Feb. 5, 2015 —
The National Defense University inducted Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs into the International Fellows Hall of Fame on Thursday, January 29th. Minister Rinkēvičs arrived with a delegation from Latvia, along with former NDU classmate LTG Werther Araya, Chairman of the Inter-American Defense Board.
In his remarks, Minister Rinkēvičs compared present day global security issues with global security 15 years ago when Rinkēvičs was a student at NDU. He said that present-day international tension concerning global security has increased and that the challenges to protect democratic values in a global context are amplified. Minister Rinkēvičs’ role in these issues is also augmented due to his current position as a regional leader of Latvia’s European Union presidency. Commenting on his time at NDU, Minister Rinkēvičs said that the institution played a formative role in his education as a leader. He thanked the United States for its steadfast support of transatlantic security and its Baltic military presence.
Addressing Minister Rinkēvičs in his welcome remarks, NDU President Major General Padilla said that the Foreign Minister had “brought great credit upon (his) country, (his) classmates and fellow alumni, and to NDU as a whole.” Before coming to NDU in 1999, Minister Rinkēvičs aided his country’s peace and stability by integrally shaping Latvia’s security and foreign policy during post-Soviet independence. Returning from NDU in 2000, Minister Rinkēvičs played a pivotal role in securing Latvian NATO membership. The Foreign Minister is the recipient of numerous awards, including Commander, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland (2013), Grand Officer of the Order of Three Stars (2007) and the NATO award for Meritorious Service (2007).
Minister Rinkēvičs is the 49th inductee in the International Fellows Hall of Fame, and the 4th alum to be inducted from his graduating class. It is with great pleasure and honor that NDU welcomes him to its Hall of Fame.