On November 27, Dr. Alejandro Arbelaez, who is departing CHDS after several years of service to return to Colombia, was honored yesterday by the US Department of Defense. Dr. Arbelaez was presented with the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and was named a Distinguished Member Emeritus of CHDS at a short ceremony at the Center presided over by CHDS Director Dr. Richard Downie. Vice Admiral Henry Blain, Chief of the Colombian Delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board, Major General Javier Florez, Liasion Officer between the Inter-American Defense Board and the Organization of American States, and Colonel Carlos Ignacio Gonzalez, Advisor to Major General Florez, also attended. Dr. Arbelaez was honored in remarks given by Assistant Academic Dean Dr. Scott Tollefson and fellow Colombian faculty member General (ret.) Carlos Ospina.
Dr. Arbelaez, former Vice Minister of Defense of Colombia and Governor of the Colombian state of Arauca, was recognized for his superior performance as a professor of National Security Affairs. During his tenure with CHDS, Dr. Arbelaez was a contributing author in the study Colombia’s Road to the Recovery: Security and Governance 1982-2010, and is currently coediting the forthcoming From the Abyss to Democratic Security: Security and Governance Lessons in Colombia 1994–2010 with Dr. Downie. Dr. Arbelaez directed, organized, and taught the Terrorism and Counterinsurgency course and also lectured before various groups and courses. He lectured and wrote on a wide variety of topics, including the formulation and implementation of public policies, governance and politics, and civilian-military relations.
Dr. Arbelaez will be returning to Colombia at the end of this month to become a political analyst for a national media group and will also serve as an advisor to former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.