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Sixth Annual Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge


  • American University, School of International Service 4400 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)

The sixth annual Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge will take place on March 16–17, 2018 at American University (AU) and co-organized by Internet Governance Lab Faculty Fellow Dr. Eric Novotny, Hurst Sr Professorial Lecturer and Director of the Graduate Program in US Foreign Policy & National Security at AU's School of International Service (SIS). The competition is organized and hosted by the Atlantic Council in partnership with SIS.

Cyber 9/12 is an annual cyberpolicy competition for students across the globe to compete in developing national security policy recommendations tackling a fictional cyber catastrophe. This one-of-a-kind student competition designed to help students across academic disciplines understand the implications of cyberspace crisis and conflict. Teams are comprised of four students who take on the roles of staffers responsible for briefing the National Security Council with policy recommendations in response to a fictional growing crisis. The teams’ presentations are then evaluated by a panel of distinguished experts in the field.

Students have the unique opportunity to interact with expert mentors and prominent professionals in the field while developing valuable skills in policy analysis and presentation. In the past five years, the competition has engaged over 700 students from universities in the United States, United Kingdom, France, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia. The Cyber 9/12 Challenge has taken place in Washington, DC; Geneva, Switzerland; Sydney, Australia; New York City; and London.

In Washington, DC, in partnership with AU SIS, student teams confront a major cybersecurity breach of national and international importance. Teams compose policy recommendations and justify their decision-making process. They consider the role and implications for relevant civilian, military, law enforcement, and private sector entities and are tasked with updating their recommendations as the scenario evolves.