DSSAA Professional Development Website

Welcome to the DSSAA’s professional development website. The goal of this initiative is simple; to build organizational capacity through employee professional development. Specifically, we aim to expand employees’ skill sets and knowledge and broaden their networks by introducing them to various professional organizations and certifications, exposing them to information and training resources, and evoking critical thought, innovation, and leader development via information sharing, interviews, podcasts, and panel discussions. 

A word on the site content: some of the resources and organizations may appear to be outside the traditional roles we fill in Diplomatic Security, and that is exactly the point. Law enforcement and security are broad, diverse, and fluid fields. We have counterparts in the public, private, and non-profit fields doing amazing work and using concepts, methodologies, and lessons learned that can inform our decision making and development.  

Our organization is also not limited to federal law enforcement officers/Special Agents. DS is comprised of Security Engineering Officers (SEOs), Security Technical Specialists (STS), Seabees, Marine Security Guards (MSGs), Diplomatic Couriers, security specialists (personnel, technical, physical), intelligence analysts, logisticians, contracting officers and specialists, administrative, human resources, and finance specialists (to name but a few). We are committed to serving all members of all skill codes and status (Foreign Service, Civil Service, Personal Services Contractor, Third Part Contractor, Family Member Appointment).  

We want members to open their aperture. All too often, we see our roles as one-dimensional or constrained. By taking a step back, we recognize that we wear many hats, work across various organizational functions, and are strategic enablers in foreign policy. By understanding the breadth and depth of our reach, we strive to and actually achieve more. A collateral benefit of this development is that we prepare ourselves for transition, be it mid-career or post retirement. 


Through this site, we will also promote discussions and resources on soft skills, those which separate practitioners from leaders. In this regard, we will place heavy emphasis on leadership and management skills using resources from academia, private sector, and other sources. Each quarter, we will highlight a specific organization and provide a point of contact should people have more questions about the organization and benefits of membership. 

Finally, just as the DSSAA is open to all employees and contractors, we want to present resources that address all fields (law enforcement, security, intelligence, business continuity/emergency management, risk management, finance, contracting, project management, etc.). 

Please be patient. This website is in its infancy stage and a work in progress. We will continuously populate it until it is a robust resource, but wanted to start sharing information immediately. We welcome your feedback to improve our service to you. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions to improve the website and/or our offerings, please email us at