On March 29, the 2012 Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP) course celebrated the end of its in-person classes with a dinner at the Gadsby’s Tavern, located in historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, just south of Washington, DC. Rear Admiral (ret.) Manuel Lora, course director, offered a summary of the three-week course while highlighting the unifying and networking characteristics of the SDP course.
Five participants were chosen to represent the five break-out groups and were given the opportunity to share their experiences. They were Carolina Flores, Honduras; Ernesto Lorenzo, Uruguay; Pablo Lugo, Dominican Republic; Juan Carlos Maidana, Paraguay; and Pedro Pablo Moreno, Colombia. The participants expressed their gratitude, reminisced, and spoke of future opportunities as CHDS alumni. Director Dr. Downie closed the event welcoming the participants into the CHDS family and encouraging them to utilize their new network to improve defense and security throughout the hemisphere.
Gadsby’s Tavern, whose guests have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and James Monroe, was a center of Alexandria’s economic, political, and social life in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, making it a fitting place to mark the conclusion of the students’ experience in Washington. The graduation ceremony, with special guest speaker, Ambassador Stuart Symington, Foreign Policy Advisor, United States Northern Command, took place on March 30 in the Lincoln Hall Auditorium at Fort Leslie J. McNair.