About Us



As the both the threat and potential for peace in cyberspace is transnational and multi-dimensional, the mission of the Monterey Cyber Security Initiative (MCySec) is:

“To provide an interdisciplinary, networked platform to assess the impact of the information age on security, peace and communications.”  

Our strategy is to execute this is mission is to:

  1. employ a networked approach to create a public-private-academic community of interest;
  2. provide a forum for international, key-leader engagement;
  3. increase research and education on cyberspace issues related to international affairs;
  4. provide input and coordinate the Institute’s existing efforts related to information, communication and technology in multiple fields.

MCySec is the first effort worldwide to address the intersection of cyberspace issues with international affairs from a social-science, non-technical and non-legal perspective. As a continuation of the pioneering initiatives by MCySec Director, this is also only academic program globally that employs a networked approach to address this nexus of issues.

The Many Facets of Cyber

As part of the Office of the President, the Monterey Cyber Security Initiative (MCySec) provides input and coordinate the Institute’s existing efforts to address the relevance of technology in international affairs. This includes hard security, human security/development, digital ethics, cross-cultural communication, social media, linguistics and language, economics, peace and stabilization efforts, environmental factors as well as other aspects. Though we do not predominantly addressing highly technical approaches or legal theory related to cyber, we do partner with those who do in order to provide a balanced effort. A brief survey of nearly 40 Monterey Institute’s faculty and staff  as well as MCySec’s Senior Fellows highlights the complexity of cyberspace issues and how it is being addressed at MIIS.

Creating a Network to Secure a Network…

MCySec’s model is premised on the notion that building an international, interdisciplinary network amongst key stakeholders provides a balanced voice on salient topics related to information. By partnering with multiple institutes locally, nationally and worldwide we aim to leverage the many strengths of various existing efforts to better address contemporary cyber threats and understand potential opportunities. In addition, we host small, key-leader-engagement meetings on cutting edge topics in a Chatham House rules format to create a community of interest on various aspects of cyber policy. Finally, MCySec maximizes its geographical location near Silicon Valley to better reflect the pulse of the local perspective as well as international voices. By doing so, we aim to inform policy makers from a bottom-up approach that can complement existing efforts. We have partnered with the Highlands Group to pave the way to fully developing a Highlands Forum model for academia.

Graduate Education

MCySec coordinates courses and executive education workshops that address the various aspects of the information age. For instance, MCySec Director Dr. Itamara Lochard offers  “Non-state Actors in a Digital World” which is cross listed across disciplines.  In addition, Dr. George Moore, MCySec Senior Technical Fellow and Senior Scientist in Residence at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) teaches “Nuclear Aspects of Cyber Security.”  MIIS also provides courses and workshops in GIS, cyber elements of money laundering, social network analysis, automated nuclear disarmament scenarios, among many others. Currently offered cyber-related courses are available here.

In addition, MCySec hosts a speaker series of Silicon Valley and government leaders on cyberspace issues.  Last year over 18 sessions were held, primarily in rooms with interpretation booths so that students in Monterey Institute’s Graduate School for Translation, Interpretation and Language Education (GSTILE) practicum course may sharpen their live interpretation skills with the ever-growing cyber vocabulary. This serves our multi-disciplinary effort and pairs well with our excellence in language instruction. We are the only institution that provides a constant stream of cyber-related content for language students. 

Executive Education

MCySec is also actively involved in providing executive education on cyberspace issues. MCySec Director, Dr. Lochard co-developed and co-instructed a three-week, “Cyber Security and International Relations Executive Education” course with partners at the Cooperative Monitoring Center of Sandia National Laboratories. This initial foray into cyber executive education for SNL aims to use technology as a platform for cooperation among key countries. We also plan to host a “Language Applications of Cyberspace Workshop” with partners at Lingua Brava this academic year.

Internationally, we are helping create the academic curricula and coursework on cyberspace issues with partners in the Balkans at the Military Academy of Macedonia who are developing a program that will benefit all countries in the region. These efforts have been supported by the NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division.  In addition, Dr. Lochard continues to provide executive education, subject matter expertise and consulting to the NATO Center of Excellence Defense Against Terrorism (CoE-DAT) on how technology impacts counter-terrorism for the Alliance and countries in the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative programs. She still teaches the course she created at NATO CoE-DAT on “Terrorists’ Use of Cyber,” “Deterring Terrorists’ Use of Cyber” as well as those on ‘Strategic Communications” and “Organizational Structures of Groups.”

Research on Cyberspace Issues

In addition to providing coursework and executive education, MCySec also provides guidance to Monterey Institute on incorporating cyber aspects into relevant curricula, research proposals and grants.  We have also added MCySec Senior Fellows to provide salient and timely research on how technology touches areas relevant to the Institute’s approach to international affairs. We plan to launch an on-line publication series this year highlighting their work as well as others related to these issues. Furthermore, Dr. Lochard is culminating a three-year project as chair of the “Understanding the Local Dynamics” panel of the NATO HUMINT Center of Excellence on behalf of NATO headquarters. This effort provides research to the Alliance on how to best create policy to address upcoming conflicts by incorporating various elements of technology with traditional analysis.


Our website hosts several resources pages that are continuously updated to address the many facets of cyberspace.  Here you can find information on our events, news articles, scholarly publications, books, websites, cyber hygiene, terminology, cyber security policies of various states and key maps digitizing relevant information. Our speaker series is open to the public otherwise noted. Many of our sessions are recorded and subsequently published on the site. Finally, for our students, faculty, staff and partners we sponsor the Cyber Security Student Working Group which conducts workshops, co-hosts round-table discussions, co-organizes speaker series from the region and provides local field trips.

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