David L. Boren is the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the Boren Awards, the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. In arguing in the U.S. Senate for passage of NSEP, Boren expressed his view that the U.S. needed a large increase in experts in the languages and cultures of nations which were underrepresented in the number of U.S. students studying there. With changes in the world, Boren felt that the U.S. would work more and more through partnerships with other countries whose needs and perspectives needed to be more fully understood.
As a United States Senator from 1979 to 1994, President Boren served on the Senate Finance and Agriculture Committees and was the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He served as Oklahoma’s governor from 1974 through 1978. He is the first person in Oklahoma history to serve as a state legislator, governor, U.S. senator, and president of the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Yale University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Senator Boren is widely respected for his academic credentials, his longtime support for education, and for his distinguished political career as a reformer of the American political system.
National Security Education Program
The National Security Education Program (NSEP) was established by the National Security Education Act of 1991, which created the National Security Education Board, the National Security Education Program, and resources to provide undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, and institutional grants. It is guided by a mission that seeks to lead in development of the national capacity to educate U.S. citizens, understand foreign cultures, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation and security.
Program policies and direction are provided by the 13-member National Security Education Board. Congress has mandated that the Board be comprised of seven senior federal government officials, most of Cabinet rank, and six individual citizens appointed by the President of the United States. The Board determines critical areas the program should address and recommends criteria for the awards. Day-to-day operations are supported by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office, an office within the Department of Defense.
Institute of International Education
The Institute of International Education (IIE) administers the Boren Scholarships and Fellowships on behalf of the National Security Education Program. IIE is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building international goodwill through educational and cultural exchange among nations. By enabling more than 18,000 outstanding men and women each year to study, conduct research, receive practical training, or provide technical assistance outside their own countries, IIE fosters mutual understanding, builds global problem-solving capabilities, and strengthens the international competence of U.S. citizens.