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.

HS Leaders are saying …

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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 prior to both in-residences. The in-residence sessions are held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
  • Network-based learning begins in July and continues throughout the six-month program. Participants spend an average of 3-5 hours each week reading and viewing materials, researching their change initiative projects, and working on 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, approaches, 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 innovation 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 Dates In-residence

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

Application deadline: June 30, 2020 [open]

Cohort Emergence2001

Network-based Learning Begins July 20, 2020
In-residence 1 Sep 27 – Oct 2, 2020 (Travel Sep 26, Oct 3)
In-residence 2 Jan 18 – 22, 2021 (Travel Jan 17, Jan 23)

Application deadline: May 1, 2021

Cohort Emergence2101

Network-based Learning Begins July 1, 2021
In-residence 1 Sep, 2021 (TBD)
In-residence 2 Jan, 2022 (TBD)


  • 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.
  • Preferred, but not required, less than 12 years total full-time work experience (including, all non-homeland security/public safety full-time jobs but not counting high school, post high school temporary or college jobs), at least 1 year (approximately) with current agency or organization. (Interested applicants with considerably more than 12 years of full-time work experience should consider applying to the CHDS Master’s Degree Program or the Executive Leaders Program.)
  • A demonstrated commitment to a career in homeland security/public safety.
  • Applicants should have strong collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills and an appreciation for continuous education and professional growth.
  • Applicants should enjoy learning through interactive activities (program includes a group walk on established outdoor trails).


Heather Issvoran
Director, Strategic Communications
Contract Support for CHDS
831-402-4672     |