National Security: An Inventory of Professional Development Activities Intended to Improve Interagency Collaboration and Selected Characteristics by Providing Agency and Type of Activity (GAO-11-109SP, November 2010), an E-supplement to GAO-11-108

Read the Full Report: National Security: An Overview of Professional Development Activities Intended to Improve Interagency Collaboration (GAO-11-108).


This e-supplement provides an inventory of professional development activities intended to improve the abilities of personnel from key agencies involved in national security issues to collaborate across organizational lines. For each activity, this e-supplement lists, if available, (1) the providing agency; (2) a description of the activity, including the subject matter addressed, participant time commitment, and delivery mode; (3) the population being targeted for participation; and (4) the number of fiscal year 2009 participants.

The inventory of activities can be accessed from the Table of Contents link below. The complete inventory is available for download in a comma-separated values (.csv) file or can be viewed in a formatted table. In addition, the information can be viewed in separate tables for each type of activity.

training courses and programs-planned learning for acquiring and retaining skills, knowledge, and attitudes;

exercise programs-scenario-based training that allows for the development, improvement, or display of specific capabilities or skills;

interagency rotational programs-work assignments at a different agency from the one in which the participant is normally employed, with an explicit professional development purpose;

Joint Professional Military Education programs-a subset of military career education intended to foster collaboration across service branches, agencies, and countries for a whole-of-government approach to national security; and

leadership development programs-professional development programs-with a national security focus-intended to build leadership skills such as communication, teamwork, and staff development.

To gather this information, we administered a questionnaire to key agencies involved in national security issues: the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of State (State), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Treasury (Treasury), the Department of Justice (Justice), the Department of Energy (Energy), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Department of Commerce (Commerce).

We asked relevant training, education, human capital, and program officials in these agencies to complete a questionnaire and identify and submit information on all professional development activities they were aware of that met these criteria: (1) explicitly intends to build knowledge or skills among federal civilian and/or military employees to encourage or improve collaboration with employees of other federal departments; (2) targets federal civilian and/or military personnel involved in developing or implementing national security policy, strategy, missions, or operations, but not support functions such as administration, financial management, or procurement; (3) relates to national security activities; and (4) is an ongoing, sustained activity, not a one-time event.

We took several steps to obtain as complete, consistent, and accurate information as possible. For a more detailed discussion of our methodology, see GAO, National Security: An Overview of Professional Development Activities Intended to Improve Interagency Collaboration (GAO-11-108).

We conducted this engagement in Washington, D.C. from September 2009 to November 2010 in accordance with all sections of GAO's Quality Assurance Framework that are relevant to our objectives. This framework requires that we plan and perform the engagement to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to meet our stated objectives and to discuss any limitations in our work. We believe that the information and data obtained and the analysis conducted provide a reasonable basis for any findings and conclusions in this product.


Table of Contents


Bernice Steinhardt at (202) 512-6543 or



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