National Strategic Research Institute awarded contract from USSTRATCOM to continue Fellows Program

September 16, 2015

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), has been awarded a contract from U.S. States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) to continue the Strategic Leadership Fellows Program (SLFP).  The contract will enable the third year of the Strategic Leadership Fellows Program to take place in spring 2016.  The program includes classroom-based and hands-on learning opportunities to provide graduate-level leadership development to civilian leaders from USSTRATCOM.

The NSRI, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and USSTRATCOM launched the inaugural Leadership Fellows Program in March 2014.  Started as a first-of-its-kind professional development program for selected civilians in USSTRATCOM, this initiative leveraged dedicated support to U.S. Strategic Command from the University of Nebraska's National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI), a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC).   

“This program has become an important part of developing our workforce to better understand the challenges and create innovative approaches for 21st century deterrence in an extremely complex global security environment,” said U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USSTRATCOM commander. “We began this graduate fellowship program with the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2014, and it is already making a positive difference.”

Through the contract, ten USSTRATCOM civilian employees will be hand-selected as Strategic Leadership Fellows, a prestigious academic and professional honor, for the spring semester of 2016.  The Fellows Program provides a minimum three credit hours (letter graded) of graduate-level academic education. The ultimate deliverable is a civilian workforce capable of synthesizing diverse issues of national security in order to effectively plan, synchronize, and advocate for global operations and capabilities. 

Individuals chosen to be Fellows are “quite simply, the best of the best civilian leaders at USSTRATCOM, which is why the government is making a significant investment in their development “said Douglas Derrick, Ph.D., assistant professor of IT Innovation.

Through the USSTRATCOM Strategic Leadership Fellows Program, participants learn problem-solving competencies such as team building, collaboration management, data-driven decision making and project management combined with mission core competency development.

From January through April, the Fellows will take classes in Mammel Hall’s Executive Decision Laboratory, housed in UNO’s College of Business Administration and administered by UNO’s Center for Collaboration Science, a multi-college effort that brings together subject matter experts to improve collaboration between organizations.

In addition to coursework and capstone projects, Fellows engage with other academic professionals from UNO, as well as the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, senior military leaders from USSTRATCOM and private business leaders throughout Nebraska.

Overseeing this program are Dr. Douglas Derrick Ph.D., assistant professor of IT Innovation and Dr.  Gina Ligon, Ph.D., associate professor of Management and Collaboration Science. Ligon and Derrick have conducted numerous other research projects on national security strategies for the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.

About NSRI
Founded in 2012, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska is the only University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) in the country dedicated to delivering solutions for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) to U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and across other federal agencies. NSRI provides research and development for the U.S. Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and other governmental agencies in multiple mission-critical competency areas — including development of medical countermeasures to WMD; nuclear detection and forensics; consequence management; chemical and biological weapons detection; and space, cyber, and telecom law. Learn more at

About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.