International Recognition For Guyana-Born Scholar




Dr. Scott Tollefson, Perry Center Dean of Academic Affairs, l. presents the The 2015 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education to Dr. Ivelaw Griffith.

By Allison Skeete

Special To NAN

News Americas, Washington, DC, Fri. Dec. 18, 2015: Guyana-born scholar Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith was on December 15th presented with The 2015 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education at the Perry Center at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

The award, named after the Center’s founder, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry, the Perry Award, is presented annually to individuals and institutions making significant contributions in the fields of security and defense education. Awardees are selected for achievements in promoting education, research, and knowledge-sharing in defense and security issues in the Western Hemisphere.

Dr. Griffith, one of the world’s leading scholars on Caribbean defense and security issues. He has years of service as a scholar, author, and educational leader. His teaching and innovative research have informed a generation of policymakers and practitioners and enabled the advancement of an international and cooperative environment for security among nations throughout the Caribbean Diaspora.

Dr. Griffith’s selection for this prestigious award was aided by his significant and tangible work at several colleges and universities across the United States where he has served as Dean, Provost, Senior Vice President, and University President; currently he is a Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

His scholarly contributions and participation in countless international forums have been instrumental in building many relationships that have further increased democratic security to the Caribbean Diaspora’s benefit.

The work contributed by this stellar scholar in Dr. Griffith is a source of pride for his native Guyana and many throughout the Caribbean Diaspora who have come to know him either as a student, colleague, or otherwise.


Gerry Gouveia and Sheridon Hill who nominated Dr. Griffith with the Guyanese scholar, r.

Sheridon Hill of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, who spearheaded the nomination of Dr. Griffith for the honor, expressed his admiration and thanks for the knowledge that has continued to be a source for him also excelling in his profession.

Other notable supporters in attendance at the event included Guyana’s Ambassador Bayney Karran; Luigi Einaudi former US Ambassador to the Organization of American States; Sherry Tross, Ombudsman of the OAS; UN Assistant Secretary General Dr. Edward Greene; Captain Gerald (Gerry) Gouvia, CEO of Roraima Airways Inc., and Colonel Darnley E. Wyke, Defense and Military Attaché of Trinidad and Tobago.

A common remark resounding by his guests and the presenting group was the high regard they hold Dr. Griffith in for his work, dedication and commitment to every aspect of security and defense education.  He shared the stage with fellow honoree – Admiral Vidal Francisco Soberón Sanz, Secretary of the Navy of Mexico, and delighted him and the audience with his congratulations in Spanish as he began his acceptance speech.

As Secretary of the Navy and a member of Mexico’s federal executive cabinet Admiral Soberón has the responsibility for overseeing the country’s navy and marines.  He has been consistent in promoting education, research, outreach, and the sharing of knowledge.

Admiral Soberón has also led naval institutions that have done the same. Under his command, the Mexican Navy has safeguarded the integrity and sovereignty of Mexico’s territorial waters while simultaneously promoting an international and cooperative security environment, fostering collaborative relationships with Mexico’s neighboring countries. Under the leadership of the Secretariat of the Navy, the doctoral program at the Center for Superior Naval Studies (CESNAV) has become a leading defense curriculum in the Americas.

Admiral Soberón’s leadership has done much to strengthen regional partnerships which help to overcome transnational challenges.

Admiral Soberón’s and Dr. Griffith’s have made lifelong contributions to their respective fields and have furthered democratic security in the Americas which embody the highest ideals of the Center and the values embodied by the Perry Award.


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