Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies

Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies
Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA)
National Defense University Washington, D.C.
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National Defense University
Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies

Type Regional Strategic Studies Center

Established in 2000, the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies is the preeminent U.S. Government institution for building relationships and understanding in the NESA region. The NESA Center supports the theater security cooperation effort of four Regional Combatant Commands: United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), United States European Command (USEUCOM), and United States Pacific Command (USPACOM)and is one of five regional centers that fall under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. With its 21st Century security and academic focus, the NESA Center seeks to build on the strong multilateral relationships between the U.S government and its allies in the region; the Near East and South Asian regional governments and their armed forces, by focusing on broader multilateral approaches and capacity building to address regional security issues and concerns.

The Center employs Executive Education programs via both domestic and regional venues. These academic events include resident courses and outreach events such as Executive Seminars, and Combating Terrorism Workshops. Senior military and government decision-makers in security-related positions from throughout the region participate in NESA Center courses. The Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies is located near Fort Lesley J. McNair inside the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters building in Washington, D.C.


Mission statement

NESA Mission

To enhance security in the Near East and South Asia by building sustained, mutually beneficial relationships; fostering regional cooperation on security issues; and promoting effective communications and strategic capacity through free and candid interaction in an academic environment.[1]

The NESA Center fosters open communication and educational opportunities for military and civilian representatives from the NESA region and other participating countries. Its academic environment uniquely facilitates a cross-cultural examination of the events, ideas, and challenges that shape this critical region.

The center's first regional office has been established in Bahrain, and the NESA Center has implemented new programs on countering ideological support for terrorism, increasing and improving strategic communication and outreach to the region and supporting other strategic goals.

Achieving the NESA Mission

The following activities lead to achieving the core mission of developing a well-informed community of leaders and decision makers:

  • Sponsoring foundational seminars, primarily in Washington, D.C.
  • Further establishment of the regional office in Bahrain.
  • Reaching a larger audience of strategic thinkers and adding depth via a robust program of local and in-region engagement activities
  • Sustaining interest and promoting growth through networked outreach and alumni activities.

Countries in the NESA Region

NESA Area of Engagement
  1.  Afghanistan
  2.  Algeria
  3.  Bahrain
  4.  Bangladesh
  5.  Egypt
  6.  India
  7.  Iraq
  8.  Israel
  9.  Jordan
  10.  Kazakhstan
  11.  Kuwait
  12.  Kyrgyzstan
  13.  Lebanon
  14.  Libya
  15.  Maldives
  16.  Mauritania
  17.  Morocco
  18.  Nepal
  19.  Oman
  20.  Pakistan
  21.  Qatar
  22.  Saudi Arabia
  23.  Sri Lanka
  24.  Tajikistan
  25.  Tunisia
  26.  Turkey
  27.  Turkmenistan
  28.  United Arab Emirates
  29.  Uzbekistan
  30.  Yemen

Senior Leadership

Director Ambassador James Larocco (ret.)
Deputy Director COL David Lamm, USA (ret.)
Academic Dean Dr. Roger Kangas
Academic Dean Dr. Roger Kangas

The Center’s senior leadership come to NESA after long and distinguished careers with institutions such as the Department of State and the United States Military. These individuals contribute their knowledge and experiences to the Center’s mission on a daily basis.

To view the NESA Center's Leadership webpage click here


The NESA Center faculty represents a diverse assemblage of top-tier academics and expert practitioners from academia, diplomacy and defense. The NESA Center's faculty is composed of retired governmental, diplomatic and military leaders from the United States and the NESA region. Professors include men and women who have served as practitioners—ambassadors, government ministers, field- and flag-grade military officers, as well as traditional university faculty. The knowledge, experience and “whole of government” expertise of the NESA Center's faculty provide a deep pool of knowledge that gives its participants a focused and uniquely inclusive education that better enables them to engage in the myriad challenges facing the NESA region.

NESA Center Faculty Members

Click on the faculty names below to see the NESA website to learn more about the faculty members, including their biographies and suggested readings.


Reaching Out to a Global Audience

Participants in a NESA Seminar

Strategic communications and outreach are key regional center priorities. The NESA Center established an Outreach Office to coordinate all communication with:

  • Points of contact in US embassies overseas and foreign embassies in Washington
  • Participants prior to and during programs
  • Alumni after they leave Washington seminars
  • US government stakeholders, both in Washington and overseas
  • The interagency strategic communications community
  • Media, both domestically and in the region

The NESA Center’s goal is to generate a dialogue that begins with the programs and continues after participants leave. They produce short, non-attributed executive summaries after seminars and trips. These reports, circulated on a limited basis to senior USG stakeholders, contain key/new facts or opinions gleaned from discussions with participants. The purpose of the summary is to help senior policymakers stay informed of views to which they would not otherwise be exposed. The executive summaries routinely generate responses from the 3- and 4-star-level.

In 2006, the NESA Center was the first regional center to hold a special Executive Seminar on Strategic Communication for more than 30 participants responsible for internal communications within their own respective governments. During their three-week seminar, they visited relevant sites such as the Defense Information School and the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Strategic Communications is now integrated into the core programs.

For a complete schedule of upcoming NESA Center events, please click here

Domestic Programs

The NESA Center conducts various seminars on a near continuous basis year-round, examples of which are provided below. For a full description of NESA programs visit

  • Executive and Senior Executive Seminars
  • Combating Terrorism and Transnational Threats Seminar
  • Washington Seminar Series
  • Senior National Representatives Seminar
  • U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan Programs
  • Embassy Orientation Program
  • Regional Network of Strategic Studies Center Dialogue
  • Strategic Communication Seminar

For more information about specific seminars, schedules, and information about how to register, please click here.

Other Regional Centers

NESA is one of five regional centers that fall under the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The other centers include:


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