The Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) leads the nation in recruiting, training, sustaining, and enhancing language and culture capabilities to ensure national security and defense readiness by:

  • Building a highly-qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international expertise committed to public service through programs and policies,
  • Leading the Department’s strategic policy planning regarding foreign language, culture, and regional expertise for Department of Defense personnel,
  • Providing oversight of high-value training and education Department of Defense initiatives, and
  • Ensuring National and Departmental governance through the Defense Language Steering Committee, the National Security Education Board, and other organizational and professional bodies.


Dr. Sam Eisen (Director of Programs) - Dr. Sam Eisen is the Director of Programs in the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO).  Before coming to DLNSEO, Dr. Eisen served as the Director of the Advanced Training and Research Group in International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he provided oversight for Title VI and Fulbright Hays programming designed to develop and maintain national capacity in foreign language and international and area studies.  Before joining the Department of Education, Dr. Eisen served at the U.S. Department of State (1999-2007) in the Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia.  At the State Department Dr. Eisen coordinated FREEDOM Support Act which funded academic and professional exchange programs with the former Soviet Union for over 5,000 participants per year and managed specialized institutional development projects.  Dr. Eisen also served in the Coordinator’s Office as the Democracy Programs Officer for U.S. Government assistance to Eastern Europe and Eurasia to promote civil society, independent media and rule of law in the region.  At the U.S. Information Agency (1998-1999), he managed university partnership programs for Russia and Central Asia. Before joining the federal government, Dr. Eisen taught Russian language, literature, and culture as Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at American University in Washington DC (1995-1998).

Dr. Eisen holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Stanford University, and a B.A in Russian from Amherst College.

Ms. Shirley T. Rapues (Senior Program Manager) - Ms. Rapues is the Senior Program Manager for Project Global Officer (GO) and the Language Training Center (LTC) Program.  In her current position, she provides program management and oversight for Project GO and LTC programs which are designed to meet the present and future needs for language, regional, and cultural expertise for the Department of Defense (DoD).  Prior to her current position, Ms. Rapues served as the Foreign Language Training and Education Officer for the Defense Language Office (DLO) by providing oversight and integration of all learning programs for language, regional and cultural expertise across the training and education continuum throughout DoD. 

Ms. Rapues retired from the U.S. Army in January 2011 after 25 years of service.  Her last military assignment was as the Associate Director for the DoD Foreign Area Officer (FAO) Program at DLO.  As the DoD FAO Program Manager, she provided oversight and support to the Service FAO Programs and advised the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness on the Joint FAO Program.  Ms. Rapues also served in various FAO assignments overseas and in CONUSMs. Rapues has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii – Manoa (UH-Manoa) and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Troy State University.  She received her commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Reserve Officers Training Corps Program at UH-Manoa.  Ms. Rapues completed basic language training at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center for Japanese and Portuguese.  She also graduated from the advanced Japanese language training at the Foreign Service Institute in Yokohama, Japan.