SIA board member makes gift to create student emergency fund

The Hon. Mary Beth Long speaks to SIA students and guests.
The Hon. Mary Beth Long speaks to SIA students and guests. Credit: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Mary Beth Long, a 1985 honors graduate of Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and member of the Penn State School of International Affairs (SIA) Board of Advisors, has committed $25,000 to SIA to provide financial support for students. The gift is being directed to two funds — $20,000 to the Ken and Betsy Long School of International Affairs Student Emergency Fund, named after her parents; and $5,000 to the SIA Future Fund.

Long’s commitment to the emergency fund will help students in financial need by offsetting expenses such as rent, utilities, food, life-saving medications and other necessities. Her gift to the SIA Future Fund will provide flexible support for the school’s most urgent needs.

“We are so grateful to the Honorable Mary Beth Long for her generosity in supporting our students at this challenging time,” said Hari M. Osofsky, dean of Penn State Law in University Park and the School of International Affairs. “Her gift will make an important difference in helping our students with emergency financial needs.”

Long has always been willing to donate give her time and share her expertise with SIA students who are interested in similar career paths, and her most recent gift is an extension of her continued commitment to the school and its students.

“The School of International Affairs and Penn State Law in University Park both inspire me and remind me of the incredible education I received as an undergraduate, including the study abroad experience, that has helped me become both a respected litigator and a foreign policy expert,” said Long.


“I wanted to help the next generation of
students, that are far better prepared
and deserving than I, to have even
more success than I enjoyed, built on
the ​foundations of Penn State.”

– Penn State alumna and former
Assistant Secretary of Defense for
International Security Affairs Mary Beth Long


Elizabeth Ransom, interim director of SIA and associate professor of international affairs, said that Long’s gift "arrives at such a critical time of need for so many students. We are appreciative of her generosity and excited to build on her initiative to better support our students in the future.”

Long’s distinguished career in the public and private sector includes being the first woman confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and serving as chair of NATO's High Level Group, responsible for NATO's nuclear policy. To those credentials, she adds more than a decade of Central Intelligence Agency operational experience on terrorism and other security issues.

She is the founder of Metis Solutions LLC, M B Long & Associates PLLC, and co-founder and principal of Global Alliance Advisors LLC, an international business consulting firm. She advises several Fortune 500 companies on international defense markets and was featured in Forbes magazine’s "Women Business Leaders." In 2017, Long received the Distinguished Alumni Award, Penn State's highest honor presented to its alumni.

This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit