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Gangs, terrorist threats topics of Kennedy Center lectures March 26, 29

The David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University will host lectures on gangs in Guatemala and mitigating terrorist threats Friday, March 24, and Wednesday, March 29, at noon in 238 Herald R. Clark Building.

BYU alumnus John Edvalson will present "’They have no respect’: The Impact of Youth Gangs in Nahualá, Guatemala” for an International Field Studies Lecture Friday, March 24.

J. Alan Orlob, vice president of corporate security and loss prevention for Marriott International Lodging, will present “Protecting Soft Targets—Marriott International's Approach to Mitigating the Terrorist Threat” for a Global Awareness Lecture Wednesday, March 29.

Admission to both lectures is free and open to the public.

Edvalson, a native of Benton City, Wash., participated in the Guatemala field study program in 2003, returned as a program facilitator in 2004 and will depart again this spring to continue his research.

He will begin a master’s program at the University of Florida in the fall to continue his interest in cultural anthropology and the issues related to political and gang violence in Central America and the Caribbean.

Orlob oversees all Marriott’s international security operations, as well as its crisis management program.

Prior to working for Marriott, he was the corporate security director for Alghanim International, a private investment holding and management company. He also managed a close-protection detail and served as the director of public safety at Snowbird, Utah.

He is an alumni member of the U.S. State Department's Overseas Security Advisory Council, a security advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and he chairs the Global Security Council for the International Hotel and Restaurant Association.

Orlob has also served as a consultant with the U.S. State Department’s Anti-terrorism Assistance Program on hotel security.

For more information on Kennedy Center events, visit

Writer: Brian Rust

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