Welcome to the GCSP alumni network!
The alumni network constitutes an indispensable group of worldwide contacts and professional support. Our alumni are part of a wider community, which consists of both the Centre and its alumni, that supports them throughout their careers. At the same time, the GCSP relies on a global and influential support base in its endeavour to be, as stated in its 2011-2015 Strategy, “the principal centre in Europe for professional training in security policy in a select number of fields for participants from around the world”. GCSP alumni include more than 1300 graduates of the Centre’s three long-term courses, the International Training Course in Security Policy (ITC), the European Training Course in Security Policy (ETC) and the New Issues in Security Course (NISC), as well as graduates of select short courses. Becoming a GCSP alumnus/a is free and automatic.
Regular alumni activities include large reunions, especially on the occasion of the GCSP’s special anniversary events, held every five years in Geneva. Depending on the level of interest in various countries and on the resources available, other alumni reunions may also be organised in different locations and on a more frequent basis. In addition, local alumni are invited to participate in occasional alumni events hosted by the GCSP in various cities around the world.
The GCSP provides professional and substantive support to alumni by offering access to the Centre’s online Knowledge Base. Alumni are often invited to different activities organised by the GCSP, such as Public Discussions and seminars. In addition, special events organised at the GCSP and at other locations are particularly targeted for alumni.
Alumni regularly receive information about the Centre’s activities and, since 2011, the GCSP’s newsletter includes a specific section on alumni affairs. This section offers up-to-date information on upcoming events and other relevant news, and often features notable alumni profiles. Alumni are also invited to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn (click here for more information about GCSP social media).
The GCSP encourages the establishment of national alumni associations to support its mission – including, as stated in the new Strategy, the development of knowledge, skills, and mutual understanding among professionals working for peace and security – and foster a greater sense of community among GCSP alumni living in the same area. National associations can thus benefit from alumni interactions by enhancing networking opportunities, further exchanging information and knowledge, and by strengthening connections amongst alumni, as well as between alumni and the GCSP. For instance, national associations could benefit from special presentations on a given topic by GCSP faculty members or associate fellows, organised visits of regional or international organisations, or simply a pleasant social evening in the company of other GCSP alumni.
Suggestions concerning the establishment of national alumni associations:
- The GCSP encourages the establishment of a national alumni association in every country of citizenship and/or residence of a number of our alumni. National alumni groups are founded and run autonomously by local alumni.
- The association is free to decide how it wishes to organise itself – e.g., as an informal ad hoc group or a registered not-for-profit association – as long as the group (and, eventually, its by-laws) serves the GCSP’s mission and is in line with good association practice and it obeys the laws of its country. However, such a group may not be utilised for personal gain, lobbying, or political campaigning. Of course, any alumnus or alumna can get together of their own accord without a formal connection to the GCSP, but when such gatherings become more formalised, they will require the authorised use of the GCSP name and logo in connection with that activity.
- It is advisable to be in contact with the GCSP before establishing a national alumni association. This helps avoid duplication. The group may also receive support, for example, in the form of an initial e-mail sent by the GCSP to local alumni in order to make initial contact with the organisers. Although the creation of a national association is formally independent and there is no direct authority of the GCSP over the group, contact with the GCSP is essential in order for the GCSP to recognise the group as part of the GCSP “family”. Recognised National Alumni Associations are listed on the GCSP website.
- Alumni Membership is automatic and free of charge for all graduates of the GCSP’s three long-term courses (ITC, ETC and NISC) and select short courses. It is highly recommended that national alumni associations use the same criteria in admitting their members. However, regional alumni groups may decide, according to its own rules, for example, on an annual membership fee.
- National alumni associations can be encouraged to form a more formal network which, as it is currently envisaged, could counsel the GCSP in alumni affairs. This may become relevant in coming years as national alumni associations become more widespread.
- The GCSP is honoured that Col Guido Maene who has many years of experience in alumni affairs and currently serves as President of the Belgian GCSP Alumni Association, has agreed to be available during the period 2011-2012, in order to assist in the creation of a national association.
To contact us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +41 22 906 16 13.
National GCSP Alumni Associations websites
- B-GCSP: www.b-gcsp.be