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03 October 2008

2009 IAFIE essay contest

We have long had mixed opinions regarding the International Association of Intelligence Education. While we are exceptionally glad an organization of this nature exists, and feel that it plays a valuable role in networking and ongoing conversation in the field, we have been quite discouraged regarding attempts to interpose the association as an arbiter of professional standards. The professional standards of the intelligence community cannot be governed by academics and outsiders – particularly when the organization itself has show that it has a long way to go towards understanding the full scope of the community’s tradecraft and many of its sub-disciplines.

However, we continue to believe that IAFIE can play a valuable role in spreading best practices identified by currently serving professionals throughout academia. We also see it as one of the organizations which could be fundamental in advancing the literature of intelligence, if it ever lives up to its true potential. There is much work to be done here, but expansion of the association out of Erie to a wider range of venues and institutions is an excellent start.

To this end, we are pleased to see the announcement of an essay competition for its 2009 conference. The full text is reproduced below:

The International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) is pleased to announce its Essay Competition for 2009. This competition promotes IAFIE’s goal of providing a forum for the communication and exchange of ideas and information for those interested in and concerned with intelligence education.
Competition is open to everyone having an interest in furthering intelligence education. (IAFIE officers and staff are not eligible to compete.)

First place finishers in each category will receive a $1,000 cash award and be invited to speak at the Annual IAFIE Conference, May 27-28, 2009 at the University of Maryland. IAFIE will pay for travel, accommodations and conference registration costs.
Second place finishers in each category will each receive $500 in cash. First and second place finishers will have the opportunity to publish their essays on the IAFIE website.
First and second place finishers will also receive a one year free membership in IAFIE.

Professional – An individual who is working or who has worked as an intelligence analyst, or an individual who is or has been involved in teaching intelligence studies or providing intelligence training (teacher, trainer, consultant, private citizen).
Graduate Student – A full-time or part-time graduate student currently enrolled with a college or university.
Undergraduate Student - A full-time or part-time undergraduate student currently enrolled with a college or university.

Essay Questions
Please answer one of the following questions in your essay. Essays may be written from the perspective of national security, law enforcement, academia, business or private citizen.

1. What impact have major events of this decade had on the role of the intelligence professional in national security, law enforcement or competitive intelligence? (Select major events based upon your choice of field.)

2. Intelligence-led policing is in practice in several countries on several continents. Using real-world examples, what, in your opinion, are the strengths and weaknesses of intelligence-led policing?

3. What do you think are the most important challenges facing the intelligence community over the next 10 years?

4. What advantages do strategic analysis and futures thinking hold for the future of the intelligence professional and how can they be incorporated into the intelligence professional’s skill sets?

Submission Guidelines
Submissions must include a cover sheet with the author’s name, contact information, category (Professional, Graduate Student or Undergraduate Student), essay title and, for graduate or undergraduate students, the name of the college or university they are attending. Those submitting in the Professional category must submit a biography of 50 words or less. Do not include your name on the essay.
Essays must be no longer than 2,500 words, excluding endnotes and bibliography, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font.
Essays must be submitted in English using Word or PDF format.
Essays must be original and not previously published. Submission constitutes permission to publish.

Deadline for Submission: January 9, 2009, midnight, EST. Email your submission to: submissions[at]iafie[dot]org

Notification: Award winners will be notified no later than April 2, 2009

Evaluation Criteria: A panel of intelligence professionals will judge all entries and select the winners for each category. Essays will be evaluated on their relevance to the question, creativity, strength of argument, and writing quality.

To those that will participate, bonne chance. We hope to see a robust response, and (hopefully) an edited collection can be circulated that will include both the winners and substantive runner-up entries.

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