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FIU hosts national security and defense leaders at the 7th Annual Hemispheric Security Conference

FIU hosts national security and defense leaders at the 7th Annual Hemispheric Security Conference

May 4, 2022 at 2:33pm

For a 7th consecutive year, the Hemispheric Security Conference will bring together international experts for a series of discussions on issues crucial to the security landscape of the Western Hemisphere on May 17-20.

Hosted by FIU’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC), the conference is free and open to the public with simultaneous translations in Spanish and Portuguese.

These 11 discussions will cover topics such as the Summit of the Americas, the impact of cybersecurity, the future of the armed forces in Latin America, the geopolitical convergence in Venezuela, disinformation, democracy, and the inter-American system, and institutional challenges to democracy in the Americas.

“This year’s conference will provide an important and timely forum to enhance regional understanding about how the hemisphere should respond to the challenges ahead,” said Dan Erikson, deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere at the U.S. Department of Defense. Erikson is one of this year’s featured speakers and will be delivering Wednesday’s keynote address.  

“In today’s dynamic global security environment, it is important to bring together leaders and experts to examine the opportunities and risks facing the Americas,” he said.

The entire conference will be streamed virtually and the first day of the conference, Tuesday, May 20, will have an in-person attendance option. The afternoon sessions will be at Graham Center Ballrooms and are open to the public and the press.

Tuesday’s afternoon panels include a conversation on the impact of cybersecurity and a Summit of the Americas preview with Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, special advisor for the Summit of the Americas. According to the U.S. State Department, the Summit “brings together leaders from the countries of North, South, and Central America and the Caribbean” to “promote cooperation towards region-wide, inclusive economic growth and prosperity based on our shared respect for democracy, fundamental freedoms, the dignity of labor, and free enterprise.” It will take place in June in Los Angeles.

“This year’s HSC takes place at a very distinct and significant conjuncture — just a few weeks before the Summit of the Americas,” said President Luis Guillermo Solis, former president of Costa Rica and interim director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. “It will provide inputs in issues of the hemispheric agenda that will not be centrally discussed at the summit. [HSC] is a very valuable complement that will contribute to the determination of the countries of the Americas to forge a continental alliance in favor of peace, democracy and economic prosperity.”

Other notable speakers include:

  • Juan Gonzalez, special assistant to the president; National Security Council senior director, Western Hemisphere (tentative to be in person on May 17)
  • Ricardo Zúniga, principal deputy assistant secretary of state of Western Hemisphere Affairs and special envoy for the Northern Triangle
  • Rebecca Bill Chavez, president of Inter-American Dialogue and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs
  • Admiral Craig Faller, retired U.S. admiral and senior fellow at Florida International University
  • Ambassador Anthony Phillips-Spencer, Trinidad and Tobago’s ambassador to the U.S.
  • Celina Realuyo, professor of practice, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies

For the full agenda and to register, please visit the Hemispheric Security Conference website.

For HSC updates, follow @gordoninstitute and @fiulacc on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.