A select group of Pentagon Africa specialists came to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies Dec. 2 to be briefed about its vision, mission, and goals, as well as to discuss how they could better cooperate in supporting U.S. security policy initiatives towards Africa.
Colonel Michael Garrison, U.S. Army (ret.), Deputy Director of the Africa Center, welcomed the Africa regional desk officers and analysts, who represented the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa and the Joint Staff. Brad A Gutierrez, PhD, Africa Center’s Chair for Security Studies, presented an Africa Center overview and program update.
Discussion and a question and answer period followed Dr. Gutierrez’s briefing. Africa Center faculty and staff meeting with the visitors included John Kelly, PhD, Associate Dean; Dr. Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, Academic Chair of Civil-Military Relations; Dr. Assis Malaquias, Academic Chair of Defense Economics; Carolyn Haggis, D.Phil, Researcher and Analyst; Colonel Xavier Collignon, Senior French Representative; Colonel Timothy Thurston, Deputy Chief of Staff; and Community Affairs Specialists Mary McGurn, Emily Renard, Amanda Balderston, and Amelia Carvalho.
The Department of Defense Africa specialists and their Africa Center hosts agreed at the conclusion of the program that the gathering was beneficial and that future meetings should be held as new people are assigned to Africa positions at the Pentagon.