Hertie School MIA student Marc Becker wins NYC Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge

Marc and his Georgetown teammates, winners of the NYC Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge

Becker is currently studying abroad at partner school Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Currently studying abroad at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Master of International Affairs student Marc Becker and two Georgetown classmates took first place at the NYC Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge.

They beat thirteen teams from across the United States, who were charged with tackling a hypothetical cyber catastrophe. The event was designed by DC think tank the Atlantic Council and hosted by the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. Georgetown and Columbia are just two of the Hertie School’s growing list of partner schools, offering students the opportunity for semester-long exchanges or dual master’s degree programmes.

Teams were challenged to prepare policy briefs on how to mobilise public and private-sector actors domestically and internationally in response to a cyber attack on critical US infrastructure. “We were praised for our ‘D.C. polish,’” says Marc in a press release about the event, referring to the presentations the team delivered to a mock National Security Council.

After three intense rounds, Marc and his team were named the winners, which they attributed to their diverse backgrounds: computer science, diplomacy, and security policy.

Marc hails from Kassel in central Germany and interned at the German Foreign Office (Policy Planning Staff), the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), and the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) before starting the Master of International Affairs programme in 2015. The average Hertie School student has completed three internships prior to his or her studies.*

From June 2016 to June 2017, Marc spent a Professional Year at the German Ministry of Defence’s Directorate-General for Security and Defence Policy, where he worked on German space security policy as well as on bilateral and international cooperation. Hertie School students can participate in the Professional Year programme between their first and second year of studies to gain valuable hands-on experience within their field.

Marc will write his master’s thesis on security aspects of Germany's space policy, advised by Wolfgang Ischinger, Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice and Director of Centre for International Security Policy based at the Hertie School in Berlin.

Marc recently published an op-ed in Space News, offering three big issues to watch out for as Germany’s space policy takes shape. The Governance Post has republished his piece, which you can read here

*This statistic refers to MPP students only. Data including MIA students is not yet available.