On October 11, the Perry Center celebrated the graduation of the Fall 2013 Security and Defense Policy (SDP) course. Following weeks of study, discussion, and informative lectures, the 59 participants received certificates in a commencement ceremony in Abraham Lincoln Hall auditorium. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs Walter Earle served as guest speaker and encouraged the soon-to-be Perry Center alums to maintain their new professional connections and continue their success in the field of international security and defense.
The SDP course brought together participants from 15 Western Hemisphere countries and Spain for several weeks of online learning prior to the residence phase in Washington, DC that began on September 24 and lasted until October 11. During the in-person phase, participants had the opportunity to hear lectures from high-level US defense policymakers, attend a Perry Center Hemispheric Forum on September 26, and work together in break-out groups led by Perry Center faculty members. The participants returned to their home nations for the final leg of the course, a research and writing phase that will culminate in their final papers.