“America’s interagency toolkit is a hodgepodge of jerry-rigged arrangements constrained by a dated and
complex patchwork of authorities, persistent shortfalls in resources, and unwieldy processes.”
- Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense, 2010
The Arthur D. Simons Center for the Study of Interagency Cooperation is a research, analysis, studies and publication center focused on interagency issues at the tactical and operational levels.
The Simons Center is a program of and is funded by the CGSC Foundation. The Simons Center opened its doors on Fort Leavenworth, April 21, 2010, with a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting (read the press release). Mr. Ross Perot, who donated the funds to support the Center, was on hand for the ribbon cutting.
Interagency studies and research play a critical role in advancing the ability of government agencies to work together in a collaborative and cooperative manner. Recognizing this, Mr. Ross Perot funded the establishment of the Simons Center to enhance interagency education and scholarship at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC), and to encourage advances in the practice of interagency cooperation. In carrying out this mandate, the Simons Center supports CGSC by promoting the study, analysis and investigation of interagency issues at the operational and tactical levels of effort. The center seeks better understanding of the many organizational, cultural and material factors that promote or impede interagency cooperation. It champions the investigation of the multitude of issues impacting interagency cooperation, promotes the exchange of information and ideas and encourages the adoption and implementation of methods, procedures and practices that have a documented record of success.
The Simons Center focuses its efforts in four major mission areas:
Supporting and Promoting the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
The Center promotes greater awareness and understanding of interagency dynamics by sponsoring a series of writing competitions for each class designed to encourage research, creative thinking and fresh insights into the complexities of interagency cooperation. Its publications, including interagency guides and handbooks, capture the core, essential information needed to help prepare students to function effectively in an interagency environment. The Center also funds student research and, when appropriate, related travel.
Developing Interagency Leaders
Future military and civilian leaders must be prepared to handle the complexities and uncertainties of the interagency environment. Consequently, the Simons Center provides tomorrow’s leaders with access to the collective experience and wisdom of senior officials experienced in dealing with the intricacies of interagency operations. Venues for such interaction include conferences, small seminar presentations and guest lectures. The Simons Center supports these programs from the membership of its distinguished advisory council of former ambassadors, senior officials, and accomplished members of the academic community. The Simons Center also provides experienced interagency experts as senior level participants in military exercises and war games.
Improving Interagency Operations
All programs and activities of the Simons Center are directed at improving the ability of the government at all levels — federal, state, tribal and local — to operate more effectively on an interagency basis. Consequently, the center advocates for legislation that would help to develop officials better prepared to handle interagency responsibilities with a combination of education and rotational assignments. It also works to develop and establish the standards defining the attributes, characteristics, and abilities of what it means to be recognized as an interagency professional. In addition, the center supports the creation of an interagency effectiveness index to measure actual improvements in the conduct of interagency operations and programs.
Building a Body of Interagency Knowledge
The center sponsors a series of publications featuring original commentary, study and analysis of interagency issues. Its flagship publication is the InterAgency Journal, published twice a year. The journal provides a forum promoting the exchange of ideas and public discussion of topics dealing with the complexities of interagency operations. Contributors to the journal include U.S. Congressmen, generals and other military leaders, former ambassadors, senior government officials and members of the academic community. The center’s extensive interagency bibliography of over 1,000 entries, maintained on its website, is a significant resource for interagency researchers and practitioners alike.
The Simons Center is funded by private donations through its parent organization, the Command and General Staff College Foundation. Manuscripts for any of its publications may be submitted to editor@TheSimonsCenter.org.