).
The center will be part of the Rutgers Institute for Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security (IEPHS), a universitywide, multidisciplinary center that addresses emergency preparedness, disaster response and homeland security.“This new grant funds a vitally important education and training initiative,” said Clifton R. Lacy, director of the institute that Rutgers established last year. Lacy and Farmer will lead the team of experts that will begin the design and multiyear implementation of the intelligence programs.
Lacy, a physician, was formerly New Jersey’s health commissioner and president of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
“[IEPHS] brings together experts from the broad spectrum of disciplines that exist at Rutgers University to forge collaborations . . . between Rutgers faculty and entities in the public and private sectors,” Lacy said.
An early institute project that demonstrates both practical focus and a collaborative approach is the Faith-Based Security Program. The initiative examines threats posed to communities of faith by the rise of extremist violence. During the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, for example, teams from Rutgers worked with community leaders in those cities. They also conducted interviews in Washington and in several other European cities to assess threats to faith-based communities and recommend best practices for law enforcement and affected communities.