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Marshall Center
January 1, 2020

The Marshall Center is a unique German-American defense and security studies institute located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Since its dedication in 1993, its mission has been to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships, especially in the field of defense; promoting active, peaceful security cooperation; and enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of Europe, Eurasia and North America.

The Marshall Center offers graduate-level resident programs as well as conferences and other outreach programs to military and civilian government officials from Europe, Eurasia, North America and beyond. Supported bilaterally by the governments of the United States and Germany, the Marshall Center boasts an international faculty with representatives from 10 partner nations.

Resident Programs

The Marshall Center’s College of International and Strategic Studies offers five resident courses that examine national security issues. Each course is held two or three times a year.

Program in Advanced Security Studies (PASS): PASS is the Marshall Center’s flagship resident program. This 12-week course of study for civilian government officials and military officers provides graduate-level education in security policy, defense affairs, international relations and related topics, such as international law and counterterrorism. PASS consists of core studies and electives, which include assigned readings, seminar discussions, panels and role-playing exercises, and concludes with a one-week field study that allows participants to see how theoretical knowledge is applied in the political arena.

Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS): PTSS addresses numerous aspects of a threat that confronts nations around the globe. This five-week course is designed for government officials, police and military officers currently employed in mid- and upper-level management of counterterrorism organizations throughout the world. The course focuses on methods to help a state effectively combat terrorism but still adhere to the fundamental values of a democratic society. Participants develop a common understanding of the definition of terrorism and establish contacts that help them approach this complex problem in an international environment.

Senior Executive Seminar (SES): SES is an intensive eight-day program that offers policymakers a forum for exploring a current international security issue in depth. Participants include general officers, senior diplomats, ambassadors, ministers, deputy ministers and parliamentarians. Each SES focuses on a specific issue and includes formal presentations by senior officials and recognized experts, followed by discussions in seminar groups.

Seminar on Transatlantic Civil Security (STACS): STACS provides civil security professionals from Europe, Eurasia and North America an in-depth look at how nations can effectively address domestic security issues that have regional and international impact. The three-week seminar examines best practices for ensuring civil security and preventing, preparing for and managing the consequences of domestic and regional crises and disasters. STACS is offered for military officers and government officials responsible for civil security policies and programs, as well as representatives of intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations with civil security responsibilities.

Program for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTAR):  SSTAR addresses both why and when stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations are required in the global security environment and how a nation can participate productively. This three-week course is for mid-career military and civilian officials (lieutenant colonel, colonel or the civilian equivalent) who are working in a government position that deals with the planning or execution of SSTR operations. It is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills participants need to be able to advise on their nation’s contributions to current and potential multinational SSTR operations

The Marshall Center also offers specialized language courses, the Security Studies Language Program and the Combating Terrorism Language Program, in conjunction with PASS and PTSS.

Outreach Programs

Through its Outreach Programs Directorate, the Marshall Center is able to extend programs on critical security and defense issues to the widest possible audiences within partner nations, including those who may not be able to attend resident courses in Garmisch, and respond to requests for special focused events. In coordination with the College of International and Security Studies, the Outreach Programs Directorate plans, develops and conducts  more than 100 outreach activities a year.

Conferences and workshops: The Marshall Center organizes approximately 20 conferences and workshops per year.  These events, typically three to four working days in length, allow for focused sharing of information and viewpoints among experts and policymakers, leading to a summary report with concrete policy recommendations. Conferences and workshops are conducted in single nation or multinational regional formats either in Germany or at a location in a participating country.

Regional Education Team Seminars: Teams of Marshall Center faculty routinely conduct customized Regional Education Team Seminars (RETS) throughout the world, bringing Marshall Center expertise directly to partner nations in tailored, compressed form. RETS typically are five-day packages of detailed, interactive instruction for audiences of 20-50 officials on requested topics of interest.  Currently available packages include Terrorism; Stability, Security, Transformation and Reconstruction; NATO; Euro-Atlantic Security; and Defense Institution Building.

Speakers Bureau: Marshall Center faculty are available to speak on a wide range of contemporary security issues, such as regional security, peace and stability operations, border security, combating organized crime and corruption, intelligence, international law, and defense transformation. Speakers are available to give presentations in English, German, Russian and several other regional languages.

Alumni Events: As part of its continuing engagement with alumni, the Marshall Center offers support for alumni-led activities, such as security cooperation, which provide an opportunity for security professionals to discuss important security issues in an inter-ministerial forum.