March 17, 2008

Students to Agents

The program is funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the umbrella agency which oversees the 16 intelligence agencies in the United States, some of which -- such as the Treasury or Department of the Environment -- would not be linked automatically to intelligence activities. Since 2005, the center has swelled, with eight more universities across the United States signing on to the program that wants to revamp the way young Americans perceive intelligence -- it isn't just spying -- and are trained to work in the very diverse field.

Schools which are selected to be part of the program -- and there is not an Ivy League university, the formerly all-male schools which used to be the preferred hunting ground for intelligence recruiters, on the radar screen -- receive a grant from the ODNI, and set up their own, unique curriculum. The ODNI grant is used to send students abroad to study a language and learn about another culture. When the students return to the United States and complete their studies, they are under no obligation to work for one of the agencies under the umbrella of the ODNI.

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