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Kenyan Army Officer Earns NSA Department's Top Student Award

Kenyan Army Officer Earns NSA Department's Top Student Award

By Javier Chagoya, Khaboshi Imbukwa and Jeanine Garcia

The 2017 Spring Quarter Award for Outstanding Thesis in the Department of National Security Affairs goes to Kenya Army Maj. Carolyne Mutisya. Her thesis, titled Conflict in Time, Petrified in Space: Kenya-Somalia Border Geopolitical Conflicts, is a comparative analysis on border security and how building a barrier will impact the Somali ethnic group in the borderlands. 

Mutisya is no stranger to border skirmishes. In 2005, she served as troop commander with a de-mining company during the United Nations mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

“My thesis is in response to Kenyan citizens’ growing uneasiness with regard to the cross-border violence from Somalia-based terrorists. The government of Kenya has begun to erect a barrier along its shared border with Somalia. This thesis looks at the interconnectedness of the Kenya-Somalia borderlands that are home to the Somali ethnic group and the potential impact of the border barrier on this population,” said Mutisya.

Mutisya describes her education at NPS as the best educational and career experience she has had thus far. 

My course work has provided me with an understanding of the nature and dynamics of terrorist organizations, and the domestic and international variables involved in the formulation of counter-terrorism policies, she explained. “This is important both for my career and for my military because it gives me the tools for policy analysis.”

Mutisya considers herself a lifelong learner. In 2015, she earned a degree in Geographical Information Systems from the University of Nairobi, followed by a leadership tour with her nation’s intelligence directorate. 

“There is one thing I understand completely, and that is that hard work pays off,” said Mutisya. “I am also grateful to God and to my family for giving me the strength to be successful. And I’m honored to have graduated from NPS. My thesis advisors were so helpful and were always there to advise me in my thesis. They responded immediately to all of my inquiries.” 

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