About ISF


As terrorism, civil disorder, crime and natural disasters increase worldwide, so, too, does the need for the International Security Foundation.

ISF was founded in 2011 as a nonprofit, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization with a simple, far-reaching mission: to fund programs and logistical support for the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

ISF support dramatically expands OSAC’s ability to create a safer, more secure environment for the U.S. companies, organizations and citizens operating abroad. The first-ever ISF-funded OSAC event was a security forum following the deadly terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013.

From this rather modest beginning, ISF has helped to transform OSAC by enhancing OSAC security information exchange programs, symposia and other educational initiatives. In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, OSAC’s Country and Regional Councils and Sector-Specific Working Groups cannot receive any federal funding. Only ISF supports OSAC Country Councils, funds all Regional Councils and Sector-Specific Working Groups and underwrites OSAC's International Travel Safety & Security Forum and the Crisis Management Forum.




In 1983, 241 U.S. Marines were killed in Beirut, Lebanon, when terrorists bombed their barracks. Secretary of State and former Marine George Shultz made a bold and unprecedented decision in reaction to this tragedy and to the ever-increasing number of terrorist attacks against Americans and U.S. organizations overseas.


Secretary Shultz invoked the Federal Advisory Committee Act to advance a new idea: a collaboration between the U.S. government and the private sector to address security issues abroad. The resulting Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) is a much-needed mechanism enabling public and private sectors to work collaboratively to confront global terrorism, crime and natural disasters.


OSAC’s first meeting was on July 1, 1985, with 15 corporate security directors and three government representatives. Today, OSAC has over 30,000 constituents and a dedicated staff facilitating the exchange of security information. Over the decades, as threats continued to increase, OSAC added Country Councils, Regional Councils and Sector-Specific Working Groups.



MapFinal Placeholder