David L. Boren Awards for International Study

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Boren Alumnus, IIE President, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Testify

May 23, 2012

Earlier this week, Major Gregory Mitchell, a Boren Scholar, presented testimony at a hearing entitled “A National Security Crisis: Foreign Language Capabilities in the Federal Government.”  The hearing took place before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia, U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 

Major Gregory Mitchell received a Boren Scholarship in 1994 to study Arabic at the American University of Cairo in Egypt.  He has utilized his Arabic skills as an officer in the U.S. Army, serving a total of 48 months in the Middle East.  In his testimony, Major Gregory Mitchell described how  the Arabic skills he developed as a Boren recipient have allowed him to leverage partnerships in the Middle East.  

Dr. Laura Junor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, the office that provides policy oversight to NSEP, spoke earlier in the hearing.  Dr. Junor described the challenges faced by the Department of Defense in not only filling positions that require language skills, but filling them with individuals who have the appropriate skill level.  Dr. Junor also explained how the Department of Defense identifies their language needs and how they require initiatives that support language acquisition and sustainment. 

Dr. Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education (IIE), also spoke at the hearing.  Dr. Goodman spoke of the role international education programs that IIE administers for the U.S. Government, including the Fulbright, Gilman, and Boren Awards, have in promoting foreign language skills and cultural competence among the future U.S. workforce.  Dr. Goodman also discussed the findings from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Task Force that he participated in throughout 2011 and which recently published a report entitled “U.S. Education Reform and National Security.”   

You can download the testimony of each witness who presented and watch a video of the hearing on the Subcommittee website.