On September 27, the Perry Center honored two institutions that have made significant and sustained contributions in security and defense education — The Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council of Guatemala (STCNS) and the Center for Defense Policy Studies, also of Guatemala, received the tenth annual William J. Perry Awards for Excellence in Security and Defense Education in the institutional category.
Mark Wilkins, Director of the Perry Center, described the award recipients as “truly outstanding” organizations that “do justice to the tradition of honoring excellence in security and defense education that make our shared hemisphere safer, more secure, and more prosperous.” Director Wilkins also recognized Perry Center’s Founding Director, Colonel (ret.) Jay Cope, who will be returning to the Perry Center as a Senior Fellow. Pat Paterson, Professor of Practice at the Perry Center, briefly described the history of both the Center and the Perry Award.
The recipient of the Perry Award in the individual category, Ambassador Luigi R. Einaudi, was commended for his commitment to advancing cooperation and promoting defense and security education among the countries of the Americas. Ambassador Einaudi will be honored at a separate ceremony later this academic year.
The first of this year’s institutional awardees, the Technical Secretariat of the National Security Council, has worked to develop a modern and comprehensive understanding of national security in Guatemala and unified national security institutions behind shared objectives, policies, and plans for implementation. Dr. Silvia Marynelly De León Garzona, Executive Secretary, accepted the Perry Award on behalf of her organization. In introducing Dr. De León, Director Wilkins praised the Technical Secretariat’s work in developing “national security documents that respond to current and future security environments.” Dr. De León thanked her family, friends, and colleagues in accepting the award.
The Perry Center then honored the Center for Defense Policy Studies. Accepting the Perry Award on behalf of the Center was General Williams Agberto Mansilla Fernández, Minister of National Defense. Operating as the security and defense think tank supporting the Guatemalan National Security and Defense System, the Center for Defense Policy Studies has emerged as a leading forum for education about and discussion of hemispheric security and defense. Director Wilkins noted, “with topical programming on such subjects as defense governance and a reach that extends beyond the traditional defense establishment, the Center for Defense Policy Studies educates and empowers a national community of practitioners.” In accepting the award, General Mansilla thanked the Guatemalan public for their outstanding support.
Director Wilkins concluded the ceremony by reflecting upon the history of this year’s honorees and their contributions to the broader security and defense community.