Marshall Center Hosts Inaugural Virtual PASS Community Event
By College of International Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (April 5, 2022) – Approximately 50 alumni from the PASS, EPASS, and LPASS courses gathered online on March 30 and 31, for the Marshall Center’s inaugural Virtual PASS Community. The event focused on “Lessons Learned from COVID 19 – Preparing for the Next Pandemic Response.”
As a new program targeted to the PASS alumni, this virtual event sought to tap into their diverse and wide-ranging experiences and expertise from around the world and to draw lessons learned from local, national, regional, and global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PASS Course leadership team and the Alumni Programs Department solicited speaker proposals from PASS alumni. This application process yielded six alumni speakers: Commander (retired) Dr. Daryl Dindial, Chief Personnel Officer of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matthew Foster, Nashville FBI Field Office; Carolina Perebinos, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Moldova in the United States; Lasha Giorgidze, CBRNE Specialized Officer at the Interpol General Secretariat; Dr. Josef Prochazka, Acting Director of the Center for Military and Strategic Studies at the Czech Defense University; and Lieutenant Colonel Nazmija Bašović, Senior Police Officer in Kosovo.
The forum offered PASS alumni the chance to think critically about how to be better prepared as security professionals for the next pandemic. With speakers representing a range of fields, including law enforcement, military, and diplomacy, participants examined the pandemic response through a variety of lenses, including: how to run an embassy and effectively engage as a diplomat when face-to-face interaction is not possible, how to safely and effectively conduct a criminal investigation into the bombing of critical infrastructure during a pandemic, and how to manage a civil service workforce and provide essential government services as COVID spreads quickly through the workforce.
Alumni Relations Specialist Drew Beck stated, “the PASS Virtual Community represents our first program intended specifically for our PASS alumni, which is one of the largest groups within the Marshall Center’s global alumni network of nearly 15,000. Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected all of our alumni around the world regardless of their specific day to day job responsibilities, proved to be the right choice for this inaugural program.”
Given the high level of interest and the relative ease of joining a virtual program, we expect that this initial PASS Virtual Community will be the first of many programs destined for the PASS alumni.