About the Institute
Herons appear at ISG headquarters regularly, using the nearby Lake Del Monte as their hunting grounds.
About the Institute
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Advance national security and foreign policy objectives by building partner institutional capabilities and enhancing the approach and conduct of institutional capacity building to address security challenges

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Promote and advance American values, interests, and objectives through the development, integration, and advancement of the field and practice of institutional capacity building

Our Structure

ISG was established as a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) component in April 2019.  DSCA's objectives were to further align institutional capacity building innovation and leadership and maximize DSCA capacity and flexibility to execute its mission as mandated by Congress and the Secretary of Defense. As the Department of Defense Center of Excellence for Institutional Capacity Building, ISG reports to DSCA’s Defense Security Cooperation University (DSCU). ​


Dark blue map of the outline of the continental United States. Dark blue outlines of Alaska and Hawaii appear in lower left corner. A few brightly colored dots appear on the map to highlight specific cities, from left to right the cities are Honolulu, Hawaii (grey dot); Monterey, California (gold dot); Washington, DC (gray dot and light blue dot); Fort Lee, Virginia (lilac dot); and Newport, Rhode Island (sea foam green dot). On top of the map is a flow chart. Different colored cells are arranged from top to bottom in the flow chart in order to demonstrate a hierarchy with four levels. At the top of the flow chart is a light blue cell with a green outline. Within th e cell is the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) logo and a dark blue text label denoting the "Building Partner Capacity (BPC) Directorate." Beneath the BPC cell on the second level of the hierarchy are three other light blue cells. These cells are distributed horizontally across the screen, but sit on the same level vertically. All three cells are connected to the top-level BPC cell with a bright green line. From left to right, the dark blue text within the three cells reads "Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) Division," "Capability Development Division (CDD)," and "Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, & Mine Action (HDM) Division." All aforementioned cells are a light blue color to show their relationship with light blue dot on the map of the continental United States marking the location of Washington, DC. Beneath these three cells is the third level of the hierarchy, featuring two cells distributed horizontally across the screen, but on the same vertical level. Both cells are connected to the BPC cell, the highest in the flow chart, by a bright green line. The left cell is a gold color with dark blue text reading "Institute for Security Governance (ISG)." The gold color corresponds with the color of the gold dot on the United States map marking Monterey, California. The right cell is a lilac color with dark blue text reading "Defense Institute of International Legal Studies." The lilac color of the cell correspond wit the color of the lilac dot on the United States map marking Newport, Rhode Island. The fourth level of the hierarchy features two cells. The left cell is a gray color, and which corresponds with the dots marking Honolulu, Hawaii and Washington, DC on the United States Map. This dark gray cell is attached to the "Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) Division" cell on the second level of the hierarchy by a segmented green line. Within the cell is dark blue text with the title "Regional Centers." The text then lists out examples of regional centers vertically, including "Africa Center for Strategic Studies," "Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Strategic Studies," "George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies (not pictured on US map)," "Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies," and "William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies." The right cell on the fourth and final level of the hierarchy is purple, which corresponds with the dot on the US map marking Fort Lee, Virginia." This cell is connected to the "Humanitarian Assistance, Disaster Relief, & Mine Action (HDM) Division" cell on the second level of the hierarchy by a green line. Within the purple cell, the dark blue text reads "Humanitarian Demining Training Center (HDTC)."

Our Symbols

Get to know the bold and bright ISG logo by hovering over the list of elements at right. Each component of this key symbol reveals a little more about the ideals and standards that guide our work.


The ISG logo echoes that belonging to DSCA. This serves as a visual acknowledgement of our role in executing the DSCA mission.
the dsca logo next to the isg logo


The rope illustrates the binding ties that result from effective and continuing partnership.
Golden rope that circles the ISG logo


The green ring signifies land and amphibious forces and the blue ring indicates sea and air forces, epitomizing a strong defense for the United States and our partners.
blue and green rings


The gold stars indicate excellence in implementing the ISG mission.
A gold star from the logo


The sphere represents ISG's global reach, while the light blue color signifies the US Department of Defense.
Light blue globe lines


The military and civilian detail on the sleeves expresses civil-military relations and military professionalization. This detail serves as an acknowledgement of the ISG mission and a tribute to our history as the Center for Civil-Military Relations.
Military and civilian sleeves


The handshake stands for new and enduring partnerships built each day by the ISG team.


The gold on the torch exemplifies honor of the mission and the dedication of all personnel within the Institute. The torch is an emblem for illuminating the path: guiding others to find a way forward for themselves.
graphical torch
The great blue heron is our unofficial mascot. Its image may be seen on this website and in our publications, just as the real bird often appears on the front lawn of ISG headquarters in Monterey, California. Herons traditionally represent partnership, exploration, intelligence, guidance, determination, and transformation-- all of which we hope to embody as an organization.
Graphical blue heron next to the words

Our Foundation

Prior to 2019, ISG was known as the Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR). Founded in 1994 as an academic center at the Naval Postgraduate School, CCMR was designed to strengthen civil-military relationships in democracies worldwide. Over its 25-year history, CCMR proved itself responsive to civil-military challenges and adaptive to the changing global security landscape. Alongside partner nations, CCMR engaged on complex issues such as defense transformation, stability and support operations, peacekeeping, combating terrorism, acquisition and resource management, maritime security, and defense governance and management.

Former CCMR Director Richard Hoffman played an integral role in shaping CCMR. Joining the team as a faculty member in 1996, Richard made a direct impact on the lives of many faculty, staff, students, and partners as a leader, mentor, colleague, and friend. The legacy of his directorship, service, and commitment to the CCMR mission endures in the work of ISG.