By Elizabeth Winter
The Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) hosted its hallmark event of the year with the OSAC Annual Briefing, Nov. 15-17, 2022. The event titled, “Resilience as the New Normal”, focused on emerging stronger after the challenges of recent years.
OSAC welcomed a near capacity crowd to Capital One Hall in Tysons, Va., covering pressing topics pertinent to American private sector organizations operating abroad. Organizations of all types—large and small corporations, nonprofits, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions—took part in the event.
Speakers from Coca-Cola, Nielsen, Samaritan’s Purse, and Chemonics International explored how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought challenges spanning from reputational risk and strained supply chains to pausing, pivoting, or pulling up stakes in the region. Experts from the Center for Strategic and International Studies and USAID, along with OSAC’s Europe analyst focused on the invasion’s impact in Africa, the Americas, and Asia. Representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Harvard University, Salesforce, Sibylline, and the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) discussed threat intelligence in a volatile world; strategic team building; and tapping into security teams’ potential to play a more active role in business development, recruitment, sustainability, and bridging organizational divides.
Panels paired security managers with OSAC analysts to discuss the unique needs of diverse travelers, facing “hard-to-measure” and nontraditional threats. Speakers from Notre Dame and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) dove into the importance of developing contingency plans. Senior officials including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, DS Assistant Secretary Gentry Smith, DSS Director Carlos Matus, and regional security officers from posts around the world offered remarks, and attendees took advantage of the chance to connect with all speakers and one another throughout this in-person event.
Elizabeth Winter is the communications team lead at Overseas Security Advisory Council in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security.