On October 21, the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies celebrated the graduation of students in the 2016 Strategy and Defense Policy (SDP) course. Completed by 72 civilian and military officials from 19 countries, SDP gave students the opportunity to ask questions of distinguished guest speakers, complete and present projects through which they applied their new skills to national and regional security challenges, and share different individual and national perspectives in robust group discussions. Prior to arriving in Washington, D.C., for the resident phase, SDP students spent four weeks working together online. During their time in Washington, D.C., students also toured the United States Capitol, The Pentagon, and various other DC landmarks.
Mark Wilkins, Director of the Perry Center, presided over the graduation ceremony and congratulated each student on his or her accomplishment. Ambassador John Jones served as guest speaker and encouraged the soon-to-be Perry Center alumni to maintain the professional connections that they had developed throughout their time in Washington. The ceremony was followed by a closing reception, during which Director Wilkins and Ambassador Jones engaged in discussions with individual students about their time and experiences at the Perry Center.