Major General Walter D. “Waldo” Givhan, United States Air Force, currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Plans, Programs and Operations in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
I recently had the privilege of visiting James Madison University to attend the closing ceremony for the 2012 Senior Managers’ Course in Explosive Remnants of War and Mine Action, where I met a select group of individuals serving on the front lines of humanitarian crises and post-conflict environments around the world.
This year, the 17 participants represented 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uganda, and Vietnam. These “Senior Managers” are each leaders in their respective national mine action and ERW programs. This diversity the students bring in terms of background and experience is one of the main reasons the course is so valuable. Participants share unique perspectives and exchange ideas with classmates from countries facing similar challenges.