ceremony Friday February 10 in the National Palace, University
of Georgia Professor of International Relations, Dr. Howard J.
Wiarda was honored by the Government of the Dominican Republic.
Wiarda was awarded the “Orden de Colon” (Order of Columbus ) by
President Leonel Fernández. The Orden de Colon is the highest
honor that the Dominican Republic government can bestow.
Wiarda began his academic career in the Dominican Republic fifty
years ago when he wrote his MA thesis (and first book) on “The
methods of Control in the Dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo.” He
wrote his Ph.D. thesis (and second and third books) on the
post-Trujillo “Transition to Democracy” and the U.S military
intervention, a prelude to Vietnam of 1965.
Howard J. Wiarda is the Dean Rusk Professor of International
Relations and founding head of the Department of International
Affairs at the University of Georgia. He is considered one of
the country’s leading experts on foreign policy, comparative
politics, and international affairs.
Wiarda has written seven books, one in three volumes, about the
Dominican Republic. One of his children was born there. Over a
fifty year period he has visited and done research in that
country on thirty-three occasions. A leading Latin America
expert and prolific author of over seventy books, he has also
done extensive research on Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia, the
Middle East, and Southern Africa.
honoring Dr. Wiarda, President Fernández spoke of his
“inestimable contributions” to Dominican scholarship. About 150
guests and friends gathered for the event in the Diplomatic room
of the Palace.
award ceremony was followed by a lunch in the President’s
private dining room. Dr. Wiarda then met one-on-one with the
President in his private office for a wide-ranging discussion of
politics and international affairs.
President Fernández, who was a Dr. Wiarda student thirty-five
years ago, is considered the best and brightest of a new crop of
Latin American democratic presidents. Finishing his third
elected term this year, he is thought to be a leading prospect
for a high UN or other international organization position.