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Inter-American Defense Board

2600 Sixteenth Street NW., Washington, DC 20441


202-319-2791 | Email:

CHAIR Vice Adm. Gonzalo Nicolás Ríos Polastri

The Inter-American Defense Board is the oldest permanently constituted, international military organization in the world. It was founded by Resolution XXXIX of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers at Rio de Janeiro in January 1942. The Board is governed according to Statutes that the General Assembly of the Organization of American States approved in March 2006. Senior armed forces officers from the member nations staff the various agencies of the Board. Its three major components are the Council of Delegates, the Secretariat, and the Inter-American Defense College.

The Board studies and recommends to member governments measures it deems necessary for the safety and security of the hemisphere. It also acts as a technical military adviser for the Organization of American States and is involved in projects such as disaster preparedness and humanitarian demining programs in Central and South America.

Established in 1962, the Inter-American Defense College is located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, whose buildings and furnishings the United States Government donated. The United States hosts the College, which prepares senior military officers and civilian functionaries for positions in their respective governments. The College offers an 11-month, professionally-oriented, and fully accredited Masters of Science degree. Multidisciplinary in content, the curriculum centers on the Western Hemisphere's most pressing defense and security issues.

Sources of Information


Documents are posted online to increase the transparency of Inter-American Defense Board activities.


Symposia and seminars are posted on the Board's Web site. A calendar of meetings also is available on the Web site's home page.


News items are available on the home page of the Board's Web site.

Regional Organizations

Links to regional organizations are accessible on the "Strategic Links" Web page. | Email:

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