Richard D. Downie, PhD

DSS 797: Security Challenges in Latin America

Richard Downie is Executive Vice President for Global Strategies for OMNITRU Technologies, which develops programs, strategies and rapid technical and operational solutions for government agencies and private industries worldwide. He is also a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies of Missouri State University's Washington D.C. Program; and is on the Board of Directors of the World Hwa Rang Do Association, a non-profit martial art. A graduate of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point (Class of 1976), he holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Southern California. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Previously, Dr. Downie served for nine years as the Director (SES-3 equivalent) of the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the Department of Defense's regional security center for the Americas. At the Perry Center, he led a wide variety of courses, seminars and conferences on security and defense topics, as well as dialogues and strategy workshops for ministries of defense and cabinet-level national leaders.

During a distinguished military career, he held a wide variety of command and staff positions as an Infantryman and a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Latin America. Dr. Downie served in Germany; Colombia, where he completed the LANCERO (International Ranger) School as the distinguished graduate; U.S. Army South; the United States Southern Command; the U.S. Joint Staff; the Multinational Specialized Unit in Bosnia; and Mexico as the Defense and Army Attaché. He was also the first commander of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Dr. Downie authored Learning from Conflict: The U.S. Military in Vietnam, El Salvador and the Drug War, Greenwood Press, as well as numerous scholarly articles and other publications. His military education includes the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff Course and the Defense Strategy Course. He was also a Fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Seminar XXI Program.

His US and foreign awards include the: Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit; Defense Meritorious and Meritorious Service Medals; Joint Service, Army Commendation and Achievement Medals; Army Expeditionary Medal; Inter-American Defense Board Medal; Order of Military Merit, Order of Merit for Democracy (Grand Knight level), and Superior War College Medal (Colombia); Bosnia/ Former Yugoslavia NATO Medal; Order of Military Merit (Mexico); Order of the Peruvian Cross (Peru); the First Medal of Laws (University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico); and the Order of St. Maurice (Commander-level).