Winter Workshop

Q: What is Winter Workshop?
A: Winter Workshop is an annual two-day event during which members of the Program for Emerging Leaders (PEL) learn about a specific WMD topic from speakers and explore it through questions and answers, discussion, and sometimes tabletop exercises.  Past topics include: biological weapons, deterrence and major powers, deterrence and rogue states, deterrence and non-state actors, North Korea, and Iran.

Q: What is the purpose of Winter Workshop?
A: Winter Workshop offers PEL members two opportunities.  First, members receive an in-depth introduction to a specific WMD topic by experts in the field.  Second, they have a chance to renew their acquaintances with members of their own PEL class and meet and network with members of other classes.  This is the only time during the year when all current PEL members get together.

Q: Who attends Winter Workshop?
A: All current members of PEL are expected to attend Winter Workshop.  This means that by the end of a PEL member’s three-year term, he or she will have attended three Winter Workshops.

Q: Is attendance at Winter Workshop mandatory?
A: We will make every effort to provide the date for the workshop months in advance, but it is understood that some members’ work obligations may preclude their attendance.

Q: When is Winter Workshop typically held?
A: In late February or early March each year, usually on a Thursday and Friday.  For planning purposes this means that any members who need to travel from outside the National Capitol Region will likely travel on Wednesday and Saturday.

Q: Who covers travel costs?
A: The WMD Center typically covers reasonable travel costs for PEL members living and working outside the National Capital Region to attend Winter Workshop. However, in the event unforeseen budget constraints affect funding availability, coverage of TDY costs is not guaranteed.

Q: Who speaks at Winter Workshop?
A: Past speakers include: Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, then Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director, Air Force Staff College, Headquarters U.S. Air Force; Mr. David Albright, Director of the Institute for Science and International Security; Ambassador Robert Joseph, Ph.D., Senior Scholar at National Institute for Public Policy; Ambassador Linton Brooks, former Undersecretary of Energy and Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; Ms. Rebecca Hersman, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction; Dr. Bradley Roberts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy; Dr. Brian Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President of the RAND Corporation; Dr. Robert Jervis, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Mr. Walter Slocombe, former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association; Dr. J. Scott Cameron, Assistant Deputy Director for WMD Terrorism, National Counterterrorism Center; Dr. Daniel Gerstein, Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security; and Dr. Robert P. Kadlec, former Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy, White House Homeland Security Council.

Q: Do I need to submit my clearance to attend Winter Workshop?
A: No, we should already have that on record, although if the one-year permanent certification of your clearance has expired, we will ask you to permanently certify your clearance again.