FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Sept. 3, 2015) -- The senior advisor for External Relations and Government Affairs at the Washington, D.C. office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, is scheduled to talk at the upcoming Maneuver Support Center of Excellence guest speaker program.

Hosted by the U.S. Army Engineer School, Jana Mason, UNHCR, has been invited to speak from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 9 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium.

"World conflicts have forced a growing trend of refugees, causing economic problems and stress in the countries they are migrating to for aid and shelter," according to Dave Chuber, USAES historian. "The magnitude of the problem requires assistance from the U.S. and its allies."

"Many of the refugees are in countries where U.S. Soldiers are building hospitals, camps, running security operations and containing medical outbreaks," he added.

The situation is likely to impact Soldiers who train at Fort Leonard Wood, Chuber said.

"Due to the large numbers of refugees and displaced peoples, Europe is facing a crises and is asking for U.S. help. Today, many of the U.S. officers and allied officers who train at Fort Leonard Wood may be faced with the world refugee problem when they return home or are assigned to that area," he said.

Chuber said the Fort Leonard Wood community is fortunate to have Mason shed light on the subject.

"Jana Mason works as the liaison to the Department of State and Congress," he said. "She was on the U.S. Committee for Refugees for 11 years. She assessed refugee problems in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and China. Her talk will help Fort Leonard Wood Soldiers understand a growing problem that they may face in a world of shifting cultural movements."

"UNHCR is now one of the world's principle humanitarian agencies, with 449 locations in 123 countries," Chuber added.

According to Mason, her discussion will focus on the current humanitarian crises around the globe, the work of UNHCR and their many partners; with a particular emphasis on areas where military operations overlap with those of humanitarian agencies.

"I hope to include discussion of such issues as safe zones/buffer zones, humanitarian evacuation and post-conflict reconstruction," Mason said. "I'd like to leave the audience with a deeper understanding of the ways in which military and humanitarian agencies can complement each other's work, as well as the challenges inherent in such cooperation."

This event is open to all permanent-party Soldiers, student populations, Fort Leonard Wood units and the public.

No reservations are needed to attend the lecture that is part of the ongoing guest speaker program.