The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) at the United States National Defense University recognized the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) as 2012 recipient of the Dr. William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education.
The prestigious award was presented to Colonel Glenn Huber, WHINSEC’s Commandant, during a ceremony held at the CHDS campus in Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., on September 20. “I am honored to receive the award on behalf of the men and women, uniformed and civilian, working at the institute past, present and future,” said Col. Huber, who attended the event along with Colombian Army Colonel Alberto Sepúlveda, WHINSEC’s Sub Commandant.
The William J. Perry Award is named in honor of former Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry, whose vision of creating a regional educational center tailored to the unique requirements of countries that wished to strengthen civilian defense and security leadership in revitalized democracies became a reality with establishment of CHDS in 1997.
Created in 2007, the award is given each year to one individual and one institution that have made significant contributions in promoting education, research, outreach and knowledge-sharing in defense and security issues in the Western Hemisphere. In this opportunity, for the first time, a second institutional award was given to the Regional Security System (Barbados), which plays an important role in advancing a cooperative international security environment in the Caribbean.
In the individual category, Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, was this year’s recipient of the coveted recognition. Minister MacKay will receive it in person on September 28 during a special ceremony in his honor.
This year, WHINSEC will host more than 2,200 students in residence, its highest number since its establishment more than a decade ago. When combined with the international student population at the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (another U.S. Army training institution), the Institute has the largest international student training population in the entire U.S. Department of Defense.
With 218 military and civilian personnel, the institute serves as both a powerful strategic partnership promoter as well as an effective capability builder.
The organization brings military, civilians and police from more than 22 nations to an environment where their native tongue is the official language. It also constitutes a unique hemispheric forum where students and guest instructors learn about each other and develop personal relationships that lead to international cooperation.
“This award is a unique symbolic recognition of what the institute have been dedicated to in over a decade. I see an even brighter future for WHINSEC, while we continue fostering more cooperation among all the countries in the Western Hemisphere and training the leaders of the future,” said Colonel Huber.
In 2011 the award was presented to the former Minister of Defense of Brazil, Nelson Jobim, and to the U.S. National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program for the Western Hemisphere, consisting of a collection of 22 state-level National Guard elements working in cooperation with 28 hemispheric nations.