National Security Education Program

The National Security Education Program (NSEP) is a U.S. federal government initiative in which U.S. citizens are given funding and training in critical languages (strategic languages) "to serve the needs of U.S. national security and national competitiveness." Some funding comes in exchange for a commitment to U.S. federal government service upon completion of academic study. NSEP is aimed at building a wider pool of Americans with foreign language and international skills by involving participants in "innovative, intensive, and long-term programs designed to provide meaningful opportunities to gain significant competencies in these languages and cultures." Selected through an annual nationwide competition, Boren awards are consistently listed as being among the most prestigious academic awards in the United States.

NSEP was established by the National Security Education Act. It is managed by the National Security Education Board (NSEB), which meets once a year "to review and make recommendations based on program mission and objectives." The board is chaired by the Secretary of Defense, who has delegated responsibility to the Deputy Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OSD/P&R) provides policy oversight to NSEP. The NSEB is assisted by the NSEP Group of Advisors, "who provide more detailed review of program performance and administration." The NSEP Office (NSEPO) is located in Arlington, Virginia.


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