Remarks by Chargé d’Affairs David Kostelancik
at the George C. Marshall Center Alumni Event
November 15, 2017
Thank you Susan, and thank you Ambassador Bosenbacher, for the opportunity to say a few words about tonight’s alumni event.
Ambassador Hoffmann, Professor Roloff, Attachés, Marshall Center alumni, distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen; I’d like to welcome you all to Hungary’s annual George C. Marshall Center Alumni event. The last Marshall Center alumni Outreach Networking Event in Hungary was in November 2016. ILEA has once again provided a wonderful venue for this gathering. Thank you to Susan Ostrobinski, the ILEA director, for hosting us. Thanks also to the Office of Defense Cooperation and the Marshall Center’s Alumni Relations Department for making this event possible.
Gatherings of Marshall Center alumni are an important opportunity to promote cooperation, share ideas and best practices, and engage in continuous professional development. They are also proof that the time you spent in Garmisch is just the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the Marshall Center and your fellow Marshall Center alumni.
The value of the Marshall Center network has been recognized at the highest levels of the U.S. Government. This is why the Marshall Center continues to invest heavily in its alumni. The Marshall Center alumni network consists of more than 12,000 security sector professionals from 152 countries. The larger Department of Defense alumni network has over 50,000 members.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, speaking at the Marshall Center this past June in Garmisch at the 70th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan said,
“Marshall Center Alumni comprise a network of thought-leaders and practitioners, serving as resources to one another and decision-makers worldwide, recognizing no nation alone can provide for its security.”
It is in the spirit of this cooperation that we hold these events, to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships; promoting active, peaceful, whole-of-government approaches to address transnational and regional security challenges; and creating and enhancing enduring partnerships worldwide.
Many opportunities are available for Marshall Center alumni, including paid research fellowships, possible publishing opportunities in Marshall Center publications, and regional and national outreach networking events. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and be active members of this vibrant alumni network.
I also encourage you also to stay in touch with each other and call upon one another for advice and assistance as you tackle security challenges in your countries.
Once again, thank you for allowing me to be part of this important event. I look forward to an enjoyable, thought-provoking evening among colleagues and friends.