Commandant (CG-128)
U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Stop 7907
Washington, D.C. 20593-7907

Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) - Executive Leaders Program

Please note that CHDS programs are continuing to run uninterrupted during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional in-residence sessions and in-person offerings have been moved to online delivery through innovative and interactive platforms. Based upon current FEMA and Department of Defense guidance, remote online delivery will continue through 2020. We will return to in-person delivery as soon as our sponsors and local authorities allow.

About the Course

The CHDS Executive Leader program allows senior level homeland security professionals to develop the strategies, policies, and organizational elements that need to better understand and address emerging national security issues, public policy debates, terrorist threats, and best practices in homeland security.  The Executive Leaders Program consists of four one-week in-residence sessions over a nine-month period.  Each of the four session is conducted at the CHDS campus in Monterey, CA.  This program is fully funded by a FEMA grant.

Training Objectives

The program is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of participating executives and does not require the workload of traditional graduate-level education.  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.


Tuition, fees, and travel are funded through a grant from FEMA. Participants will be required to sign a Continuing Service Agreement if selected to participate. The service obligation for Executive Leaders Program is 12 months.


There is no degree requirement for this program. Consideration is given to those who already have bachelor's and master's degrees. In order to receive additional consideration for a previously conferred degree, an official transcript from the institution awarding the highest degree must be included. The official transcript should be sent to the applicant's home so that it can be attached to the application. Any individual who has completed a degree under a Department of Homeland Security graduate academic program within the last three years is not eligible to apply.


Monterey, CA


There are four one-week in-residence sessions during a year.  Attendance and participation is required at all four sessions.

Eligibility Requirements

Federal employees who have been with DHS for at least 1 (one) year at the time the application is due are eligible to apply. Any individual who has completed a degree under a Department of Homeland Security Graduate Academic Program within the last three years is not eligible to apply. Employees must have achieved at least a “Meets Expectations” or equivalent on their most recent review, and must be in good standing.

This program is designed for O5-O6 and GS15-SES leaders.


All NPS requires students to be in residence only two weeks every quarter (for a total of 12 weeks for the whole program).  Students complete the remainder of their coursework via the web.


Application Procedures

Individuals are required to complete two applications for this program AT THE SAME TIME. (A DHS-internal nomination application and the CHDS on line application)

A. DHS-internal nomination application.

1) Civilian members must complete the application electronically. Do not copy and paste essays into the application. Spelling and grammar check will not work within the form. Upon completion, applicants shall print and sign the document, and obtain direct supervision signature.
Active Duty military members are not required to completed DHS-internal nomination application forms.

2) An unofficial transcript from the institution awarding the highest degree must be included.

3) Save completed application package as PDF file using the following format: LastName_First_CGCHDSELP.

4) Scan completed PDF package and email the application to: **In the subject line, please include only your name, program name, and due dates of the program you applied for**

B. Access the CHDS on line application. Active Duty military applicants please also send email to Include only your name, program name, and dates you applied for.


Selection Process

Academic programs require an internal DHS vetting process. There are two required applications (one DHS-related application and a second application directly to the school). The selection criteria look at the relevancy and level of applicants’ positions and homeland security responsibilities and the homeland security experience and knowledge they will bring to the program. This is very important since the sessions are facilitated roundtable discussions and debates where participants learn from one another. In addition, a major objective of the program is to establish relationships between executives across disciplines, agencies and levels of government so that they can utilize the network to develop new homeland security policies, strategies and plans to solve problems. Therefore, the selection criteria will also look at the potential benefit of relationship building to the applicant.


Program Manager

The Civilian Career Management Team (CCMT), email


Additional Information

Center for Homeland Defense and Security (Masters Degree Program):

DHS Academic Programs (Accessible only through Coast Guard workstations) Fact Sheet: