Dr. John Rose

Dr. John Rose (center) says goodbye to
members of the German military Nov. 8.

(Photo by Karlheinz Wedhorn)

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – Continuous growth, a bolstered partnership with Germany and the graduation of better than 3,000 students from a range of programs mark the departure of the director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies here.

Dr. John P. Rose and his wife Barbara depart tomorrow for Maryland after his having served as director of the Marshall Center since 2002. Dr. Rose said he hadn’t shored up plans for the future, but was considering a run for Congress in Maryland.

“It has been a great honor to serve you for the past eight years,” he told center staff today. “Continue to follow your dreams and my dream of reaching that ‘tipping point’ that will lead to a fundamental change in thinking and attitudes.”

The number of annual participants attending Marshall Center resident programs grew from 467 in 2002 to nearly 1,000 in 2010. Among that increase are students from 80 countries who hadn’t previously attended center programs, including the participation from many African nations as well as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which helped support the efforts of the newly-formed African Command. Of those alumni, roughly 270 are considered “distinguished alumni” – ministers, deputy ministers, chiefs and deputy chiefs of defense, parliamentarians, and ambassadors of their countries.

German Gebirgsmusikkorps

The German Gebirgsmusikkorps serenades Dr. Rose under the direction
of Major Christian Prchal (Photo by Karlheinz Wedhorn)

At the Marshall Center staff farewell Nov. 4, Dr. James MacDougall, the center’s U.S. Deputy Director, talked about Dr. Rose’s time as director.

“John Rose has put his heart and his soul into his work at the Marshall center. It’s not something that I simply alone see, it’s a fact,” Dr. MacDougall said. “He’s touched thousands of people in the process, and all of those thousands of people have been positively affected by his boundless energy and his enthusiasm.”

As director, he’s had the responsibility to manage a $37 million annual budget , an increase of $10 million since taking the job. He also led the development and execution of three new resident courses at the Marshall Center.

“Three new courses, three new approaches, three new issues that we’ve taken on that he has personally directed the development, implementation and now the teaching,” Dr. MacDougall, who now serves as interim director, said.

Dr. Rose oversaw and led multiple infrastructure projects including the development and building of the a small garden park inside the post, renovations to major facilities, and an extensive upgrade to lodging rooms for resident course participants.

“In each of our areas we can find numbers to quantify how much the center has grown during the tenure of John Rose. But, it only tells part of the story,” Dr. MacDougall said. “The work that we all do here is very highly regarded and in large measure we can thank our director for that.”

During the farewell, German Deputy Director retired Maj. Gen. Hermann Wachter commented on Dr. Rose’s view of the bilateral German-American partnership that leads the center.

“The American-German partnership is one of the outstanding hallmarks of this institution. And as we all know, partnerships are a delicate things by nature,” General Wachter said. “You never allowed any doubts that it is both of our nations who are running this organization and that we are partners on equal footing. It is particularly this equal footing principal which you not only upheld so strongly, but you filled with life day by day in your actions.”

Dr. Rose’s commitment to the partnership extended to the community, and included his forming a close friendship and working relationship with Garmisch-Partenkirchen Lord Mayor Thomas Schmid. He also opened the doors of the center to the local community with his “Bring your German friend to the Marshall Center” event that for more than 6 years has informed and educated neighbors to the center about its mission and scope.

The director said that it wasn’t just his leadership that made the center what it is today.

“It’s no one individual that does this – don’t think that for a second. It’s what each and every one of you does that makes this happen, that makes this so unique and such an inspiration,” he said. “Barbara and I believe this has been the best 8 years of our lives, no question about it, and I will always and forever believe that because it has been so special.”