Harrisonburg, VA (May 8, 2012) – From May 16-June 13, 2012, the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery at James Madison University will host 17 senior managers from international landmine-action organizations for the residential Senior Management Training course (SMC). The SMC is sponsored by a grant from the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA). This is the third course sponsored by PM/WRA and the eighth course held at JMU.
The SMC is a five-week program taught in coordination with the JMU College of Business and designed specifically for upper-level managers of international organizations responsible for the removal and abatement of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The course combines lectures, workshops and case studies to integrate effective management and communication skills within the context of post-conflict stabilization. CISR and JMU faculty and staff lead course modules, while a series of subject-area experts from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, the United Nations Mine Action Service, the Geneva Centre for Humanitarian Demining and others discuss contemporary issues for weapons-destruction programs.
The 17 participants represent 14 different countries including, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda and Vietnam. “Each of these countries face daunting challenges in clearance and recovery,” says Geary Cox, CISR’s program coordinator and part of the team of JMU faculty, staff and students who run the course. “Our goal is to learn from these leaders and continually meet their needs and experiences in real time.”
“The SMC is unique in the way it brings so many program leaders together to develop not only their professional skills but also their networks with other program managers and experts.” Cox says, “We have worked hard to prepare an academically challenging course that is presented in the context of post-conflict communities. Our course faculty has adapted many of the ‘textbook’ responses to match the scenarios our managers are facing.”
In addition to the SMC’s success in training senior managers to make policy decisions, it also offers a unique form of international diplomacy. Participants explore many destinations in Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley, providing the experience of university life and American culture. Participants also have the opportunity to exchange ideas with classmates from countries facing similar challenges. 2011 SMC participant, Catalina Serna, a native of Colombia and Program Officer at The International Center and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, said of her SMC experience, “The best thing is the networking with other persons doing the same [work] in different mine-affected countries. It is great to learn from them and exchange experiences.”
CISR was founded at JMU in 1996 as the Mine Action Information Center and became CISR in 2008. CISR specializes in research, education, information exchange and training related to the international effort to combat the effects of conflict and explosive remnants of war (ERW).
The JMU College of Business is in the top 5 percent of undergraduate business schools ranked annually by Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. The College of Business ranked 12th among public institutions and 32nd among all business schools. The College of Business is committed to preparing students to be active and engaged citizens who are exceptionally well-qualified leaders for success in a global competitive marketplace.