Building Critical Mineral Security for a Sustainable Future

Investigate the risks facing U.S. critical minerals security and the future of sustainability in this new one-day course.

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At a Glance

Course Date

May 2, 2024


CSIS Headquarters or Virtual



Registration Deadline

April 18, 2024

Program Pairing

Interested in learning how critical mineral security shapes the future of U.S. technological innovation? Executive Education is offering 20% off tuition for participants who register for both Building Critical Mineral Security for a Sustainable Future and Renewing the U.S. Innovation System. See "How to Register" below for more details.


Building Critical Mineral Security for a Sustainable Future is a one-day course that will cross-examine the building and management of robust supply chains for natural resources that are essential to national, economic, and energy security. The United States currently faces two challenges: first, it relies heavily on China for critical minerals, presenting economic and strategic risks; second, there is a rapidly growing demand outlook for specific minerals because of their use in various national security and clean energy technologies, where shortages could undermine the global clean energy transition and national security.

This course will introduce you to the economic, geopolitical, technological, environmental, and social considerations of securing critical minerals, helping you understand how these relate to a range of industries and policy challenges. Through dynamic sessions and interactive seminars, you will investigate the various risks facing U.S. critical minerals security and the future of sustainability with our CSIS experts and scholars. We invite you to join us in person or virtually for this upcoming course.


  • Setting the Stage: This session will examine what critical minerals are and why they’re important for national, economic, and energy security. The session will also look at how recent policy efforts have incorporated critical minerals, including the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS and Science Act and how the U.S. is pursuing critical minerals efforts more broadly.
  • The Economics and Geopolitics of Critical Minerals: This session will examine the various risks facing U.S. critical minerals security. Participants will explore how the U.S. is pursuing international cooperation and strategic alliances to boost security and the extent to which they have been effective. The session will investigate how the U.S. can leverage trade agreements, investment incentives, and other economic diplomacy instruments to strengthen critical minerals security, while navigating the complexities of the Foreign Entity of Concern requirements.  This session will examine the economics of mining - critical minerals investment production and consumption trends, where mines and processing facilities are located and who’s developing them, and challenges with diversifying sourcing and capacity. 
  • The Responsible Mining Imperative: This session will examine key challenges facing the mining sector: environmental damage, health consequences for workers and communities, and land encroachment and human displacement. It will propose a design for a participatory approach that firms and governments can use to engage with communities and secure a social license to operate, the process of developing and implementing a single set of standards to govern responsible mining, and how the U.S. can strengthen its relations with indigenous groups located on or near critical mineral reserves domestically based on global experience.
  • Looking Ahead: This final session will turn to the future of the mining sector, from research and development to substitutability and the extent to which recycling will meet future demand. An exercise that examines critical minerals in the global supply chain will walk participants through three critical minerals currently dominated by China and help them examine how the global supply chain could be rewired to boost US security.

Additional Activities: 

  • Lunch and Off-the-Record Discussion: This off-the-record lunch conversation with Frank Fanon, the former Inaugural Secretary of State for Natural Resources, will gauge what the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential elections could mean for critical minerals and energy policy at this juncture. 

How to Register

The online application includes a short entry form, statement of interest, brief bio, and resume. Entries will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note that spaces are limited and the course may fill before the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

To register for Program Pairing and receive 20% off tuition to both Building Critical Mineral Security for a Sustainable Future and Renewing the U.S. Innovation System, fill out the registration form linked here or at the top of the page and check the box indicating that you would like to be considered for Program Pairing. An Executive Education team member will enroll you in both programs and reach out with more details.


For more information, please contact Halie Tolba, Learning and Development Coordinator, at

Research Director and Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Jane Nakano
Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Joseph Majkut
Director, Energy Security and Climate Change Program
Rohitesh Dhawan
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Energy Security and Climate Change Program