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ISG's Resident Advisor Program

Posted: July 13, 2021
Emily Bruza

This year, the Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) Program officially joined the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s (DSCA) Institute for Security Governance (ISG). MoDA was established in 2009 to advance Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) mission and implementation; promote responsible governance, management, and use of security forces; strengthen relationships and institutions to advance reliable partnerships; and enable Security Cooperation investments with supporting and effective partner institutions. The MoDA mission, hereinafter the Resident Advisory Program, is to advance national security and foreign policy objectives by building partner institutional capabilities and enhancing the approach and conduct of ICB to address security challenges. The Resident Advisory Program partners senior Department of Defense (DoD) civilian experts with foreign counterparts to improve security governance capacity in key areas, such as acquisition and logistics, personnel and readiness, strategy and policy, human resource management, and financial management.

The goal of ISG’s Resident Advisory Program is to standardize the selection and training of the Department’s highest civilian performers and transform them into the world’s best resident advisors. Since 2010, the program has recruited, trained, and deployed 600 senior DoD civilians to over 20 countries and is highly regarded by senior leaders within our Defense Department and Ministerial heads around the globe. Resident Advisors work as a team with other ICB elements to ensure ICB projects are aligned with other Security Cooperation activities, including global train and equip and foreign military sales. Deployed Resident Advisors are embedded within partner nations to best achieve national security and foreign policy goals and objectives. The Resident Advisory Program provides trained Department of Defense resident advisors in support of global United States security cooperation and institutional capability building efforts in partner nations.

The Resident Advisory Program operates under the FY12 National Defense Authorization Act’s (NDAA) provided global authority (Title 10, Section 332A), and through DSCA security cooperation cases, enabling the program to deploy DoD civilians for up to two years to assist foreign counterparts in developing critical security governance and institutional defense capabilities. Finding local solutions to local problems is the primary objective of any Resident Advisor serving in a partner nation. Security Cooperation professionals are trained to develop and implement a full-spectrum capability for the partner using all the tools in the Security Cooperation toolbox. Resident Advisor candidates have a complementary and unique role in the Security Cooperation Enterprise. Resident Advisors are professionals who, by their daily proximity to the partner and their expertise, can influence and shape outcomes supporting the partner and US national security goals.

To learn more about ISG’s Resident Advisory Program, check out this two-pager, read this write-up from the DoD, or tune in to this November 2020 radio interview with DSCA’s Laura Alami conducted by Tom Temin with the Federal News Network.

ISG’s Resident Advisory Program provides trained DoD civilian advisors in support of US Security Cooperation and ICB missions worldwide. The Resident Advisory Program is a comprehensive, tiered training program, which focuses on candidates’ advisory and capacity building skills; country study, cultural awareness, and language instruction; mission preparation; and operational readiness training. The course includes classroom instruction, role-playing vignettes, and field exercises.

If you would like to be considered to serve as a Resident Advisor, please consider the following:

  • Candidates for DSCA’s Resident Advisory Program should be a GS-13/14/15 permanent DoD Civilian
  • Candidates will engage in high visibility Ministerial level advising
  • Candidates will undergo training for 6-7 weeks which includes the highly sought-after Strategic Advisor Course

Interested candidates should submit the following attachments to mailbox

  • Cover Letter summarizing why you are a good fit to become a Resident Advisor and the position for which you are applying
  • Narrative Chronological Resume
  • Current SF-50: Please redact SSN and DoB
  • Supervisor Reference(s): Required from current supervisor and supervisor from any previous deployments

Specific Resident Advisor (MoDA) Opportunities can be found here.