About ISF


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

Founded in 2011 as a nonprofit, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization, the ISF has a simple, far-reaching mission: to fund information-sharing programs and networking to enhance the work of the global security community working to keep Americans and American interests abroad safer and more secure.

By providing funds to U.S. nonprofits within the security community and by funding critical, logistical support for the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the ISF is helping to create a safer environment for the U.S. companies, organizations and citizens operating abroad.

From its modest beginning -- the first-ever ISF-funded OSAC event was a security forum following the 2013 deadly terrorist attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall -- the 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 Chapters and Common Interest Committees (Regional Committess and Sector Committees) cannot receive any federal funding. The ISF is the sole supporter for these vital groups and underwrites OSAC's International Travel Safety & Security Forum and the Crisis Management Forum.

In 2020, the ISF launched its grants program for grants beyond OSAC, while continuing to support OSAC's vital work.

Click on our ISF-At-A-Glance brochure to see the many ways the ISF helps OSAC achieve its mission.




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 16,500+ members and a dedicated staff facilitating the exchange of security information. Over the decades, as threats continued to increase, OSAC added Country Chapters and Common Interest Committees (Regional Committees and Sector Committees).



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