Durham County

U.S. Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of U.S. Southern Command, to speak at Duke

U.S. Adm. Kurt W. Tidd, commander of the United States Southern Command, will join Gen. Martin Dempsey for a talk on “Current Challenges & Opportunities for the U.S. Military in the Caribbean, Central and South America.”

The talk will take place at 6 p.m. Monday, March 27, in Fleishman Commons at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Duke political science professor Peter Feaver will moderate the discussion, which is free and open to the public.

As the Department of Defense’ front-line official in dealing with the drug war, regional instability, and national security implications from migrant flows, Tidd will address unique threats and opportunities coming out of the Caribbean, Central and South America. He will also speak to President Trump’s initiatives, including the wall and renegotiating NAFTA, and how they intersect with these security challenges.

Tidd has served as commander of United States Southern Command since January 2016, when he succeeded Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly.

Prior to his current role, Tidd was assistant to Dempsey when he was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dempsey served from 2011-15 as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving as principal military adviser to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council.

“Adm. Tidd heads Southern Command, the military organization responsible for addressing security challenges in Latin and South America,” Feaver said. “Many experts have warned that this region will grow in national security importance in the coming years and so we are fortunate to have the senior most officer with 24/7 responsibility for this region visiting Duke."

Tidd also holds various decorations and awards, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (twice) and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

The lecture is sponsored by the Program in American Grand Strategy at Duke, and is co-sponsored by the Triangle Institute for Security Studies, Duke’s political science department, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Parking is available in the Bryan Center Parking Deck.