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National security correspondents group to join SMPA

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The Career Access Network, which provides funding for SMPA seniors and graduate students taking unpaid internships, has raised more than 70 percent of its $250,000 fundraising goal.

An association of defense and national security correspondents is moving to the School of Media and Public Affairs to become part of a new program focused on how journalists cover national security issues.

The Defense Writers Group, which includes correspondents from more than 50 news organizations around the world, will continue to host events bringing journalists, defense and national security officials and experts together as part of SMPA’s Project for Media and National Security, according to a University release Monday.

The project will also seek to partner with other GW research centers including the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, according to the release.

“By bringing together the experience and depth of the Defense Writers Group with the expertise and interests found across the University, our Project for Media and National Security will create a robust conversation around these critical issues,” SMPA Director Frank Sesno said in the release.

David Ensor, a former journalist and director of Voice of America, a publicly-funded American news outlet broadcasting abroad, will lead the project. Ensor will also be the first Walter R. Roberts fellow in GW’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. He will begin work at GW Sept. 1, according to the release.

“The project will work with journalists and with leaders in the field, to deepen Americans’ understanding of national security issues — always important, but perhaps never more so than now,” Ensor said in the release.

Before serving as the director of Voice of America, Ensor was the director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan. Prior to that he worked as a broadcast news reporter for ABC News, NPR and CNN.

The move will mark a new chapter for the Defense Writers Group, a D.C. organization active for more than 30 years that includes correspondents from large national and regional newspapers, online outlets, international news wire services, magazines and trade publications.

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