Resource Library   DETAILS

Academia Working Group (AWG) 101 Flyer

Academia Working Group (AWG) 

What is OSAC (Overseas Security Advisory Council)?

OSAC was established in 1985 to promote security cooperation between the U.S. Government and American private sector organizations worldwide. OSAC’s goal is to support U.S. organizations by sharing security information and developing efficient and cost effective communication networks.Today, OSAC shares information on issues such as crime and terrorism, as well as political, economic, social, and cultural atmospheres that impact the local and regional security environments.

What is the AWG (Academia Working Group)?

The OSAC Academia Working Group (AWG) are representatives from public and private higher education institutions, education abroad third-party providers, and other educational institutions. The group was established to enable its members to collaborate, network, and benchmark on safety, security, and health issues in education abroad. Their goals include examining the security needs of U.S. colleges and universities operating abroad in any capacity and identifying the security matters relevant to the AWG membership. Currently, there are over 300 members from approximately 200 institutions/organizations.

Who Should Join OSAC and the AWG?

Any higher education profession involved in sending university travelers abroad who would like to
stay up-to-date on the latest health, safety, and security issues occurring abroad and who would
like to network and collaborate with others within the field, specifically related to these issues.

What is the Cost to Join OSAC and the AWG and How Do I Join?

Membership to OSAC and the AWG is free and multiple individuals from each
organization/institution can become members. To get started your SIO, or director of risk
management, should complete an application on the OSAC website and create a constituent
organization profile. Individuals can then apply for OSAC accounts under the organization’s profile. After obtaining a constituent organization user’s account you can request to join the AWG by going to the Common Interest Council page (note: the AWG’s “Apply” button is visible only to constituent organization user account holders). If you have any questions about the AWG application process, you may contact OSAC’s AWG Program Officer.

What Are the Benefits to Joining OSAC and the AWG?

OSAC members have access to OSAC analytical reports and security assessments for almost
every country in the world, which includes such information as crime statistics, safety information,
embassy contact details, and more. Additionally, members can elect to receive daily digests of
events and news posted by the OSAC RISC Staff. There is also a special AWG Listserv where
members discuss time relevant security concerns and benchmark with peers. Members also have contact details for OSAC analysts and coordinators to ask specific health, safety, and security questions related to the countries in which their programs and courses operate. Click here for more information on what types of resources OSAC staff can provide.The AWG holds a special briefing once a year at OSAC’s annual briefing in late November to address academia’s unique health, safety, and security concerns. All members are welcome to join. Additionally, the AWG holds at least two OSAC Health, Safety, and Security seminars each year, which rotate around the country. All of the above mentioned events are free-of-charge to members, not including the cost of lodging, transportation, and some meals.

What is the AWG Currently Working On?

In Spring 2018, the AWG conducted a survey of its members to determine how they were using, or not using, the OSAC website and what type of resources they would like to see.

As a result, the AWG will be:
● working on a toolkit for new AWG members,
● developing an on-site assessment template for members,
● creating an incident response template,
● working with OSAC to offer regular webinars on hot topics, and
● seeking host institutions/organizations for future OSAC Health, Safety, and Security

How Can I Get Involved with the AWG?

After joining OSAC and the AWG, there are no mandatory requirements to remain a member.
However, if someone would like to be more active they can attend the above mentioned annual
meeting, or a seminar. They can also post, or answer, questions on the dedicated OSAC AWG
Listserv. Additionally, highly interested individuals can apply to be a part of AWG’s leadership
team. The leadership team consists of a chair, vice-chair, eight steering committee members, and
five technical advisors. The steering committees include benchmarking, events, and membership.

Who Can I Talk to For More Information?

Lili Dalton - AWG Program Officer - OSAC; T: 571.345.2234

Marcia Henisz - OSAC AWG Chair
Director of International Health, Safety, and Security - Drexel University; T: 215.571.3762

Patrick Morgan - OSAC AWG Vice Chair
Senior Advisor for Health, Safety, and Security - University of Michigan; T: 734.763.8840