Video On Demand

Looking South: A Conversation with GEN Laura Richardson on Security Challenges in Latin America

August 4, 2023 • 10:00 – 10:45 am EDT

The Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted a virtual Smart Women, Smart Power and Aerospace Security Project conversation with General Laura J. Richardson, U.S. Army, 32nd Commander of the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). General Richardson will sit down with Dr. Kathleen McInnis, Director of the CSIS Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative, and Kari Bingen, Director of the CSIS Aerospace Security Project for a discussion on her priorities within the SOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR), which includes parts of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). General Richardson will discuss how SOUTHCOM is approaching challenges facing this strategic region, including the People’s Republic of China’s growing presence and influence; counternarcotics operations; maritime domain awareness; space; and more. 

Over her career, General Richardson has commanded from the Company to Theater Army level. Prior to taking command of SOUTHCOM, she served as the Commanding General of U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) which is the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Northern Command.  She commanded an Assault Helicopter Battalion in combat in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) 2003-04, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and deployed to Afghanistan as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications at Headquarters International Security Assistance Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  She has also served in numerous staff assignments at a myriad of locations, including Military Aide to the Vice President at the White House in Washington, D.C., the Army’s Legislative Liaison to Congress at the U.S. Capitol, and at the Pentagon as an Army Campaign Planner. 

 She is a native of Northglenn, Colorado and a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado. She commissioned into the U.S. Army and trained as an Army Aviator. She holds a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.

This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.

Contact Information

  • Alexis Day
  • Program Manager and Research Associate, Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative and Outreach Manager, International Security Program.
Kari Bingen
Director, Aerospace Security Project and Senior Fellow, International Security Program
Kathleen Mcinnis
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative

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