Past Simulations

2016 National Security Simulation

The 2016 Ohio State National Security Simulation took place November 18-19 at the Ohio Union. Highlights included participation of an elite group of former federal and state legislators and retired senior military officers and involvement of more than 75 Ohio State students from a half dozen different programs. Scenarios included deteriorating relations with Russia, cyber attacks, terrorism, domestic civil unrest, controversial surveillance programs, and nuclear tensions.

Ohio State was honored to welcome the 2016 Ohio State National Security Simulation’s two keynote speakers to campus, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon, who spoke on day one, and U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (ret.), who spoke on day two.

Colleen McMahon is chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.). In this capacity, she has presided over numerous high profile cases concerning national security, white collar crime, and civil rights. Judge McMahon, from Columbus, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University and her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. Before her appointment to the federal bench, she was a partner at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She also served as a top aide to the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations. In the simulation, she role-played a federal judge who serves on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Her remarks are available here.

Kent Conrad represented North Dakota in the U.S. Senate for 26 years. He served as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, and was Congress’s preeminent budget expert. He was chosen by Time magazine in 2006 as one of “America’s 10 Best Senators.” He also served on the Intelligence, Finance, and Agriculture Committees. He is now associated with the Bipartisan Policy Center. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. In the simulation, he role-played the senate majority leader.


Click here to see the full list of sponsors and participants.

Photos from this year’s simulation

2014 National Security Simulation

In November 2014, during a two-day immersive national security simulation, Ohio State students stepped into the shoes of lawyers, policymakers, intelligence analysts, and reporters dealing with a series of realistic national security crises ripped from the headlines. Real world law, policy, and fact applied, and student decisions determined the simulation’s outcome. Students from the Moritz College of Law, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, several other graduate programs, and School of Communications participated. A “Control Team,” led by Moritz Professor Dakota Rudesill, drove the players toward particular issues and dilemmas. Seasoned practitioners from Washington and Ohio State played key non-player roles, such as president of the United States (History Professor Peter Mansoor) and white house press secretary (Communications School Professor Nicole Kraft). Chief Judge James E. Baker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and former legal advisor to the National Security Council, keynoted, emphasizing the importance of integrity and good process in decision-making.

Click here for the full list of sponsors and participants.

Watch the video below to see what happened during the two-day event.

Photos from this year’s simulation