Edwin S. Estrada, Senior Foreign Affairs Research Specialist of the Foreign Service Institute, was awarded the Gold Medal for Academic Excellence during the Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) Regular Course 49 Commencement Exercises held at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) Auditorium on 19 September 2014. Guest of Honor was Speaker of the House of Representatives Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr., who commended the class for producing three Gold Medal Awardees in Academics, a first in the history of the MNSA program. Aside from Mr. Estrada, the other two gold medal awardees are Col. Arthur M. Cordura of the Philippine Air Force and Lt. Col. Rolando R. Rodil of the Philippine Army.
The MNSA Program is an intensive one-year masters program that comprehensively examines the concept of national security and its various dimensions as reflected in the domestic, regional, and global security environment. The course is a mix of classroom lectures, seminars and workshops. Students are also required to participate in both local and foreign immersion trips, which give them the opportunity to personally interact with key government officials. Civilian graduates of the MNSA program also undertake a basic military training course as a requirement for commissionship into the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Reserve Forces, earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or Commander.
Mr. Estrada heads the Security and Strategic Studies Section of the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies, the research division of FSI. His areas of specialization include the South China Sea maritime and territorial issues, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Sabah territorial issue. He is a sought-after resource person on these issues and his works have been published in both local and international journals and books.