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Building an Inclusive National Security Workforce

Impact Stories by Shannon Gonzalez
Young woman talking into a microphone.

The Council and Girl Security partnered to engage the next generation of women in national security.

At the Council, we’re committed to helping the next generation better understand and engage in the world around them. Because the future of global affairs doesn’t just include young people. It needs them. 

Girl Security, founded by Council Emerging Leader alum Lauren Bean Buitta, shares this belief and is working to prioritize historically underrepresented people and ideas in national security, starting with girls and gender minorities. 

For over a century, women have remained underrepresented across the national security employment sector, hindering their economic and impact potential in this consequential realm.  

“The future of our democracy demands the engagement of all youth, and especially those whose experiences can lead to a more equitable security future,” Bean Buitta shared. Through workforce training, mentoring, and professional development for girls and young women, Girl Security seeks to build a national security workforce that looks like the nation it is securing. 

The future of our democracy demands the engagement of all youth, and especially those whose experiences can lead to a more equitable security future.

Headshot of Lauren Buitta Lauren Bean Buitta Founder and CEO, Girl Security

Last month, we partnered with Girl Security to host 30 students as part of their summer training program. The students joined us for an exercise around trends in AI and other strategic drivers in national security. Council staff guided the students through the exercise, shared insights, and provided a chance to practice networking skills and learn more about careers in global affairs.  

Nicole speaks at a table with girls.

Council Newsletter Editor Nicole Cvetnić discusses with students her career as a journalist.

Council Director of Global Development Programs Tria Raimundo talks with students about her career in global affairs.

Council Director of Global Development Programs Tria Raimundo talks with students about her career in global affairs. 

Student in blue shirt holds mic and gestures, seated at a table.

As part of the exercise, students shared how they see artificial intelligence as a driver of national security.

Black student holds mic in center of frame, seated and surrounded by other girls.

A student shares her perspective on key security challenges the global community faces today.

Lauren and team sit cross legged on edge of the stage and smile at camera.

Girl Security team members Jane Pak, Shannon Harrison, Lauren Bean Buitta, Jorhena Thomas, and Allison Bean (left to right) led the students on their visit to the Council.

Large group of high school girls smile and pose together in front of Council backdrop.

Following the exercise, the students gathered for a group photo on the Council stage.

A lack of visible role models is just one of the challenges girls and gender minorities face in this field. Through connecting with women on our team and learning about their journeys in global affairs, the students gained direct insights from experienced global affairs professionals.

Impact Made Possible by You

Your support allows us to engage more people and empower them to help shape our global future. Learn more about how you can support the Council's mission.

A group of girls sit at their desks at a school in Kenya.
More on Gender and Equity Explore the Council's latest analysis, events, research, and commentary on gender and equity.

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