As threats and potential for peace in cyberspace are transnational and multi-faceted, the Cyber Initiative seeks

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

Our strategy to execute this mission is to:

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

As the only civilian policy school of international affairs in Northern and Central California, MIIS is uniquely able to provide instruction and mentoring for the next-generation of policy leaders.

MIIS Cyber is the first effort worldwide to address the intersection of cyberspace policy issues with international affairs from a social-science perspective. This includes hard security, human security, economic/business issues, language and linguistics, social media, digital ethics and environmental issues.

Congruent with Middlebury’s known strength in language instruction and Monterey’s reputation as the language capital of the world, we remain on the cutting-edge when it related to language applications of cyber as well. By hosting our many events in fora with professional, specialized interpretation booths, we are unique in providing our translation and interpretation students with regular access to hone their language skills on cyberspace policy for practicum credit.

Housed in the Office of the Dean of the Institute and Vice President of Academic Affairs, we are the only academic program globally which employs a networked approach to address this nexus of cyberspace policy topics throughout the entire school.

The Many Facets of Cyber Policy

The MIIS Cyber Initiative (MIIS Cyber) was formally launched as an Initiative of the Office of the President (now Dean of the Institute) on 1 May 2013, following two years of cyberspace policy round-table meetings,  workshops and speaker series with experts from academia as well as U.S. government and military.

It provides input and coordinates the Institute’s existing classes, grants and research efforts to address the policy relevance of technology in international affairs.  This includes hard security, human security/development, digital ethics, cross-cultural communication, social media, linguistics and language, economics/business, peace and stabilization efforts, environmental factors as well as other aspects. Though we do not predominantly provide highly technical approaches to cyberspace issues, we do partner with those who do in order to provide a balanced effort. 

Many professors and students at MIIS incorporate technology and cyberspace issues into their curriculums and research. Our Senior Fellows provide unique, in-depth approaches to these topics. Resource centers such as the MIIS Digital Learning Center (DLC) assists the Institute’s community in the pursuit of academic excellence and digital media fluency while the Mixed-Methods Evaluation, Training and Analysis (META) Lab strives to create a learning environment in which students and faculty share in cutting-edge approaches to research and evaluation. The Globe Center (formerly L10n@MIIS) provides translation, localization, education, consulting and research in the rapidly expanding area of business globalization and localization. Additionally, the WIP (Women’s International Perspective) reports news, world opinion and commentary through the unique perspectives of women.

Creating a Network to Secure a Network

MIIS Cyber’s model is premised on the notion that building an international, interdisciplinary network amongst key cyberspace policy 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 threats and understand potential opportunities for cooperation in cyberspace.

Finally, MIIS Cyber maximizes its geographical location near Silicon Valley and in Monterey, CA which is home to U.S. military and civilian government to reflect the pulse of the local and national perspectives. Our international policy engagements in cyberspace as well as equal reach to all continents ensures we capture international voices on cyber policy issues as well. By doing so, we aim to inform policy makers from a bottom-up approach that can complement existing efforts.

Graduate Education in Cyberspace Policy

MIIS Cyber coordinates courses and executive education workshops that address the various aspects of the information age. For instance, Dr. George Moore, M.
MIIS Cyber Senior Technical Fellow
and Senior Scientist in Residence at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) teaches “Nuclear Aspects of Cyber Security” 
and “Drones and Surveillance.” The Institute also provides courses and workshops in GIS, cyber elements of money laundering, open source intelligence, social network analysis, automated nuclear disarmament scenarios, among many others. Currently offered cyberspace-related courses for credit are available here. Moreover, the 
Digital Learning Commons
(DLC) focuses on providing digital media fluency to the Institute. Projects include 3-D maps,
MIIS Radio
, the Globe Center (formerly L10N@MIIS) and TEDxMonterey, among others.

In addition, MIIS Cyber hosts a speaker series of Silicon Valley and government leaders on cyberspace policy issues. We held 18 sessions during 2013-2014 and 11 sessions during 2014-2015, primarily in rooms with professional interpretation booths so that students in MIIS Graduate School for Translation, Interpretation and Language Education (GSTILE) practicum course may sharpen their live interpretation skills with the ever-growing cyberspace policy and technical vocabulary. This serves our multi-disciplinary effort, pairs well with Middlebury’s excellence in language instruction and reflects notion of Monterey, CA being the language capital of the world. We are the only institution that provides a constant stream of cyber-related policy content for language students. 

Executive Education in Cyberspace Policy

MIIS Cyber is also actively involved in providing executive education on cyberspace policy issues. In summer 2014, MIIS Cyber co-developed and co-instructed a three-week, “Cyberspace Policy and International Relations Executive Education” course with partners at the Cooperative Monitoring Center of Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. This initial foray into cyberspace policy executive education for SNL aims to use technology as a platform for cooperation among key countries.

Research on Cyberspace Policy Issues

Along with  providing coursework and executive education, MIIS Cyber also provides guidance to the Institute on incorporating cyber aspects into relevant curricula, proposals and grants.

Our MIIS Cyber Senior Fellows provide salient and timely research on how technology touches areas relevant to the Institute’s approach to international affairs, in particular in role of humanitarian affairs, disaster relief, C4 (command, control, communications and computers), UAVs, as well as non-state actors (nefarious as well as NGOs, international organizations and corporations).

Cyberspace Policy Resources

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 posted on the site. Finally, for our students, faculty, staff and partners we sponsor the MIIS Cyber Security Working Group which conducts workshops, co-hosts round-table discussions, co-organizes speaker series from the region and provides local field trips. If you are interested in joining our events list or in speaking, kindly send an email with your contact information to cyber [at] miis [dot] edu

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