Commandant (DCMS-DPR-5)
U.S. Coast Guard
2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE
Stop 7907
Washington, D.C. 20593-7907

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

About the Course

The CHDS Executive Leader Program (ELP) is a unique, educational opportunity for senior-level homeland security and public safety leaders at the forefront of the nation’s homeland security mission. The curriculum includes strategy and policy discussions, collaboration, and networking with leaders from agencies at the local, state, and federal levels as well as the private sector. 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. Details can be found here

CHDS Programs are part of the DHS Academic Programs that provide its employees degrees and/or professional development opportunities for Coast Guard civilians and military at Department of Defense Senior Service Schools and other academic institutions. Application periods vary, and programs are added throughout the year.   

Training Objectives

Participants gain an understanding and appreciation of multiple agencies’ missions and how to think more inclusively and globally about homeland security.  


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.


Naval Postgraduate School campus in 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 “Achieved Expectations” or equivalent on their most recent review and must be in good standing.

This program is designed for Active Duty O5-O6 (with Command endorsement), Active duty enlisted E8-E9 and exceptional E7s (with Command endorsement) and GS14, 15 and 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

Please pay close attention, as the process is different for civilian and military personnel. 
Civilian: Please note that BOTH a DHS nomination and CHDS application are required. Applicants are encouraged to complete both applications at the same time. 

1.  DHS nomination packages are located on the DHS Academic Programs website and are due to the CG POC (listed below) by 10 MAY 24. 

Access the DHS CHDS ELP application here 

2. CHDS applications are located on the CHDS website and are submitted via the website NLT 15 JUN 24.

Find the CHDS ELP website here


Military: A single application to the CHDS programs is required. Applications are located on the CHDS website and are submitted via the website by 15 JUN 24. 

Once you submit your application, please send an email to the CG POC (below) for tracking purposes. Include only your name, program name, and dates for which you applied. 

Find the CHDS ELP website here.

Selection Process

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

Ms. Alyssa Lombardi, email:  

Additional Information

CHDS Homepage

DHS Academic Programs Website (Accessible only through Coast Guard workstations)