Director's Message

by Kenneth Rutherford, Ph.D. [ Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ]

Dear Readers,

Ken RutherfordOne of the things I like to do in each issue of The Journal is let you know about some of the recent activities the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery has undertaken. Today, I share information about one of our most effective programs.

As I write this message, the 19 recent graduates of the 2010 Senior Managers’ Course in ERW and Mine Action are departing the campus of James Madison University. We at CISR are excited about their amazing work and exceedingly thankful to everyone who gave so much over the past five weeks to make the SMC a resounding success. I am especially thankful for the support of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA), which funded the course.

This marks our sixth course, with a total of 125 senior managers from 36 countries trained. The SMC is an internationally-recognized training course that taps into the knowledge and expertise of the finest faculty and subject-area experts available. The staff at CISR, faculty from various JMU departments and colleges (especially the nationally ranked College of Business), and global thought leaders worked with SMC participants representing 12 countries from 17 May to 17 June. According to one participant, Dorijan Maršič, Director of the International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance, the SMC is “an incredibly valuable way of sharing best practices and experiences, as well as networking with the participants from different countries and backgrounds.”

The SMC would not be the achievement that it is without the support of PM/WRA, which identified a need for trained managers in host-nation mine-action organizations and chose CISR to deliver that training. The SMC provides a unique opportunity for leaders from around the world to unite and exchange information on post-conflict research, specifically addressing the safe and effective removal of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. The course is remarkable for its depth and breadth, a feat achieved only with the talented professors and subject-area experts who make it the most comprehensive senior-management training program in the field.

We look forward to sharing the successes of these most recent SMC graduates with you in future issues of The Journal. Our friends and partners join CISR in standing ready to address training needs and opportunities with the mine-action community in the months and years to come.

Thanks to all of the SMC supporters and participants for helping save countless lives from ERW and landmines for generations to come.

Kenneth R. Rutherford, Ph.D.,
Mine Action Information Center
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University