William J. Perry Center For Hemispheric Defense Studies
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William J. Perry Center For Hemispheric Defense Studies
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies
William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies Logo.svg
Perry Center Seal
Agency overview
HeadquartersNational Defense University, Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC
MottoMens et fidis mutua
(Mutual understanding and confidence)
Agency executive
  • Jeffrey Murphy, Acting Director
Parent agencyDepartment of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency
WebsitePerry Center

William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies is a U.S. Department of Defense[1] institution for defense and security studies in the Western Hemisphere. Through courses, seminars, outreach, strategic dialogue, and focused research in support of policy objectives, the Perry Center works with senior civilian and military officials from the Americas to build strong, sustainable networks of security and defense leaders and institutions.[2] In so doing, the Perry Center is supposed to promote greater understanding of U.S. policy, mutually supportive approaches to security challenges, and improved, sustainable institutional capacity." On April 12, 2018, AllGov.com reported that: "In 2015 CHDS was credibly accused in an internal Army report of shielding a teacher from Chile who belonged to a known state terrorist organization; clandestine involvement of Center officials in the 2009 Honduran coup; and gross mismanagement, corruption, homophobia, racism, and sexism." [3]

In February 2017, the controversial role played by the Perry Center in Latin America was underscored after the Miami Herald published an article on former CHDS Dean Craig Deare, who had been appointed by General Michael Flynn to be the Western Hemisphere chief for the National Security Council. Citing Deare's former William Perry colleagues, the story noted that Deare, in addition to security concerns and lax personal conduct, had "a checkered record of support for and involvement with some of the Western Hemisphere's most notorious human rights abusers." It pointed out that he was also "a central figure" in former Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin's request for a Department of Defense inspector general's investigation that included questions about what role the U.S. Southern Command's William Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies may have played in the 2009 military coup in Honduras.[4][5][6][7] It added that the probe of CHDS included the question of whether the Center "still bore vestiges of the old School of the Americas, the U.S. program that trained Latin America military officers, many of whom then went on to be brutal dictators in their home countries." [8] A day after its publication in the Herald, Deare offered a controversial analysis of Trump Administration policies and the role of key First Family figures during a supposedly "off-the-record" talk before a score of Beltway "insider" invitees at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Following media coverage of Deare's reported criticism of the Trump policies, allegedly 'awkward' comments about Ivanka Trump's good looks, and the Miami Herald article, Deare was unceremoniously shown the door at the NSC the day after his appearance at the Wilson Center.[9][deprecated source][10][11]

On March 10, 2017, Daniel P. Meyer, executive director for Intelligence Community Whistleblowing & Source Protection (ICW&SP), Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG), announced that classified Congressional Disclosure #1703 relating to the CHDS scandal had been sent "to both the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence via a classified network, protecting the lawful disclosure of classified information." Four days later, Department of Defense Inspector General Glenn Fine wrote an email to a senior member of Congress announcing that "Given the seriousness and scope of [the] allegations, OIG staff is conducting a careful analysis of each allegation. While this has taken longer than we would have preferred, we want to ensure that appropriate consideration is given."

History and background

The William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (WJPC) was created on September 3, 1997[12] by then-U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, who had proposed creating a regional center tailored to the unique requirements of the Western Hemisphere where many countries could strengthen civilian defense and security leadership in revitalized democracies. The Perry Center traces its roots back to the first two Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA),[13][14] where Secretary Perry convened defense ministers from around the hemisphere to discuss shared defense and security issues.

In 2013, The Perry Center was the only federal office to receive an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Workplace Flexibility.[15][16] In 2016, the Perry Center was again honored with the Award for Workplace Flexibility.[17] However, in 2015 the Center for Public Integrity, in an article focusing on alleged gross violations of human rights by senior Center staff, quoted an internal Southern Command document that reported that CHDS "staff had exchanged 'racially charged emails' -- including one directed at President Barack Obama; used offensive language such as 'faggot,' 'buttboy' and 'homo'; and that 'women employees feel that they are treated inappropriately.' Even senior leaders used 'inappropriate hand gestures,' it said, and mentioned simulations of masturbation." [18]

In 2015 the Center for Public Integrity, in an article focusing on alleged gross violations of human rights by senior Center staff, quoted an internal Southern Command document that reported that CHDS "staff had exchanged 'racially charged emails' -- including one directed at President Barack Obama; used offensive language such as 'faggot,' 'buttboy' and 'homo'; and that 'women employees feel that they are treated inappropriately.' Even senior leaders used 'inappropriate hand gestures,' it said, and mentioned simulations of masturbation." [19]

Three years earlier, following national security whistleblower disclosures of corruption, alleged human rights violations and other gross malfeasance by other senior staff working under the then Director, Richard Downie, (who earlier was the first Commandant of the controversial Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, or WHINSEC), the latter requested an officer from another Regional Center to "informally"--not outside of the chain of command headed by that same Director--investigate the claims. This was done using an Army 15-6 rule in a civilian DoD training institution, choosing someone who belonged to a "sister" institution rather than an independent Office of Inspector General to head the probe. In March, 2012, the investigating officer privately provided his "findings" to the Center Director who had commissioned him: "After extensive review into these allegation[s], I find that the Center's leadership has not violated any laws or Department of Defense regulations, has not acted unethically towards its employees, and has maintained good order and conduct expected in an organization of the Department of Defense." (Downie's deputy at WHINSEC and CHDS was Kenneth LaPlante, a former instructor at the notorious School of the Americas, shut down by Congress in 2000, and an ardent defender of that institution while at what is now called the Perry Center.)[20][21]

However, four years later, the AR 15-6 military inquiry used by Downie in a civilian DoD center to defend against accusations against him and his colleagues was significantly revised and would not be permitted to be used in such cases as that of CHDS. The "Procedures for Administrative Investigations and Boards of Office" dated April 1, 2016, specifically "prohibits an individual from appointing an inquiry, investigation, or board if that individual is reasonably likely to become a witness; has an actual or perceived bias for or against a potential subject of the investigation, or has an actual conflict of interest in the outcome of the investigation (pars. 2-1F)."

A copy of the report obtained by the Center in a Freedom of Information ((FOIA)) request reflected a state of fear shared by Center staff members reluctant to come forward, as "many employees did want to remain anonymous for fear of retribution" by senior staff. The report specifically cited what the accused wrongdoers had already done to two national security whistleblowers. The Center is now the focus of a DoD Inspector General probe following a request by then Senate Armed Services Chair Carl Levin.[22][23][24]

The Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) opened its doors on September 17, 1997, followed by a two-day Hemispheric Conference on Education and Defense. The Center conducted its first resident course, the Defense Planning and Resource Management Course, in March 1998. The Center also conducted the first of many in-region seminars that year.

On April 2, 2013, the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies was renamed the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in honor of the Center's founder, the 19th Secretary of Defense, Dr. William J. Perry.[25]

The Perry Center is co-located at, and maintains an academic relationship with National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, DC.[26]

Courses and programs

Resident courses

Resident courses form the core of the Perry Center academic program. Conducted in Spanish or English, foundational and specialized courses are designed to meet the evolving needs of sophisticated professionals from the defense and security sectors across the hemisphere. Resident phases are one or two weeks in length and are preceded by a distance learning phase.

  • Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP) - This foundational course for Spanish-speakers consists of a common core covering topics such as policy analysis and planning, defense planning and resource management;, cybersecurity, capability-based planning, organizational reform, and security and defense sector reform. Four thematic areas are explored in depth in small group sessions.
  • Washington Security and Defense Seminar (WSDS) - Designed primarily for members of the diplomatic corps of countries from the Western Hemisphere accredited to the White House and to the Organization of American States. Participants are exposed to issues and share perspectives on the formation and implementation of U.S. national security and foreign policy, and the dynamics of government decision-making.
  • Managing Security and Defense (MSD) - Conceived to build the capacity of senior executives in the security and defense sectors to enable them to better manage their respective sectors through effective policies and integrated decisions. The MSD supports the broader framework of Security and Defense Institution Building (SDIB).
  • Caribbean Defense and Security Course (CDSC) - Designed to help participants develop and expand their competence in analyzing issues and challenges in the Caribbean region and then utilize tools of policy, strategy, planning, and resource management to effect reforms in the security and defense sectors.
  • Combating Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Networks in the Americas (CTOC) - The principal objective of this course is to deepen participants' understanding and analysis of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and the defense and security threats they pose to the Americas through their illicit activities, which include drug trafficking, money laundering, arms trafficking, human smuggling, counterfeiting, and cyber crimes.
  • Defense Policy and Complex Threats (DPCT) - Formulated for security and defense practitioners, the DPCT course presents methodologies and tools that can forecast future security and defense challenges and identify institutional gaps in confronting complex adaptive conflicts. Informed by realistic, data-driven models, policymakers can develop strategic policy guidance that establishes long-term priorities and optimizes resources and forces to better respond to the security needs of both tomorrow and today.
  • Strategic Implications of Human Rights and Rule of Law (HR/ROL) - The objectives of this course include deepening the participants' understanding and analysis of complex topics of human rights, the rule of law, international humanitarian law, military professionalism, and transitional justice.

Regional seminars

Regional seminars are held in conjunction with regional partners and are tailored to the specific objectives identified by the Perry Center, the partner institution, and the U.S. embassy team. Regional seminars serve to enhance sustainable institutional capacity, emphasizing support to national and regional policy-makers and leaders.

  • Regional Seminar to Combat Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Networks (CTOC) - Similar to the CTOC resident course, the objective of this seminar is to build capacity and develop a Community of Practice to understand the threats from transnational organized crime, terrorism, and illicit networks and to develop national, regional, and international strategies to promote security and prosperity in combating these threats in Latin America.

Hemispheric Forums

The Hemispheric Forum is a vehicle that takes advantage of the abundance of subject-matter experts and the community of interest in Western Hemisphere affairs. The format of each program is a panel discussion centered on a timely and important topic, with expert panelists representing government, think tanks, and academia. These events are open to the public and are streamed online with simultaneous Spanish interpretation.

Hemispheric Forum topics have included:

  • Women in Peace and Security[27]
  • Dynamics of FARC Demobilization[28]
  • Coping with Opposition to the U.S. in Parts of Latin America
  • Corruption in the Western Hemisphere: Impediment to Citizen Security and Democratic Consolidation
  • Impact of Energy Developments in the Greater Caribbean Region
  • Reducing Violence in Central America: Citizen Security and the El Salvador Experiment
  • Security and Defense Challenges Posed by Emerging Technologies in the Americas: Cybersecurity, Drones (Unmanned Systems), and Robotics
  • The Colombia Peace Process
  • The Changing Western Hemisphere[29]
  • Beyond Convergence: A World Without Order


Key to the Perry Center's mission is relationship-building, as it strives to maintain strong relationships with alumni. Maintaining relationships with alumni helps the Center's professors stay abreast of security and defense developments in countries throughout the region, and also provides opportunities for collaboration and increased regional exposure for the Perry Center. All of the following countries have sent participants to resident events at the Center: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Belize, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Great Britain, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Spain, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, the United States Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Notable alumni

  • Dr. José Bayardi [es], former Minister of Employment and Public Security, former Uruguay Minister of Defense
  • Commodore Roderick Bowe, former Commander of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force
  • Owen Lloyd Ellington, former Commissioner of Police of the Jamaica Constabulary Force
  • Dr. María Liz García de Arnold Frasquerí, President of Universidad Metropolitana de Asunción Paraguay; former Minister of Defense
  • His Excellency Brigadier (ret.) David A. Granger, President of Guyana
  • Brigadier General Anthony Phillips-Spencer, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States; former Vice-Chief of Defence
  • Colonel Alvin Eddie Quintyne, Barbados Defence Force Chief of Staff
  • General (ret.) Oswaldo Jarrín Roman, former Ecuadorian Minister of Defense
  • His Excellency Dr. Nestor Juan Cerón Suero, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica
  • His Excellency Stephen Charles Vasciannie, former Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States

William J. Perry Award

The William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education is named after the former U.S. Secretary of Defense who was responsible for the establishment of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies. Recipients are chosen for having substantially contributed in tangible ways to enhancing capacity in security and defense, building mutually beneficial relationships, and increasing democratic security in the Americas. Nominees may be educators, practitioners, or institutions of defense and security from throughout the Hemisphere, or from outside the region.

YearIndividual categoryInstitutional category
2015 Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Secretary of the Mexican Navy
Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Ph.D.
2014 Dr. Richard Millett, Professor Emeritus of History, Southern Illinois University at EdwardsvilleThe Inter-American Defense College (IADC)
The Center of Advanced Studies of National Defense of Spain [es] (CESEDEN)
2013 Dr. Maria Liz Garcia de Arnold, Minister of Defense of ParaguayThe National War College of Colombia (ESDEGUE)
2012 Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico
Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence of Canada
The Regional Security System (RSS)
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation[30] (WHINSEC)
2011 Nelson Jobim, former Minister of Defense of Brazil The U.S. National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program
2010 Dr. José Arturo Bayardi Lozano [es], former Minister of Defense of Uruguay
GEN John Galvin, USA (ret.), former Supreme Allied Commander, NATO
The Center for Superior Naval Studies of Mexico [es] (CESNAV)
2009N/AThe Strategic Superior Studies College of El Salvador (CAEE)
2008N/AThe National Academy for Political and Strategic Studies of Chile [es] (ANEPE)
2007N/AThe Strategic Leadership for Defense and Crisis Management Course (CEDEYAC) of Peru[31][32][33]

Other DSCA regional centers

The Perry Center is one of five regionally-focused security studies organizations. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency is the Executive Agent for all five organizations.[34] The other four are:

See also


  1. ^ United States Department of Defense http://www.defenselink.mil
  2. ^ Department of Defense Directive 5200.41 http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/520041p.pdf
  3. ^ Matt Bewig Commandant of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation: Who Is Robert Alvaro? April 12, 2018, AllGov.com
  4. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/politics/craig-deare-white-house-trump/ White House confirms adviser reassigned after disagreeing with Trump
  5. ^ http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1686188-investigation.html#document/p1
  6. ^ Martin Edwin Andersen Unpunished U.S. Southern Command role in '09 Honduran military coup May 24, 2016, Academia.edu
  7. ^ Robert J. MacLean Band of Brothers: The Whistleblower Remix September 18, 2016, Academia.edu
  8. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article132999944.html Craig Deare's 'ethical and moral flaws' make him unfit for NSC job. He should follow Flynn out the door.
  9. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4239734/Senior-Trump-appointee-fired-critical-comments.html You're fired! Trump sacks another senior security official, after he criticized the President on Mexico and made 'awkward' comments about Ivanka's good looks
  10. ^ http://www.clarin.com/mundo/echan-ee-uu-unico-funcionario-designado-america-latina_0_rJB0BWYKg.html Echan en EE.UU. al único funcionario designado para América" latina
  11. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/19/politics/craig-deare-white-house-trump/ White House confirms adviser reassigned after disagreeing with Trump
  12. ^ Department of Defense Directive 3200.13 http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/320013p.pdf
  13. ^ First Conference of Ministers of Defense of the Americas, Williamsburg, Virginia, July 24-26, 1995 http://2001-2009.state.gov/t/ac/csbm/rd/6434.htm
  14. ^ Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (CDMA)
  15. ^ Tiny DoD office earns only federal award for workplace flexibility http://federalnewsradio.com/defense/2013/08/tiny-dod-office-earns-only-federal-award-for-workplace-flexibility
  16. ^ Workplace Awards: When Work Works - William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) at National Defense University http://www.whenworkworks.org/workplace-awards/william-j-perry-center-for-hemispheric-defense-studies-chds-at-national-defense-university
  17. ^ 2016 When Work Works Award Winners - District of Columbia http://www.whenworkworks.org/be-effective/2016-when-work-works-award-winners-district-of-columbia
  18. ^ Julia Hart and R. Jeffrey Smith Flagship military university hired foreign officers linked to human rights abuses in Latin America.
  19. ^ Julia Hart and R. Jeffrey Smith Flagship military university hired foreign officers linked to human rights abuses in Latin America.
  21. ^ "U.S. INSTRUCTED LATINS ON EXECUTIONS, TORTURE". washingtonpost.com.
  22. ^ http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1686188-investigation.html#document/p1
  23. ^ Martin Edwin Andersen Unpunished U.S. Southern Command role in '09 Honduran military coup May 24, 2016, Academia.edu
  24. ^ Robert J. MacLean Band of Brothers: The Whistleblower Remix September 18, 2016, Academia.edu
  25. ^ NDU regional studies center named after retired secretary of defense http://www.army.mil/article/100486/NDU_regional_studies_center_named_after_retired_secretary_of_defense
  26. ^ National Defense University - Regional Centers http://www.ndu.edu/Outreach/RegionalCenters.aspx
  27. ^ Women Play Vital Role in Peace and Security https://www.dvidshub.net/news/122019/women-play-vital-role-peace-and-global-security#.VmHvfcpT7qo
  28. ^ Recap: Hemispheric Forum on the Dynamics of FARC Demobilization http://chds.dodlive.mil/2014/07/02/recap-hemispheric-forum-on-the-dynamics-of-farc-demobilization/
  29. ^ National Defense University event, journal focus on Western Hemisphere challenges http://www.southcom.mil/newsroom/Pages/National-Defense-University-event,-journal-focus-on-Western-Hemisphere-challenges.aspx
  30. ^ WHINSEC Earns 2012 Dr. William J. Perry Award http://www.army.mil/article/88452/WHINSEC_earns_2012_Dr__William_J__Perry_Award
  31. ^ Peru's CEDEYAC to receive 1st CHDS "William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education"
  32. ^ http://digitalndulibrary.ndu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/chdspubs/id/260
  33. ^ http://www.esup.edu.pe/cedeyac.html
  34. ^ 10 U.S. Code § 184 - Regional Centers for Security Studies http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2010-title10/USCODE-2010-title10-subtitleA-partI-chap7-sec184
  35. ^ Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  36. ^ Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  37. ^ George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies
  38. ^ Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies

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