Security and humanitarian issues in the Americas of relevance to Florida to be focus of Jan. 23 lecture

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm.
Steven Ratti

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the United States Southern Command’s director of plans and operations and a Florida State University alumnus, will discuss security and humanitarian issues within the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the situation in Haiti two years after its devastating earthquake, at Florida State University on Monday, Jan. 23.

As the Southern Command’s director of plans and operations, Ratti directs all military operations in the Caribbean, Central and South America in support of the joint command’s four-star combatant commander. He is only the second U.S. Coast Guard officer to serve as a director in a conventional Department of Defense command. His responsibilities include counter-narcoterrorism activities as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to promote democracy, stability and collective approaches to regional security.

“Florida State University’s ‘Human Rights and National Security in the 21st Century’ lecture series was launched to explore tensions between human rights interests and national security imperatives in a post-9/11 environment,” said Mark Schlakman, senior program director for the university’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. “Given the focus of this lecture and its relevance to Florida, in addition to the fact that our featured speaker is an FSU alumnus, this event seemed like a natural.”

Prior to assuming his current position, Ratti served as director of Joint Interagency Task Force West, the United States Pacific Command’s “executive agent” for planning and implementing counter-drug strategy throughout Asia and the Pacific. He previously commanded four Coast Guard cutters: the USCGC Point Hope, out of Sabine, Texas; the USCGC Sapelo, out of Eureka, Calif.; the USCGC Thetis, out of Key West, Fla.; and the USCGC Jarvis, out of Honolulu.

A 1978 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and management, Ratti received a Master of Science degree in human resources management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science degree in instructional technology from Florida State.

This special event is a joint Human Rights and National Security in the 21st Century and Shepard and Ruth K. Broad International Lecture Series forum and is free and open to the public. It will be held:


12:30 – 1:15 P.M.



Public parking is available across the street from the College of Law at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.