The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) has selected US General John Galvin and former Uruguayan Defense Minister Dr. Jose Bayardi in the individual category and the Mexican Center for Superior Naval Studies (CESNAV) in the institutional category for the 2010 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education.
In announcing the selection on Tuesday, CHDS Director Richard D. Downie praised both the awardees as well as the record number of people and institutions from around the Western Hemisphere who were nominated this year for a Perry Award, named after the former US Secretary of Defense whose inspiration resulted in the creation of the Center.
“Interest in the Perry Award reflects the fact that these selections truly recognize significant academic and/or policy contributions in this Hemisphere,” Downie said.
“We are deeply honored that in 2010 we are able to offer the award to two enormously distinguished individuals and an outstanding educational institution, CESNAV—whose hallmarks has been the promotion of education, research, outreach and knowledge-sharing in defense and security issues in the Western Hemisphere.
“In their own ways, the work of Gen. Galvin, former Minister Bayardi and CESNAV has led to greater international security cooperation, enhanced effective civil-military relations, and adherence to CHDS core values.”
Downie praised the work of former Defense Minister Bayardi, a CHDS graduate and now a Uruguayan Deputy, whose tenure as defense minister in Uruguay entailed a key role in international peacekeeping efforts in Haiti and the Congo. Bayardi was also an important figure in his country’s debate over human rights and in the Uruguayan armed forces reorganization for the 21st century.
The Center director said he also took great pride in the fact that Galvin, a former commander at SOUTHCOM and a former dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, was a 2010 choice.
“As the Commander-in-chief of the US Southern Command and later as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and Commander in Chief of the US European Command John Galvin brought great regional understanding, and leadership, serving as a beacon and an inspiration for those who have served in Latin America.”
Downie pointed to the key role played by CESNAV (known in Spanish as the Centro de Estudios Superiores Navales) in helping the Mexican government confront some of the greatest threats in its history.
CESNAV, he said, “makes extraordinary contributions every day toward advancing the cause of democracy and the rule of law within some of the thorniest terrain in the defense and security arenas. Clearly their success has been key to beating back some of the greatest threats faced not only in their country, but in the region as a whole—including the United States.”
Candidates for eligibility for the Perry Award include educators, practitioners, or institutions of defense and security throughout the Hemisphere, or from outside the region.
As the countries of the Western Hemisphere confront a plethora of challenges in formative years of the 21st century, the example of Dr. William J. Perry, the Center’s founder and inspiration for CHDS’s highest honor, offers a model for both vision and problem-solving in the security and defense areas.
A PhD in mathematics from Pennsylvania State University, Perry entered into service as Secretary of Defense with broad national security experience, both in industry and government. He also had a keen understanding of the challenges that needed to be addressed, and was well versed in both the Department of Defense’s internal operations and in international security issues.
When Dr. Perry retired in January 1997, General John M. Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, noted the relationship the civilian secretary had forged with the troops: “Surely, Bill Perry has been the GI’s Secretary of Defense. When asked what his greatest accomplishment as secretary, Bill Perry didn’t name an operation or a weapons system. He said that his greatest accomplishment was his very strong bond with our men and women in uniform.”
CHDS is proud to be part of the Perry legacy, having become the premier regional forum offering strategic level defense and security education, research and dialogue regarding effective security policy within the hemisphere. Fully three-quarters of CHDS’ students are civilians, and the growing community working toward a more cooperative and stable international security environment in the region is testament to just how vital Dr. Perry’s vision remains today.
The Perry Award was first offered in 2007, as part of the Center’s 10th anniversary celebration. At that time, CHDS senior leadership determined that it should be bestowed on the creators and director of Peru’s “Strategic Leadership for Defense and Crisis Management Course” (known by the Spanish acronym CEDEYAC), who molded their own course on CHDS’ academic content and instructional methodology adapted to the Peruvian reality.
The second annual Perry Awards were given to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez in the individual category and the Chilean National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (Academia Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos/ANEPE) in the institutional category.
In 2009, the winner of the third annual Perry Award in the institutional category was the Strategic Superior Studies College (Colegio de Altos Estudios Estrategicos/CAEE) of El Salvador.