On Friday, October 20, the Perry Center celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP) Course. Attended by 68 civilian and military students from 12 countries across the Western Hemisphere, SDP included lectures by Perry Center faculty and distinguished guest speakers from various government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Directed by Dr. David Spencer, with the assistance of facilitators Dr. William Godnick, Dr. Alejandra Bolaños, Prof. Alejandro Alemán, Prof. María Teresa Belandria, Dr. Román Ortiz, and Dr. Carlos Ojeda Bennett, SDP is designed to assist students with the theoretical foundations of strategy and policy formations, as well as policy implementation.
Ambassador Michael A. Hammer served as keynote speaker during the graduation ceremony. Currently serving as Deputy Commandant and International Affairs Advisor at the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University, AMB Hammer advised SDP students to maintain the networks established during their time at the Perry Center. He noted the importance of expanding and engaging through these networks to foster transparency among partners and stability in the region.
Acting Director Jeff Murphy urged students to look towards the future by analyzing the impact of armed non-state actors, climate change, and the convergence of transnational criminal and terrorist networks, in order to identify threats proactively and formulate forward-thinking policy responses. The ceremony was followed by a reception during which AMB Hammer and Mr. Murphy talked with the students about their time at the Center.