An educational forum and innovation lab to critically think about homeland security, explore emerging trends in the world around us, and initiate change

Emergence PDF

The Emergence Program is a unique opportunity for homeland security/public safety professionals who are in the early stage of their career. The program provides an educational forum and innovation lab for participants to explore “emerging” trends in the world around us (e.g., technology, social, and terrorism). Participants will discuss both the challenges associated with these complex trends as well as the opportunities to rethink how we protect our communities and the nation. In addition, program sessions will assist participants in “emergence” strategies for implementing innovative ideas, being a leader, and for a successful homeland security career. All costs associated with participating – tuition, books and travel – are covered by CHDS through its sponsor, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA.

Program Objectives:

  • Enhance the next generation of homeland security leaders’ understanding of the homeland security discipline and emerging trends.
  • Facilitate participants’ homeland security perspectives and what they view as opportunities for change and contributions their generation can make to the evolving discipline.
  • Emphasize and enhance critical inquiry, analysis, and evidence-based research to understand complex problems and to develop and implement new ideas.
  • Develop and explore strategies for success in a changing work environment.
  • Inspire participants to a career in homeland security/public safety.
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Learning Structure:

  • The cohort of 32 participants will be chosen from a national applicant pool and will reflect the variety of professional backgrounds, perspectives, and geographic areas that comprise the homeland security community.
  • Six-month program with (2) one-week in-residence sessions and network-based learning that continues throughout the six-month program. The in-residence sessions are held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
  • The network-based learning portion of Emergence includes readings, discussion boards, research and ideation around the change initiatives, and other activities.
  • In-residence sessions are a mixture of interactive and informative presentations, discussions and group exercises.
  • A significant part of the Emergence Program includes an innovation lab for participants to research and develop an idea for change within their organizations (e.g., new policy, approach, program, procedure, system, use of technology, etc.). Participants will work collaboratively during the lab. CHDS staff will be available to assist with the drafting of individual implementation plans.
  • As part of the program, participants will brief their “change initiative” to their agency leadership for consideration and feedback following the first in-residence session and will develop an action plan to guide its implementation.

Next Cohorts:

Currently accepting applications for Cohort 2201 > deadline Dec 1 2021 > apply now

Cohort 2101
Jul 1-Sep 24 2021
Sep 26-Oct 1 2021
Oct 4-Jan 14 2022
Jan 17-21 2022
Cohort 2102
Dec 1 2021-Mar 11 2022
Mar 13-18 2022
Mar 21-Jun 3 2022
Jun 6-10, 2022
Cohort 2201
Jul 1-Sep 2022
Sep 2022
Oct-Jan 2023
Jan 2023

NOTE: If the in-residences are not able to be held due to COVID-19, they will be conducted through remote learning.


  • Full-time government employee of a local, state, tribal, territorial, or federal homeland security/public safety agency or a private sector employee with security/safety responsibilities.
  • In the first half of one’s working career (including, all non-homeland security/public safety jobs since high school), and at least 1 year (approximately) with one’s current agency or organization. (Interested applicants in the second half of their work career and/or in significant leadership decision-making positions should consider applying to the CHDS Executive Leaders Program.)

Emergence Alumni Making a Difference:


Heather Issvoran
Director, Strategic Communications
Contract Support for CHDS