Building FAOweb: Developing regional, cultural and language expertise through the web
Jonathan Russell, NPS and Dr. Tristan James Mabry, NPS

Foreign Area Officers (FAOs) are a vital link in the Department of Defense efforts to advance the United States. goals of stability, community and growth in the challenging global environment. Because of the isolation inherent in their job assignments in remote areas around the world, FAOs have difficulty keeping their skills up-to-date. The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) recently partnered with the United States Army, the Defense Language Institute Presidio of Monterey and the Monterey Institute of International Studies to develop the "Joint Foreign Area Officer Pilot Skill Sustainment Program" (JFPSSP). The main component of JFPSSP is a portal, or FAOweb, which has the dual goals of providing expert level language, policy and cultural training as well as a robust set of social networking tools, allowing FAOs to create and share knowledge more easily with each other.

This presentation will outline the goals, timeline, and design of FAOweb, which is being developed using open source technologies like Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment and LifeRay.

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