By Anna Cairns ’20
Originally published on June 14, 2021 on the Texas A&M Foundation website.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service’s teaching site in Washington, DC is celebrating an endowed gift made by Gemini Industries Inc. As the first endowed gift for the new site, which welcomed its inaugural cohort of—in true Aggie fashion—12 students in January 2021, Gemini Industries Inc. is supporting the Intelligence Community of tomorrow.
Just four blocks from the White House in bustling Washington, DC, the Bush School DC is rapidly developing. After the Bush School announced plans for the site on May 4, 2020, the space underwent a lightning-fast transformation to open its doors only three months later. Today, the site is still growing, both physically and as a leader in the field of public service. While it currently offers a Master of International Policy geared toward working professionals with four or more years of experience in international affairs, there are plans to add a resident master’s degree program in national security and intelligence in 2022. Its prime location in the heart of the nation’s capital gives students unparalleled access to engage with the political issues discussed in the classroom.
To help students grow their understanding of the nuanced intelligence field, private sector intelligence company Gemini Industries Inc. established an endowed lecture series on defense intelligence. The new series hopes to address contemporary issues in the field, such as biases in computer processing, privacy issues in data sourcing and strategies for analyzing the sheer amount of information made available via the internet.
“The future generation of intelligence operatives, analysts and other government workers will be exposed to pressing issues in the intelligence field,” said Greg Hicks, director of communications for Gemini Industries. “They will need to gain the tools to address those questions for our country.”
Gemini Industries Inc. recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. Built from the ground up by CEO Victoria Bondoc, who has trailblazed a path for women in the national security sector, the company has established itself as a leader in its field. Today, after enjoying hard-earned success, the company is poised to give back. Of all the causes they could support, the Bush School’s focus on intelligence studies rose above the rest due to their shared values in the power of education and national security.
“This partnership between Gemini Industries and the Bush School brings together two groups of people that have shared life experiences, values and goals,” said Hicks. “This is the cornerstone of a partnership that we hope to grow. We’re partnering with the Bush School to build the future of America’s national security and Intelligence Community.”
LEARNING BY EXAMPLE
The lecture series hopes to attract presenters from top government leadership positions, academia, the private sector, the military, government analysts and more. The hope is to have an annual major lecture event from a senior speaker who works in defense or intelligence at the national level, supplemented by smaller events throughout the year.
“I want students to learn about intelligence topics from both scholars and practitioners,” said Jay Silveria, executive director of the Bush School’s DC teaching site and former superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. “We expect lecturers in this series to be senior-level speakers who will share their experiences with students. The Bush School is already known for its important scholarly work, and this lecture series will help bring in practitioner experience. Being in Washington, DC, we have so many opportunities to share that experience with students.”
The Bush School and Gemini Industries hope that such early exposure to contemporary intelligence issues will aid students in their journeys to becoming professionals capable of tackling complex intelligence problems in their careers. As the Bush School already offers one of the nation’s most renowned intelligence programs, the new DC teaching site is well-poised to build upon that strength and reputation.
“Speaking from my career experience in the military, intelligence is absolutely foundational,” added Silveria. “It’s what we base our decisions on, and it’s how we know we’ve made the right decisions. Intelligence studies are critical to decision-making. Without them, we’d be lost in a lot of ways. These students are the future.”
To support the Bush School Washington DC Teaching Site, contact Director of Development Alice González Yates ’99 at (202) 773-0030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.