Exposure to professionals who work on international security issues is viewed as a vital building block to a student's academic foundation. With this in mind, ISSP annually attracts a wide range of domestic and foreign senior-level government and non-government officials, military leaders, and academics to the Fletcher School. These experts address a broad spectrum of timely defense and conflict issues on the international security agenda and give students their individual perspectives on life outside the classroom. It is often possible for students to meet one-on-one with these speakers, who represent the highest levels of military and diplomatic service as well as some of the most widely respected academic programs in international relations and foreign policy. Series speakers have included members of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Regional/Functional Commanders in Chief, senior U.S. government officials, ambassadors, senior foreign officials, and academicians/scholars from the academic community. Each academic year the program sponsors a guest lecture series on international security issues. Notable speakers in recent years include former General David Petraeus (Commander, U.S. Central Command), General Joseph Dunford (USMC), former Admiral James Stavridis (U.S. Navy) and retired General John Allen (USMC).