Cultivate the background and critical thinking skills needed to address emerging regional security issues, terrorist threats and public policy debates

PELP Factsheet (pdf)

Homeland security in Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territories is an evolving and increasingly important issue for the nation. The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), in partnership with FEMA and other entities in the Pacific region, has developed the Pacific Executive Leaders Program (PELP), a graduate-level education curriculum, to address specific challenges facing officials in these unique areas. This course is designed for mid- and senior-level homeland security professionals as an opportunity to cultivate the background and critical thinking skills needed to address emerging regional security issues, terrorist threats and public policy debates and homeland security challenges including:

  • Geographic isolation from the continental U.S and other entities
  • Predisposition to various types of natural disasters
  • Port security and safety concerns
  • Proximity to mainland Asia and its geopolitical influences


Goals and Objectives

  • Strengthen national security by providing a non-degree, graduate-level educational program to meet the needs of leaders responsible for homeland defense and security in the Pacific region
  • Provide an educational forum to enhance senior leaders’ capacity to identify and resolve homeland security problems
  • Create nationwide homeland security networks and build relationships between senior leaders across agencies, disciplines, and levels of government


Course Structure and Curriculum

The PELP consists of an intensive one-week in-residence session at the University of Hawaii campus in Hilo. The course is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of participants and does not require the workload of a traditional graduate-level course.

Instruction is a combination of presentations and facilitated discussions between faculty, participants and subject matter experts. Discussions include strategy, policy and organizational design, covering topics such as intelligence, critical infrastructure, border/immigration, threat recognition, incident management, crisis and risk communications, fear management and emerging homeland security issues.

Attendance and participation is required for the entire week and all sessions.


Application Criteria

The criteria considered for admission include the relevancy and level of the applicant’s position, their homeland security responsibilities, the potential benefit to the applicants and their organization, and the homeland security experience and knowledge participants will bring to this educational forum.

The program is fully sponsored for accepted candidates. This includes travel, per diem, and lodging in accordance with federal travel regulations. The sponsorship does not include work time or time spent away from the agency.


David Fukutomi at or, 831-656-3829


Program Director David Fukutomi talks about the Pacific Executive Leaders Program with CHDS Communications Director Heather Issvoran (2014).