Our International Security Policy concentration has grown rapidly over the years in curriculum and scope. If you are interested in experiencing a class in that area, we invite you to join Professor Jason Healey’s webinar on “Understanding Cyber Conflict” this Friday, December 3, at 10am ET. You can click here to RSVP for this faculty mini lecture.

The Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies has inaugurated a new pilot program, Emerging Voices in National Security and Intelligence, that will expand curricula at SIPA and Columbia and encourage female, BIPOC, and first-generation students (undergraduate and graduate alike) to consider and pursue professional opportunities in national security and related fields.

The Emerging Voices program, which draws on a generous gift from Mila Tuttle CC ’96, MIA ’05, is led by Professor Keren Yarhi-Milo, director of the Saltzman Institute, and Senior Research Scholar Peter Clement. Planned components include four new courses on intelligence and national security, an annual conference, a speaker series, career-focused activities, and financial support for both a postdoctoral research scholar and promising undergraduate students.

The initiative formally launched on October 21 with the event “How Diversity Affects National Security: Aspirations and Realities,” featuring speakers Michèle Flournoy, former U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, and Carmen Medina, former deputy director of Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Tuttle joined Yarhi-Milo, Clement, and Dean Merit E. Janow in welcoming guests. She said her donation, which is supporting the program’s pilot phase, was inspired by Yarhi-Milo’s vision for the Saltzman Institute. She also emphasized her own hopes for the next generation of national security professionals.

“We must include more women and more diverse voices from all pockets of this planet at the table and in the rooms where decisions are made,” Tuttle said. “Their perspectives and lived experiences are essential to bring forth a world at peace, and that is what Emerging Voices in National Security and Intelligence is all about…. When we are more inclusive, we can find the best people and the best ideas.”

Professor Keren Yarhi-Milo, College and SIPA alumna Mila Tuttle, Dean Merit E. Janow, Senior Research Scholar Peter Clement
Professor Keren Yarhi-Milo, College and SIPA alumna Mila Tuttle, Dean Merit E. Janow, and Senior Research Scholar Peter Clement were on hand for the launch of the Saltzman Institute’s new Emerging Voices program.

Citing figures from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, a Saltzman Institute video said women comprise 39.3 percent of the intelligence community, and professionals from minority backgrounds 27 percent.

Yarhi-Milo underscored her own desire to help cultivate diversity in her field, but also noted that “being passionate… is not enough.”

“We at the Saltzman Institute were incredibly lucky that Mila Tuttle read an interview in which I discussed these issues and ideas, and decided to pick up the phone and say ‘I want to help you do that,’” Yarhi-Milo recounted. “We cannot be more grateful for Mila’s generosity… we literally could not have launched this program without her.”

A veteran of the financial industry, Tuttle is currently the host and executive producer of Future Hindsight, a podcast focused on increasing civic engagement. She earned her undergraduate degree at Columbia and today sits on the boards for both Columbia College and its alumni association. Outside of the University, she is also a board member at organizations including the Kitchen, a nonprofit art space in New York City.

This piece was authored by Oğulcan Varlı MIA ’22 and was originally posted on the SIPA website.