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

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) - Emergence Leader 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 Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Emergence Leader Program. The Homeland Security Emergence Program is a unique opportunity for homeland security/public safety professionals who are in the early stages of their career.  This is a 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. 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 - will be covered by CHDS through its sponsor, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Directorate (FEMA).

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Open to GS 9-12 with between 2 and 8 years of federal work experience in any area (does not need to be homeland security related).
  2. Employed with USCG at least 2 years at the time the application is due.
  3. Must have a meets or higher expectations, or equivalent, on their most recent performance review.
  4. Applicant should have strong collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills and an appreciation for continuous education and professional growth.
  5. Applicant should enjoy learning through interactive activities.
  6. A demonstrated commitment to a career in homeland security/public safety.


Monterey, CA

Application Due Date

The current application period is closed and will reopen January 2021. Civilians are required to submit two applications for CHDS programs.  Fall 2021 applications are due to DHS by noon ET on April 8, 2021 and the Naval Postgraduate School by noon ET on May 1, 2021.

Application Procedures

  1. Complete the DHS CHDS Emergence Leader application.
  2. Scan completed PDF package and email the application to:
  3. Open an online application at (The selection committee will not review your application until you finalize the materials and click submit.)
  4. A complete CHDS online application will include the following and must be submitted on line NLT April 8, 2021
    1. Current resume including educational history.
    2. Short essay (2-3 pages, doubled spaced) detailing an opportunity for homeland security/public safety change within your organization as well what you view as 1 or 2 possible challenges/barriers to achieving the change (you will develop your innovative idea* for change during the program and brief it to your leadership upon returning to your organization)
    3. A letter of support from a supervisor or organizational leader:
      1. highlighting your qualities as a candidate for the program (see qualifications)
      2. confirming you will be allowed the time away to attend, if selected
      3. committing to participate in your Emergence Program education by providing you the opportunity to brief organizational leaders on your idea upon completion of the Emergence first in-residence and providing feedback regarding its potential for implementation
  5. ***Optional Creative Submission (must be submitted directly to the school): use whatever medium you wish - e.g. written, recorded, video, art, etc. - to show us something that is important to who you are and why you are a good candidate for the program.***

Selection Process

A CHDS selection Panel will convene and select finalists for acceptance into the program.

Program Manager

The Civilian Career Management Team (CCMT), email

Additional Information

More information may be found on the program by visiting the following link: and the CHDS Emergence Leader Program fact sheet.

DHS Academic Programs (Accessible only through Coast Guard workstations)