The Institute for Defense and Business Concludes Governance and Economics Conference for Marines of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)

Nov 10, 2011, 10:58 ET from Institute for Defense and Business

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Nov. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Marines from the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) completed a Governance and Economics Conference in San Diego, CA which was held from November 6-9, 2011. The pre-deployment roundtable conference was developed and delivered by the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) through its Center for Stabilization and Economic Reconstruction (CSER).  The conference focused on governance and economic development transition strategies and the activities planned and underway by the Afghan government, U.S. government agencies, international partners, the private sector and non-governmental organizations.  Ambassador (ret.) David Litt, Executive Director of CSER, chaired the event.


The Governance and Economics Conference is part of a pre-deployment program designed to prepare I MEF (FWD) in advance of its upcoming deployment to Regional Command Southwest, which includes the Helmand and Nimroz provinces in southwestern Afghanistan.  The deployment comes at a critical juncture in Afghanistan as U.S. and NATO forces continue to transition responsibility to the Afghans for their own security.  I MEF (FWD) based out of Camp Pendleton, CA will replace Camp Lejeune's II MEF early next year.

Major General Charles M. Gurganus, Commanding General, I MEF (FWD) said of the pre-deployment roundtable:  "I sincerely appreciate the effort put forth by the IDB and speakers of this conference.  The material discussed throughout the past three days is priceless and something we, as I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), can take with us to Regional Command (Southwest) when we deploy next year."

The conference included discussions on reintegration, relationships between the military and civilian organizations, economic development, corruption, rule of law and land disputes, good governance, and community engagement.

A total of 18 speakers, representing a diverse range of organizations involved in Afghanistan, presented at the conference:

  • Major General Charles M. Gurganus, Commanding General, I MEF (FWD)
  • Mr. James DeHart, Director, Office for Afghanistan, Department of State
  • Mr. Paul Reid, Senior Civilian Representative, Regional Platform Southwest
  • Colonel Yori Escalante, AC/S C9 for Regional Command Southwest
  • Dr. Stephen Downes-Martin, Research Professor, Naval War College
  • Mr. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Senior Correspondent and Associate Editor, The Washington Post
  • Governor Gulab Mangal, Governor, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
  • Mr. Michael O'Neill, United Kingdom Senior Representative, Southern Afghanistan
  • Mr. Dean Fischer, Assistance and Economics Officer, Office of Afghanistan, Department of State
  • Mr. Thomas Baltazar, Senior Advisor, Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, USAID
  • Mr. Wes Harris, Former Regional Agricultural Advisor, Regional Command Southwest
  • Dr. David Kilcullen, President and CEO, Caerus Associates
  • Dr. Carter Malkasian, Director, Stability and Development Program, CNA
  • Mr. Patricio Asfura-Heim, Political-Military Analyst, CNA
  • Mr. Mike Metrinko, Independent Consultant
  • Dr. David Katz, State Department Advisor, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, Army War College
  • Mr. Ben Connable, International Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation
  • Mr. Abdullah Sharif, Former Senior Governance Advisor, PRT Kandahar

The IDB has delivered pre-deployment conferences for Army and Marines Corps division and corps-level headquarters heading to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006.  The Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations is the DoD proponent for these conferences.

The Institute for Defense and Business (IDB) is a non-profit research and education institute formed in 1997 by UNC-Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina. The IDB offers a series of educational programs for the military, government, non-governmental agencies, and private sector, in the areas of logistics, life cycle management, organizational change, and stabilization and economic reconstruction.

For further information contact Mr. Jason Rodriguez at (919) 969-8008 or

SOURCE Institute for Defense and Business