The University of New Mexico, as an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (IC-CAE), was awarded a $2 million, three-year grant to create a Critical Technology Studies Program (CTSP) and engage a consortium of regional institutions, known as the New Mexico Consortium for Critical Technology Studies (NMC-CTS).

The grant will be part of the National Security Studies Program (NSSP), directed by principal investigator Frank Gilfeather in the Global and National Security Policy Institute (GNSPI) in the Provost’s Office, and directed by co-principal investigator Emile Nakhleh.

NMC-CTS is led by the UNM main campus principal faculty from Anderson School, Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering. The New Mexico higher education institutions participating include UNM branches in Gallup, Los Alamos and Valencia; Northern New Mexico College; San Juan College; Navajo Technical University; and New Mexico Highlands University.

The mission of the NMC-CTS is to interest and prepare New Mexico’s students representing the broad diversity of New Mexico’s local communities in critical technologies (CT), and ensure that students develop the knowledge and skills in CT to successfully compete for national security positions. 

CTSP objectives focus on developing curriculum to strengthen existing computer science, IT and STEM academic programs in NMC institutions to support critical technology areas such as cyber and data security. The CTSP will engage students who represent the rich diversity of NMC-CTS institutions in CT related studies, and develop an intellectual community within the NMC-CTS by providing mentorship to students, research, scholarly opportunities and professional development for students and faculty.

The current UNM IC-CAE program, the NSSP, focuses on global, national and human security studies.

“Each year over 30 students at UNM gain positions or internships in national security agencies and related companies. CTSP, the new IC-CAE program, will extend these efforts to focus as well on critical technology and on students the NMC institutions,” said Gilfeather.

The IC-CAE programs work closely with academic departments and Career Services in the Office of Student Affairs.

“These programs provide a tremendous career advantage to our UNM students, and now to many more students through the NMC institutions,” said Nakhleh.

Co-PIs Nick Flor from UNM Anderson School and James Degnan from the College of Arts and Sciences added, “The faculty involvement from three key UNM colleges indicates the importance of making CTSP a successful program for all our students.”

The National Security Studies Program (NSSP) is a student focused initiative helping a new generation of New Mexico students develop the knowledge and skills necessary in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. NSSP is tailored to prepare UNM students from a broad spectrum of disciplinary and professional fields of study for careers in U.S. government service. Click here for Intelligence Community career listings.

For additional information contact Gilfeather via email,