From around the globe, every passing moment, the U.S. faces terror threats to its national security infrastructure. Defending the security interests of the U.S. republic is what AU promotes in preparing its national security students.
Defending the U.S. from national security threats is exactly what Dr. Michele L. Malvesti took seriously in her five years on the White House National Security Council as the Senior Director for Combating Terrorism Strategy from 2002 to 2007.
When the Obama administration was looking to do some housekeeping for the White House apparatus on homeland security and counterterrorism operations in 2009, in what was called the presidential study review, America’s first African American president called Malvesti to co-chair the project.
Having aided bipartisan presidential administrations, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Malvesti has rich insights for students of national security and politics.
AU will be hosting Malvesti for a public address tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 25, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Decker 133. President Pistole and the AU National Security program invite all students, faculty, press and the public to attend.
While students of the national security program benefit from networking with professionals like Malvesti, so can students of politics. Junior Rebecca Peach is a philosophy, political science and economics student who values the opportunity to meet national security professionals.
According to Peach, “The individuals that I have had the opportunity to meet with have provided invaluable insight into the intricacies of the decision-making process in their fields.”
Peach raised concerns regarding people who often criticize political professionals.
“I believe, that in almost any case, it is inadvisable to criticize a person before you understand their process,” she said. “I find this particularly true of National Security.
“The intelligence community is clearly a complex environment that is not nearly as navigable as common rhetoric against officials in that field would suggest,” added Peach.
Peach has an appreciation for how complicated politics can be and that professionals like Malvesti can help people better understand and possibly respect the complexity of their professions.
“I tend to think of philosophy as the contemplation of the ‘good life’ and political science as the application of your conclusions on what that ‘good life’ is,” she said. “Speaking with national security officials informs my understanding of both of these subjects by raising questions about the balance between a respect for human autonomy and a respect for the social contract.”
By social contract, Peach implies the moral and intricate relationship between politics and citizens in a civil society. Peach thinks it could be beneficial for anyone to meet professionals like Malvesti.
Now a professor at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Malvesti is an educator of International Security Studies. She is currently teaching a fall course on the theory and practice of national security decision making.
Her course focuses on the kind of interests that students like Peach admire, the theoretical and pragmatic execution of national security decisions.
Malvesti still serves in national security operations. She is an active member on the Director’s Advisory Board for the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC.
She is also on the Board of Directors for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation aids veterans and their families in pursuing education.
Malvesti is on the Board of Advisors for the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. She also works in cybersecurity as an advisor at root9B.