“So many of the people who are teaching the courses have actually worked in the field, whether it’s intelligence, national security, or international affairs. They’ve done the practical work.”
-Dr. Daniel Corrin (’23)
Dr. Daniel Corrin (’23) grew up in Michigan and spent the first 30 years of his career as an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. When Dan discovered IWP, he also began to realize how many ways he could use his background in economics in the national security and intelligence fields. Dan enrolled in IWP’s doctoral program and leveraged the Institute’s many career resources to make a career switch. After some time as a Support Officer, he now works as an economic policy analyst at the Department of Defense.
A career in economics
Dan grew up in Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in economics. He spent the next 30 years as an economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Dan has always been interested in military history, world history, and international affairs since he was young, and his interest only grew during his time at IWP.
Dan’s first exposure to the Institute was through two people he knew, one of whom was a student at the time, and another was a professor. After hearing them talk about IWP, he decided to do a little bit of research into the school.
When Dan began taking courses at IWP, he truly began to deepen his understanding of how else he could use his background in economics.
“I came to understand that economics is more than just statistics and theories. It is a big part of the national security concern of the country, so I wanted to move to the intersection of the two and use my background in economics to work on national security issues and do more policy work,” he said.
The IWP experience
Dan said he was very attracted to the small class sizes and overall small size of the school. He also appreciated the ability to get to know his fellow students and faculty, as well as the school’s leadership. “There are very few times you really get to interact with the President of a school, especially at the bigger universities,” Dan said.
“I also liked the way you were taught, what they emphasize,” Dan added. He said he appreciated reading the Greek philosophers, as well as Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. Dan also enjoyed reading documents such as The Federalist Papers and studying concepts like natural law.
“My thought was that very few graduate schools really put an emphasis on that aspect of studies,” Dan said. For Dan, IWP’s appreciation of the principles of the Western moral tradition is what really drew him to the school.
When talking about what he enjoyed most about his time at IWP, Dan said he particularly enjoyed the economics-focused courses. “Even though I studied economics, a lot of it was new because most graduate schools that have economic departments are all more based on teaching economic theories,” Dan said.
Dan added that most of the professors he had studied with previously were focused on the theoretical. “They don’t really teach too much how economics interacts with the other tools of statecraft.” In contrast, professors at IWP are scholar-practitioners and focus on practical applications of their subject.
A new career
Dan leveraged IWP’s many resources to help him transition into a career in the Intelligence Community.
Dan said Derrick Dortch, IWP’s Director of Career Services, was a tremendous help to him. “Derrick does a really good job in helping students get jobs and internships.” He added that Mr. Dortch connected him with a government contractor who offered to sponsor Dan for a security clearance.
Dan’s new role focused on providing support to his employer’s contractors, and he credits Derrick Dortch with helping him make that happen. Dan added that his work with this government contractor gave him an opportunity to go work at the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) for a little while. “That was a great learning experience and something I never thought I would have an opportunity to do,” he added.
He worked as a Support Officer within the Intelligence Community for a while before moving to a role that better reflected his interest and experience. He said the new position better fit with his experiences and background, and it was something he was excited to do. “It took a while, but I wouldn’t have gotten the job without the clearance, and I wouldn’t have gotten the clearance without the help of IWP,” he said.
Dan currently works as an economic policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense, in an office that focuses on industrial-based policy.
Much of his work in his current role focuses on securing the defense-industrial base against threats such as foreign actors, especially China and Russia. He also does a lot of analysis on the world economy and investments. An example of one such threat Dan’s office works to fight is the growing trend of Chinese buyers targeting U.S. companies.
“That can pose a real threat, whether they steal intellectual property or move the company overseas or get access to critical information,” he said. He added that his office is working to ensure the country has a secure ability to defend itself.
Dan plans to stay where he is at the Department of Defense. “I have a job that I enjoy doing and that I want to do,” he said.