Marshall Center Seeks Virtual Platforms as part of COVID-19 Preventive Measures

Press Release April 27 2020

Marshall Center Seeks Virtual Platforms as part of COVID-19 Preventive Measures

By Christine June
Public Affairs Office
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (April 17, 2020)The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies announced today the decision to cancel additional courses and events while exploring additional options to offer events virtually as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that the Marshall Center began March 9.

The Marshall Center is a 26-year-old, German-American defense studies institute based here. 

“Looking into how we can offer our resident and non-resident events virtually is a work in progress,” said the Marshall Center Director, retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton. “It is not a substitute for our participant-based way of doing business, but we are looking at ways to offer our programs online in the weeks and months ahead.”

The Marshall Center’s Partner Language Training Center Europe’s leadership and staff are also looking into ways to offer their training online.

“Our staff at PLTCE is brainstorming and researching possible ways to provide online training to our participants as soon as possible,” said PLTCE Director Keith L. Wert. “We do not know how long the travel restrictions will remain in place so we will keep our participants informed on class schedules as we can safely make those calls.”

The Partner Language Training Center Europe, a NATO Partner Training and Education Center, offers advanced and specialized classroom instruction in Arabic, English, French, Persian-Farsi, and Russian to more than 400 U.S. military, and NATO and partner attendees each year.

We have not canceled all resident classes throughout the year,” Wert said. “At this time, we are only announcing that through June we are not able to have guests stay at PLTCE for course instruction.”

Dayton also announced cancellation of Marshall Center events through the beginning of June, The Marshall Center will decide by May 1 on whether or not to execute the Senior Executive Seminar as scheduled on June 22 to 26.

Senior Executive Seminar is an intensive five-day program tailored to meet the specific needs of national ministers, ambassadors, legislators, general officers and senior government officials who must address the critical issues facing our global and regional security environment.

The Marshall Center canceled events are: European Security Seminar South, June 8 to 12, and two Regional Alumni Forums, June 9 and 10, and June 15 to 18.

The German Cybersecurity and Data Protection Workshop, scheduled in June, is under redesign and will transition to an online forum.  The transatlantic workshop will take place over several days throughout June enabling national representatives to participate in multiple short-duration focus sessions.   

For the past month, Marshall Center leadership, faculty and staff have been working on offering events online. Even the alumni network is involved in this process.

The Marshall Center’s Alumni Program Staff and Countering Transnational Organized Crime faculty organized a virtual discussion on responses to COVID-19, and the new roles and responsibilities of law enforcement and military on April 2.  The two-hour event was initiated at the request of our alumni and included about 50 alumni from as many countries as well as past and present Marshall Center faculty and staff. 

“My goal is to have the first virtual seminar on great power competition and COVID-19 to be executed Friday, April 24,” said Dr. Andrew A. Michta, dean of the Marshall Center College of International and Security Studies. “This will be followed by a recorded video presentation by a faculty member reflecting on what we learned from this seminar.”

Dayton said the Marshall Center leadership are looking at reviewing the possibility of hybrid offerings for the Fiscal Year 21 program.” 

“There are many creative ideas out there,” he said.  

The Marshall Center is a leading transatlantic defense educational institution.  Operating since 1993 as a German-American partnership, the Marshall Center offers post-graduate courses, conferences, research programs, foreign area studies, and language courses to civilian and military professionals from around the world.

To date, the Marshall Center has an alumni network of more than 14,000 security professionals from 157 countries. 

The mission of the Marshall Center is to enable solutions to regional and transnational security challenges through capacity building, access, and a globally connected network.