On June 23, the Perry Center hosted Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (PDUSDP) Brian McKeon, for his first visit to the Center. Mr. McKeon and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Dr. Rebecca Bill Chavez, participated in a wide-ranging discussion on the Center’s policy-oriented program and growing support for security and defense institution building (SDIB) initiatives in the Western Hemisphere. Mr. McKeon also had the chance to experience some of the Perry Center’s innovative digital tools, including our distance-learning platforms, online library of videos and publications, on-line communities of practice, and interactive social media.
Later, PDUSDP McKeon observed the new Managing Security and Defense (MSD) course currently in progress and addressed course participants, drawn from senior civilian and military policy leaders throughout the hemisphere. Reflecting on his work in all three branches of the government, he noted how most US and international counterparts shared a common vision of the Americas as a region made safer and more prosperous by integrating coordination and decision making. He emphasized the central role policy plays in aligning national and defense goals with budget and force structure decisions. After his remarks and a Q&A session, he interacted with participants in question-and-answer session and took extra time for candid, one-on-one conversations with participants afterward.
“The decision to align the Perry Center with OSD Policy continues to pay dividends as we expand the scope and depth of our substantive engagement with senior security and defense counterparts across the region,” said Perry Center Director Mark Wilkins after the visit. “Mr. McKeon’s willingness to engage and answer tough questions from many of his counterparts in the MSD course bodes well for ongoing efforts to bolster security and defense sector reform and seriously discuss tools needed to improve public sector governance and accountability.”