Media Center


Inter-American Defense College Graduates Class XLVII

  June 30, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC (June 27) – Eleven months of personal and professional sacrifice paid off for Class 47’s 54 members, as they proudly marched across the stage Friday to receive their graduation diplomas. An impressive array of ambassadors, generals, admirals and senior level officials, many of them graduates of previous classes, attended the event, which was held at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington.
The official party included José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS; U.S. Rear Adm. Moira Flanders, Director of the IADC; Brazilian Rear Adm. Elis Treidler Öberg, Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board; Dr. Daniel Iverson, Director of the Master’s program in International Relations at American University; and Dr. José Paz, Director of the Master’s program in Hemispheric Defense and Security at the University of El Salvador in Argentina.
Flanders, in her opening remarks, recognized the successful cohesion of a class that boasted senior military and government officials from 15 member countries of the OAS, and even one student from Spain, a permanent observer country to the OAS.
“There should be no doubt that after a year of rigorous academic instruction and open, lively debate that our students recognize the increasing importance of integrating all instruments of national power to meet the challenges of the future throughout our hemisphere,” said Flanders. “They as a group and as individuals can be, and promise to be, good partners across our hemisphere as we face tough challenges together. These students, our future leaders, will work with our partners to help unlock the promise of the future.”
Insulza, the keynote speaker, congratulated Flanders on a successful year as Director of the college, recognizing the efforts she has made in recent months to advance the curriculum and foster partnerships with other universities within the hemisphere. He wished the new graduates continued success in their professional careers.
“IADC graduates of previous classes have gone on to fill important functions, even becoming presidents, in their respective countries,” commented Insulza. “That reflects well not only on the quality of the participants in these courses, but above all, on the quality of the curriculum and the reputation of the school in our region.”
Class 47’s president, Brazilian professor Gustavo Trompowsky Heck, also spoke of the graduates’ future positions within their countries, and the gift they were all given, through lectures, trips and dialogue, of a glimpse into each others’ culture and community.
“We see the potential of our hemisphere: its interminable resources, the inventive capacity and the obstinacy of its people, and its inevitable propulsion into the world economy as the main supplier of all sorts of commodities,” explained Heck.
“But what we learned this year also solidified our conviction that poverty and social inequality are the principal threats to our hemisphere. Poverty and misery serve as a foundation to organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism. Extreme poverty has made humans an “exportable commodity.”
Heck said the class would use what they learned this year to help resolve the problems plaguing OAS member states.
In addition to the IADC’s diploma in Hemispheric Defense and Security, almost 80 percent of the class (43 students) elected to pursue a Master’s degree in Hemispheric Security from IADC partner school, University of El Salvador in Argentina. Dr. Maria Caracuel, the college’s first student from Spain, received the Medal of Honor from USAL while 18 students received Graduate of Honor diplomas. Two students received Master’s in International Relations from American University. Two IADC students received diplomas from all three institutions.
IADC also graduated nine external students from the USAL Master’s program and one external student from AU’s Master’s program. During the academic year, many students formed strong relationships with their classmates from other countries.
“This is an unprecedented day for me, filled with both happiness and sadness,” explained Peruvian Cnel César Torres Vega. “I am happy to have reached the end of this academic journey and fulfilled my goals, but sad, because the time has come for us, Class 47, to say goodbye to our friends and companions with whom we shared so many happy moments, experiences and bonds.”
While many students are returning to their countries to assume positions of leadership in their governments, some will stay behind to become advisors to the next class.
The IADC, located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, is one of the foremost institutes of learning for senior-level military, police, and diplomatic officials with an interest in security and defense issues facing Latin America today. An entity of the Organization of American States, the IADC is able to offer approximately 60 students a year from member states of the OAS an unparalleled educational and research experience. Former IADC students include two presidents, 31 ministers, 539 generals and admirals and many other high-ranking officials.

Reference: IADC