Perhaps in a bid to demonstrate ongoing "thought leadership," as people in the PR profession might say, the company is hosting a symposium on December 4-5 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Center in DC on "Public/Private Partnership in Peacekeeping."
For a limited time only, registration for members of academia, the military, or government costs only $295 (down from $395), while industry members pay $395 (down from $495), according to the invitation.
Attendees will be welcomed by president Gary Jackson and hear presentations by, among others, former UN undersecretary general Jacques Klein and Tom Barnett, author of the influential book "Pentagon’s New Map."
Not clear if speakers will also include Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who today was sent a letter from Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requesting further information related to the company’s contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a summary of the event, the company states that the "Blackwater Global Peace and Stability Operations Institute (BW GPSOI) believes the private sector has expertise that the public sector can successfully leverage to rebuild failed nation states."
Given that there is no lack of failed nation states and that the US military faces some serious resource and budget issues, contractors like Blackwater will no doubt be around for a long time to come, regardless of their current PR woes. PRWeek recently analyzed Blackwater's latest knock on its reputation.