Lauren bean buitta, founder

Contact: LaurenB@girlsecurity.org


" National security is a lens. Through this lens, we value what is required to secure our country each day.  It is a lens developed over time.  Our mission is to collaborate with girls to develop their security lens.

For young girls, this lens is reciprocal. Girls must first value their personal security in order to value national security. Once they value national security, they can more proactively secure themselves, their families and communities.  In turn, our country benefits from their engagement in national security, today and in the long-term.

I was raised in Tinley Park, IL.  After graduating from Boston College in 2002, I returned to Illinois to pursue some type of career in foreign policy or a related field. Opportunities were limited.

From a very young age, 10 or 11, I had a particular interest in foreign affairs, military history, and strategy. Not until I graduated from college and began working with a national security think tank did I realize that U.S. national security encompassed my various interests.   This professional experience closely followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It also coincided with my brother's deployment to Iraq. During this period, it became apparent to me that younger generations must be informed about national security.

National security has provided an important lens through which I now view most issues related to my personal security as well as national security.  Working with girls to examine their sense of "personal security" forms the basis of this program. Developing a deeper understanding of their personal security empowers  girls to better grasp the apparent complexity of national security and related topics such as foreign policy.

National security is and will increasingly become a central topic in our public discourse.  Girls are affected daily by national security issues, and girls have opinions about these issues. While women are only one group underrepresented in the U.S. national security sector, girls offer a unique perspective on resiliency-one of our greatest national security strengths.

There are girls across the country from all backgrounds who share an experience similar to my own: harboring a particular interest in a field they may not know exists for them.

It is important to dispel the notion that national security occurs in Washington, D.C. and to expand girls' understanding of the massive network of women and efforts in national security across the country.

Girl Security is a nonpartisan conduit of practitioner expertise packaged for girls, specialized training, and sustained mentorship for young girls.

We are starting early, reaching middle and upper school girls. We are working on the long-term, equipping girls everywhere with important knowledge and tools. We are also providing much needed  support to those future women national security practitioners.

National security laws and policies, as well as the politics surrounding national security, shape our lives in significant ways. National security must become an integral part of girls' learning today."

- Lauren Bean Buitta