Article By: Amanda D. Stein
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) top international partner educators gathered in Monterey from Jan. 11-13 to share ideas and practices at the 3rd Annual Global Center Consortium Directors’ Conference. The Conference, hosted by the Global Center for Security Cooperation (GCSC), allowed the directors of the Consortium member institutions to present their programs and areas of expertise. The GCSC connects these institutions, allowing them to collaborate ideas and materials, and to come away with a network of support for their academic undertakings.
“The greatest thing about the conference is it gives our members the ability to collaborate on projects,” explained GCSC Operations Officer Warren Hoy. “And that’s really what we are all about- collaboration. The directors all have a chance to share what they do, what they are working on, what their capabilities are, and what their needs are. It brings people together so they can work collaboratively and be more efficient at what they do.”
The institutions represented in the Consortium include several Monterey area schools- the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) , Defense Resources Management Institute (DRMI) and the Center for Civil-Military Relations- as well as institutions from around the country and abroad.
The three-day Global Center Consortium Directors’ Conference allowed leaders from various defense institutions to meet and collaborate on projects, curriculum and ideas through lectures and panel discussions. (U.S. Navy photo by Javier Chagoya/ Released)
“The Consortium members all have one thing in common,” explained GCSC Director Jim Wirtz. “All of these schoolhouses deal with the education and training of international students. It’s an effort to build partnership capacity, to engage and build networks of cooperation, to facilitate U.S. foreign and defense policies, and national security in general.”
During the Conference, the GCSC welcomed their newest member, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) School. Because of their extensive work with international students, the NATO School brings a comprehensive global perspective to the Consortium. The membership was made official with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement by Wirtz and overseen by NATO School Dean of Academics, Col. Al Woodcock during the opening remarks of the Conference.
“We have about 25 institutions on board, and the number grows all the time,” said Wirtz. “One of our missions is to facilitate communications between the Department of Defense and the schoolhouses. Another mission is to transmit best practices across the schools. So if one entity comes up with a better way of doing business, we can make that visible to everyone.”
The conference featured panel discussions between representatives from the United States Combatant Commands (COCOMs), as well as a session on Alumni Outreach at NPS. The three-day event gave the member institutions a chance to share ideas and thoughts on their curriculum and programs, as well as sharing subject matter experts with other member institutions that may be in need of additional support.
“When the conference is over, we will have a more tightly knit community of international partner education providers,” said Hoy. “They will be more willing to share information and resources because they will understand what each other brings to the table.”