The Intelligence Studies Project was established in 2013 as a partnership between UT's Clements Center for National Security and Strauss Center for International Security and Law out of a conviction that the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community are increasingly important both at home and abroad. While intelligence has largely been neglected by universities, the ISP aims to remedy this and develop at the University of Texas at Austin a premier center for the study of the Intelligence Community, through a host of programs including new course offerings, research projects, and a series of conferences and other public events focused on intelligence topics.

The ISP has already hosted several conferences, most recently examining the decade since the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 ushered in a sweeping reorganization of the U.S. intelligence community, creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center. With leading intelligence policymakers, practitioners, and scholars, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, and UT Chancellor and former commander of the United States Special Operations Command William McRaven, the conference analyzed what lessons have been learned and what challenges lie ahead. Audio and video of all sessions and keynote addresses from the conference can be found on our website.

Other conferences hosted by the Intelligence Studies Project have been on "The NSA at the Crossroads," looking at the history and future of the NSA in light of the Snowden revelations, and a unique gathering with the senior staff of the NSA under the Chatham House Rule. This resulted in a spin-off project in which Strauss Center Director Bobby Chesney and Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution conducted a series of lengthy, on-the-record interviews with NSA staff, published here.

NEW OPPORTUNITY: “Bobby R. Inman Award” for Student Scholarship on Intelligence

The Inman Award competition is designed to recognize outstanding research and writing by students at the undergraduate or graduate levels on topics related to intelligence and national security. The award recognizes more than six decades of distinguished public service by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Admiral Inman has served in multiple leadership positions in the U.S. military, intelligence community, private industry, and the University of Texas. His previous intelligence posts include Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice-Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Director of the National Security Agency and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

The winner of the “Inman Award” will receive a cash prize of $5000, with two semifinalists each receiving a cash prize of $2500. At least one cash prize will be awarded to an undergraduate author. This competition is open to unpublished work by undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in degree programs during the 2014-15 academic year at accredited U.S. higher education institutions. For more information, click here.


In January 2015, Stephen Slick became the inaugural director of the Intelligence Studies Project after a 28 year career as a decorated member of CIA's Clandestine Service. Between 2005 and 2009, he served as Special Assistant to the President and the Senior Director for Intelligence Programs and Reform on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House.

“Steve Slick for many years served the public with great distinction, both within the Intelligence Community and at the National Security Council,” said UT System Chancellor William McRaven. “Now students and scholars will have the benefit of his sharp analysis, thoughtful perspective and extraordinary experience. It is a major step forward for the ISP and its effort to focus scholarly attention on the role of intelligence.”

Former National Security Advisor Steve Hadley added: "Few people are better positioned than Steve Slick to bring a strategic and historical perspective to the work of the U.S. Intelligence Community. As our nation faces a world of increasingly difficult threats and challenges, Steve Slick will provide an important voice for guiding this work."

“It is a privilege to have someone with Steve’s background, knowledge and experience on our campus,” University of Texas President Bill Powers said. “With Steve’s leadership, the ISP will make The University of Texas at Austin a premier center for the study of the Intelligence Community.”

Former National Security Agency Director and former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Admiral Bob Inman said: “There has been far too little focus in the academic world on the Intelligence Community and the critical role it plays in our country’s national security. The hiring of Steve Slick to strengthen the work of the Clements and Strauss Centers positions UT- Austin to be the leading academic center on U.S. intelligence.”

CLICK HERE to read the full press release.



Past Events


For more information about the ISP, please the Strauss Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..