After three months of familiarizing herself with the inner workings of her new command, Rear Adm. Moira Flanders, the first Admiral to lead the Inter-American Defense College in 18 years, says she plans to update the curriculum and to work toward certifying the college as a masters degree granting institution.
In an interview with Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS) Chief of Strategic Communications Martin Andersen, Flanders said she was impressed by the quality of students at the college and the reputation that the school has in Latin America. However, she expressed a strong desire to have representation from all OAS member countries in future classes and to build more partnerships with Latin America and Canada to stay current with strategic and political developments in the hemisphere.
“The representatives to the Inter-American Defense Board from Colombia referred to it as a ‘diamond’,” Flanders said of the IADC. “Maybe it is a ‘diamond in the rough’ and can be polished a little bit more.”
“We have six seminars throughout the year, bringing in guest speakers from NGOs, foreign institutions, and U.S.-backed government institutions. I think we also need to bring that sort of expertise into the day-to-day classroom.”
Flanders, whose last position at the Naval Personnel Command, focused solely on training, said her background has imparted her with the ability to work toward her goals. Flanders said this coupled with the openness and receptivity of everyone she has met since arriving at the college gives her hope that her tour here will be successful.
“My predecessor, Maj. Gen. (Keith) Huber, did an absolutely fabulous job in external relationship building, and I hope that whoever relieves me in two or three years will be able to say that I did a good job focusing internally, moving the College forward,” she said.
The IADC, located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, is one of the foremost institutes of learning for senior-level military, police, and diplomatic officials with an interest in security and defense issues facing Latin America today. An entity of the Organization of American States, the IADC is able to offer approximately 60 students a year from member states of the OAS an unparalleled educational and research experience. Former IADC students include two presidents, 31 ministers, 539 generals and admirals and many other high-ranking officials.
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