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Intel profs earn grants to conduct training for State Dept.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Two professors of the Tom Ridge School of Intelligence Studies and Information Science at Mercyhurst University in collaboration with Commonwealth Trading Partners of Alexandria, Va., have been awarded grants totaling nearly $144,000 to lend their expertise to global training initiatives of the U.S. Department of State.

Professors Kristan Wheaton and Steve Zidek will be working at the behest of the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Export Control Cooperation.

Wheaton, who was deployed in the Balkans during his time in the U.S. Army, will be part of a six-country training tour in the western Balkans, including Tirana, Albania; Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Pristina, Kosovo; Skopje, Macedonia; Podgorica, Montenegro; and Belgrade, Serbia. As part of his 2015 summer tour, funded in the amount of $50,589, he will train law enforcement and export control officials in using electronic tools to track exported commodities.

Zidek will be traveling in March to Belgrade, Serbia, for a four-day workshop to train Serbian government officials in how to effectively manage and administer complex export control license issues according to U.S. dual-use and arms export control laws and international agreements. The training is funded in the amount of $93,274.

Zidek has global exposure to international trade and non-proliferation issues through his work with the U.S. Department of State, Iraq Survey Group, and in his former role as vice president of the Motion Picture of America’s Anti-Piracy Intelligence Center.