Thunderbird to run development program for senior Iraqi officials

December 9, 2009

Thunderbird School of Global Management is being tapped by the U.S. Force’s Iraq Training and Advisory Mission and the Iraqi government to provide executive development for senior officials in the Iraq Ministry of Interior (MOI), the country’s hub of internal security operations.

The program, custom developed by Thunderbird Corporate Learning for senior officials in the MOI, is designed to equip these decision-makers with the leadership and business skills necessary to inspire change and create the strategic capacity for the Ministry to resource itself through secure, solid vendor agreements.

“The Ministry of the Interior, which is among the largest employers in Iraq, plays an increasingly important role in the ability of Iraq’s new government to provide essential security to the Iraqi people,” said Professor Paul Kinsinger, the academic director of the program. Prior to joining Thunderbird, Kinsinger spent more than 20 years as a CIA analyst specializing in the Middle East. “Ministry leaders and coalition advisors fully recognize the need for the Ministry to become more efficient and self-sustaining as Coalition forces draw down.” 

Kinsinger said a U.S. Army Colonel contacted Thunderbird after learning of the school’s global reputation and unique stance on ethics and social responsibility that are rooted in the school’s mission to advance sustainable prosperity worldwide through business and commerce.

The program will kick off with a session on the impact of globalization and what that means for the Ministry and its operations. “We hope to broaden their perspective of the major forces that have driven business and organizational changes and behavior during the twenty-five years that Iraq was largely sheltered from the world by Saddam’s authoritarian regime,” Kinsinger said.

Sessions also will include global supply chain management, budgeting and finance, managerial professionalism, the impact of IT, critical decision-making, and negotiation strategy.

“As our founders so eloquently stated more than 60 years ago, ‘borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers,’” Kinsinger said. “Helping the Iraqi government to develop its leadership capacity and global connectivity goes to the very heart of this vision and our mission.”

The program is part of a larger effort by the U.S. military to build lasting capacity within Iraq so the country is able to operate independently after Coalition forces leave the region. The Thunderbird program will be the capstone event of an extended executive trip to the United States.