On April 5, 2016, the Honorable Edmund E. Dillon (Major General, retired), Minister of National Security of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, visited the Perry Center to discuss preparations for the upcoming Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (XII CDMA). Minister Dillon was accompanied by representatives of the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago: Mr. Colin Connelly, Chargé d’Affairs; Colonel Darnley Wyke, Defense and Military Attaché; and Ms. Hayda Wallen, Security Program Specialist. The Minister and his delegation were greeted by Dr. Scott Tollefson, Dean of Academic Affairs; Dr. Luis Bitencourt, Professor; Mr. Walter Earle, Visiting Professor; and Lieutenant Commander Michael Maharaj of the Trinidadian Coast Guard, who is currently studying in the International Counterterrorism Fellows Program at National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs.
Minister Dillon sat with Dr. Luis Bitencourt for a Perry Center Dialogue on XII CDMA. The Minister discussed today’s Caribbean security environment, the implications of Caribbean issues for broader hemispheric security, and how previous multilateral Caribbean security efforts, like the 2007 Cricket World Cup, have prepared Trinidad and Tobago to lead this year’s Conference in Port of Spain.
After the Dialogue, Minister Dillon met with Perry Center faculty and representatives of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, led by Dr. Rebecca Chavez, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Western Hemisphere Affairs, to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Faculty updated the Minister on the Center’s defense institution building efforts in the Americas and talked about possibilities for working with the Ministry of National Security on future courses and educational programs.
After business concluded for the day, Perry Center faculty joined the Minister on a private tour of historic sites on Fort McNair. Curators from the University Library guided guests through the indoor and outdoor spaces that, in 1865, hosted the trial and execution of conspirators in the assassination of President Lincoln. The delegation had an opportunity to examine a special exhibit of 19th century maps, newspapers, and artifacts related to those events. Later, the guided tour proceeded to Roosevelt Hall, situated at the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. The Minister learned about the history and architecture of this National Historic Landmark, as well as some of the traditions of the National War College, the institution this 113-year-old building houses today.