SMEIR HISTORY AND TEAM
ABOUT IDS & HISTORY OF SMEIR
Founded in 2006, IDS International Government Services (IDS) has become an innovator in multidisciplinary solutions, bridging the gaps between operational needs and organizational capabilities. Our team of interagency trainers and field practitioners provide expertise in conflict, politics, cyber, development, counter-narcotics, disaster relief, and social science research, among other areas.
IDS developed SMEIR to address the cyber and social media training needs of Combat Training Center (CTC) operational environments at the National Training Center (NTC) and the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). The initial focus was to provide conventional Army units with an opportunity to access, research, and perform data analysis on social media content, while affording the unit’s Public Affairs (PA), Military Intelligence (MI), Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), and Civil Affairs (CA) elements the opportunity to interact with the notional population based on newly available social media data analytics.
As Cyber Mission Force (CMF) and United States Special Forces Command (USSOCOM) elements increased their participation at the CTCs, SMEIR grew to incorporate the unique training scenarios these elements require. To meet these initial requirements, SMEIR trainers provided USSOCOM elements with the ability to train on digital human intelligence tradecraft and virtually replicated real-world adversary network infrastructures that facilitated the CMF to be trained in network mapping, attack, and defense within select portions of the replicated network.
President / CEO
Nick Dowling is the founder and president of IDS International. He is responsible for all aspects of the company’s business, including strategy, business development and operations. Under Dowling's leadership, IDS has become the leading provider of training on interagency coordination and “smart power” in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the past two decades, his career has focused on stability operations and interagency coordination in both the public and private sectors. In his government service, Dowling worked to end the Balkan wars. He was Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) where he coordinated Bosnia and Kosovo policy. Dowling has also worked as a defense fellow in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as a senior fellow at the National Defense University and as a policy advisor for two presidential campaigns and a U.S. Senate campaign.
Dowling has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master's degree in National Security Studies from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Vice President of Cyber and Social Media
Noah Melgar is vice president of cyber and social media at IDS International, where he leverages his industry expertise in building cognitive Big Data intelligence tools, writing cutting-edge cyberspace training curricula, and creating realistic replicated internet environments for training purposes. In 2013, he developed a cyberspace training and exercise support program to help the Department of Defense (DoD) navigate the ever-expanding world of social media analytics and cyber operations. This initial work grew into its own Cyber and Social Media Department in 2015 and into its own company in 2018. The group offers a range of capabilities that bridge the nexus of social media analytics, software development, network engineering, and cyber planning to help the US government understand and mitigate cyber threats.
At IDS, Melgar also oversees day-to-day operations and strategic planning for SMEIR, a scenario-based capability that provides social media inputs and cyberattacks to help training units better understand the virtual human domain and its relevance to planning and operations. The technology is supported by teams of subject matter experts from Special Operations Forces (SOF) to the intelligence community. Through Melgar’s work, C-SMEIR has been used by US Army Special Operation Forces (SOF), Psychological Operations (PSYOP), and Civil Affairs (CA) units, from the team to the battalion level at the Joint Readiness Training Center, National Training Center, and at civilian locations hosting mission readiness exercises. This is one of many capabilities that enable public and private sector clients to understand, engage, and harness the world of offensive cyber, defensive cyber, and information operations.
Melgar has embedded and served as an advisor to Special Forces in rural Afghanistan on population stability operations and The Royal Project in Northern Thailand on illicit crop alternatives. A combat veteran (US Marine Corps, Iraq), he has served on training missions with the Ugandan, Tanzanian, Rwandan, and Kenyan armies in East Africa.
Melgar holds a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and international business from the University of Kentucky.