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Policy Studies in Cybersecurity

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Phone: (202) 885-2940 Graduate programs: Undergraduate programs:

Kerwin Hall

Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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#SPACyber is a practioner informed, research driven hub of cyber curriculum, thought leadership, and engagement. Focused on the national and homeland security implications of the internet our faculty, students, and partners collaborate around the common goal of understanding and ultimately informing U.S. cyber policy and the organizational structures and leaders who drive it.

Looking for ways to get involved? Whether you are a current student, researcher, practitioner partner or prospective student we want to hear from you and welcome your contributions to our growing community. Sign up to receive updates and let us know more about yourself and your interests--we look forward to hearing from you!

Past Events

Life on an FBI Cyber Squad

October 21 | 12-1PM ET | Online

American University's School of Public Affairs and the FBI are coming together to host a first-of-its-kind event, exploring a day in the life of an FBI cyber squad.

Come learn about the different technical career paths at the FBI from the people who live it every day. How do a special agent, staff operations specialist, and computer scientist work together to solve a case? What skills and experiences led them down their career paths? What insights can these mid-career professionals offer future applicants? Please register to join us at this unique virtual event.

Cybersecurity in the Remote Workforce

October 22 | 12-1PM ET | Online

Guidehouse and American University are thrilled to invite you to attend a virtual panel and Q&A session titled "Cybersecurity in the Remote Workforce” as part of our National Cybersecurity Awareness Month programming.

#SPACyber Book Talk Series: Cindy Otis


In "True or False," former CIA analyst Cindy Otis takes readers through the history and impact of misinformation over the centuries, sharing stories from the past and insights that readers today can gain from them. Then, she shares lessons learned in over a decade working for the CIA, including actionable tips on how to spot fake news, how to make sense of the information we receive each day, and, perhaps most importantly, how to understand and see past our own information biases, so that we can think critically about important issues and put events happening around us into context.

Curriculum Highlights

JLC-695-001 Cyber Incident Response Practicum

This practicum will focus on developing students' knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of various key stakeholders in responding to a serious cybersecurity incident. Students will learn how the U.S. government approaches cyber incidents from a legal, policy, and operational perspective, and how industry, the media, and partner nations must balance the challenges around a quickly unfolding cyber incident with incomplete information. Students will conduct a hands-on simulation of a National Security Council meeting, and role-play media companies, industry groups, and other affected organizations utilizing the policy analysis skills developed throughout this course. As part of the exercise, students will provide policy options to cabinet officials and advocate for particular actions. Following the simulation, students will have the opportunity to brief senior U.S. government officials in key cybersecurity agencies, as well as other cybersecurity experts. Students will gain a practical ability to prepare an incident response plan and develop concise, actionable written and oral policy options.

Instructors: Iranga Kahangama and Jonah Hill

Welcoming Diana Burley

Diana Burley is American University’s new vice provost for research and professor of Public Administration and Policy at SPA. Her research takes a holistic perspective on cybersecurity, including the strategic development of the cybersecurity workforce, the relationship between technical and human factors, and methods for strengthening cybersecurity posture across a range of institutions. Learn more.

Report Cover

Announcement ·

New American University Report Underscores a Critical Need for a National Cybersecurity Director

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cyber 9/12 flyer

Achievements ·

SPA Team Wins Cybersecurity Competition

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MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy

MS Terrorism & Homeland Security Policy

From tactical approaches to strategic solutions.

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Student Spotlight

Divya Ramjee

Divya Ramjee
PhD Justice, Law & Crimonology

"As a doctoral candidate researching cybercrime and intellectual property crime, it is fantastic to be able to be a part of SPACyber. It's truly a unique program in the DMV region that is focused on not only cybersecurity, but also cyber policy and development. It's great to be a part of the team and help teach the next cohorts of cybersecurity professionals and policymakers."