The second installment of Augusta University’s virtual Intelligence and National Security Forum featured two speakers who provided unique insight into security and intelligence in action at the national and global level.
Preston Golson is director of the Washington, D.C., office of The Brunswick Group, a consultancy firm that provides an array of advisory services to businesses and corporations around the world. Kali Caldwell is the co-founder and chief communications officer of Georgia Born Entertainment and former vice president of crisis and reputation risk at Edelman, a global communications and brand management firm.
Both previously worked as terrorism analysts and served in the communications office of the Central Intelligence Agency. They joined the April 21 forum with students enrolled in AU’s Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies (MAISS) program to share their personal experiences, which range from working against global national security threats to the need for gender and racial diversity in intelligence careers.
“The purpose of this forum is to integrate policy-makers, operators and technicians into our academic discourse or in our classes,” said Dr. Craig Albert, director of the MAISS program and host of the forum. “Our students are taught the policy side of everything, and they get the academic discourse, but what’s really lacking and something they can’t really get in the classroom setting is the expert practitioner-operator-technician knowledge. This forum seeks to provide our students and faculty with exposure to what real-life experience may be like as a member of the intelligence and national security workforce. This is stuff you can’t get from a book.”
Madison Brooks, who graduated this month from the MAISS program, said she appreciated hearing about the different situations Golson and Caldwell worked in, as their careers spanned different fields and tasks. Brooks said that gave her the confidence to apply for jobs outside of her comfort zone that she may not have applied for before.
She said she also enjoyed hearing details about the panelists’ work — an experience Brooks said is invaluable for her career choice.
“I found it fascinating because it’s not information that is not readily available unless you attend a forum of discussion such as this one,” she said.
The MAISS program was created in AU’s Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in 2018. This program prepares students for careers with the Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, contractors and the private sector. This is a social sciences program geared toward current and future workforce professionals interested in the human and social science side of intelligence and national security. A new concentration in social influence focuses on inter- and intra-state conflict and terrorism. The MAISS program has grown from eight to 43 students and applications are still being accepted to begin in the fall. If you have questions or would like to apply, please contact MAISS program director Dr. Craig Albert.