Boren Scholars and Fellows reflect on the impact that the National Security Education Program (NSEP) has had on their careers. Dr. Clifford Stanley, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and Senator David L. Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma and principal author of the National Security Education Act, discuss the importance of language skills and cultural understanding to developing international partnerships and improving U.S. national security.
David L. Boren is the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the Boren Awards, the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. In arguing in the U.S. Senate for passage of NSEP, Boren expressed his view that the U.S. needed a large increase in experts in the languages and cultures of nations which were underrepresented in the number of U.S. students studying there. With changes in the world, Boren felt that the U.S. would work more and more through partnerships with other countries whose needs and perspectives needed to be more fully understood.
President Boren currently serves as president of the University of Oklahoma. As a United States Senator from 1979 to 1994, President Boren served on the Senate Finance and Agriculture Committees and was the longest-serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He served as Oklahoma's governor from 1974 through 1978. He is the first person in Oklahoma history to serve as a state legislator, governor, U.S. senator, and president of the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of Yale University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law. President Boren is widely respected for his academic credentials, his longtime support for education, and for his distinguished political career as a reformer of the American political system.