Washington D.C. On November 14 and 15, 2012, an estimated 1,500 OSAC constituents came together at the U.S. State Department for the 27th annual meeting of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). Many attendees reported that this may have been the best OSAC meeting they have ever attended. The meeting was presided over by OSAC’s co-chairs Scott Bultrowicz (Director of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service) and John McClurg (Corporate Vice President and CSO for Dell, Inc.).
Ambassadors Cofer Black, Henry Crumpton and Jon Huntsman addressed key issues ranging from the current status of terrorist threats around the world to the challenges and opportunities involving relations between China and the U.S. National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell provided perspectives on how the C-suite views the value of security programs and the broad range of risks organizations face in today’s complex global economy.
Fran Townsend, CNN’s on-air national security advisor and former Executive Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism addressed the global implications of developments in Iran and Israel; followed by a thought-provoking panel of experts she led addressing the cause and effect of the current regional instability surrounding Iran and Israel.
The outstanding group of staff analysts from OSAC’s Research and Information Support Center (RISC) provided an overview and update on current conditions in the various regions they cover across the globe. And if all of the blockbuster presentations were not enough, OSAC further exceeded attendees’ expectations with a series of break-out sessions addressing issues such as the current conditions for doing business in Mexico; the Fukushima, Japan, nuclear disaster; cyber risks and threats; hacktivist attacks; risks and mitigation for cloud computing; dealing with real-life high-profile events; crisis management and security management best practices.
OSAC has a big challenge ahead putting together another hard-hitting program for the 28th Annual OSAC meeting, scheduled for November 20 and 21, 2013. It is easy to see why OSAC is consistently rated as the premier public-private partnership. We can only hope that Congress will have the wisdom to continue to fully fund the vital services and support that OSAC, the RISC analysts and the OSAC Country Councils provide to American business interests in what is often a hostile and unstable world.