Mexico, Drugs and Crime
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.
For the last decade, Mexico, and especially its border regions, has suffered skyrocketing murder rates and a breakdown in public safety driven by a surge in drug-fueled organized crime. The “Merida Initiative,” first crafted in 2008, was an attempt by the United States to help its neighbor, but the violence today continues unabated. Johnson, the senior U.S. government official responsible for this “initiative” from its inception until January 2011, will address how it was crafted, what it has delivered, and the prospects for bringing down Mexico’s high rates of murder and violence.
Biography (provided by the speaker)
David T. Johnson served as Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs from October 2007 to January 2011. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Johnson served as Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Embassy in London from August 2003 until August 2007.
Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, entered the United States Foreign Service in 1977. He served as the Afghan Coordinator for the United States from May 2002 to July 2003. He served as United States Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from January 1998 until December 2001. Before serving as Ambassador to the OSCE, Mr. Johnson was Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs at the White House and Spokesman for the National Security Council from 1995 to 1997. Previously, he served as Deputy Spokesman at the State Department and Director of the State Department Press Office; United States Consul General in Vancouver; and Deputy Director of the State Department’s Operations Center.
Mr. Johnson has also worked in the Department of State on European security issues and as desk officer for Berlin, Austria, and Switzerland; an economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin; and a vice consul at the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez. Before joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Johnson was an Assistant National Trust Examiner with the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Mr. Johnson earned a B.A. in economics from Emory University in 1976. He attended Canada’s National Defense College in 1989-1990.