Director, Defense Language and National Security Education Office

Current Assignment:

Dr. Michael Nugent serves as the Director of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO). In this role, Dr. Nugent advises the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness) on policy and programmatic matters regarding foreign language, culture and regional expertise for Department of Defense personnel. Dr. Nugent also develops and oversees plans and programs valued at $2B per year, and evaluates changes in legislation, policies, regulations, directives, and funding to assess the impact on language, cultural, and regional capabilities within the Department for Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel, DoD civilians, and contractors.

The DLNSEO has program management oversight of many high value training and education programs to include the Defense Language Institutes (Foreign Language Center and English Language Center), the Joint Foreign Area Officer program, the Department's language testing program and cross-cultural competence initiatives.

Dr. Nugent also oversees nine federal language and cultural initiatives designed to attract, recruit, and train a future federal workforce skilled in languages and culture to work across all agencies involved in national security. These initiatives support professional proficiency (Level 3, Interagency Language Roundtable) language training at U.S. colleges and universities, scholarships and fellowships to support students to study overseas in regions critical to U.S. national security.

Dr. Nugent serves at the Executive Director of both the Defense Language Steering Committee and the Secretary of Defense chaired National Security Education Board.

Past Experiences:

Dr. Nugent served in a number of positions supporting international, linguistic, and cultural education at the U.S. Department of Education, including Chief of Section, Advanced Training and Research Team, managing Title VI funding of National Resource Centers, Foreign Language and Areas Studies grants, the Language Resource Centers, and the International Studies and Research Grants. He also directed the U.S.- Brazil Higher Education Consortia Program and the North America Mobility in Higher Education Program at the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). Dr. Nugent has served in policy positions as Vice President for Administration and Research at the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in Washington DC, and Deputy to the Chancellor for Systems Relations for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.


Dr. Nugent has a PhD in higher education from Pennsylvania State University. He has studied languages and literature at universities in Germany, France, and Spain.

Dr. Michael Nugent

Dr. Michael Nugent