Diplomacy, trade, development focus of global engagement conference

October 24, 2011

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Athens, Ga. - Global engagement is more than just a phrase at the University of Georgia. For the past decade, it has been a central part of the university's strategy. On Nov. 10, the University of Georgia and the Atlanta Consular Corps will take globalization a step further with an inaugural symposium on "Global Engagement 2011: Public diplomacy, trade and economic development." The keynote speaker will be Reta Jo Lewis, special representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, who is a UGA alumna.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Tate Grand Hall. While the event is free and open to the public, early registration at www.uga.edu/oie/pd is advised due to limited seating.

"There's an energy about global engagement at UGA that makes it easy to help cultivate international opportunities," said Jane Gatewood, the director of international partnerships in the Office of International Education. "A symposium like this will hopefully broaden and extend the conversation regarding international engagement at UGA and beyond."

Symposium topics will focus on issues related to global development and civic engagement-specifically public diplomacy, trade and economic development. Throughout the day, panels of consuls general and business and government leaders will explore these subjects as they relate to international relations and local, national and regional economic development efforts.

Bruce Allen, the honorary consul of Liechtenstein, will moderate panels on key issues related to public diplomacy, which involves "encouraging the people of another nation to have goodwill toward your country, and thus support mutually beneficial interactions, trade, and cooperation," Allen said. "Governments of many nations, both large and small, have again come to realize that understanding the peoples of other nations and encouraging them to feel positive about your country is perhaps more important now than it ever has been."

Lewis will give the keynote address at 1 p.m. She received her bachelor's degree from UGA, her master of science in administration of justice from American University and a juris doctor from Emory University School of Law. Her career includes service in the Clinton White House as special assistant to the President for political affairs. During that time, she was senior domestic political adviser for the Summit of the Americas held in Miami, Fla., and was the principal staff coordinator for the White House Task Forces on the 1996 Atlanta Olympic, Paralympic Games and 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The global engagement symposium will close with remarks by Lutz Görgens, dean of the Atlanta Consular Corps and consul general of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In conjunction with the Atlanta Consular Corps, the symposium is organized and sponsored by the Office of International Education and the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at UGA, and is also supported in part by the President's Venture Fund through the generous gifts of the University of Georgia Partners and other donors. The symposium helps kick off events at UGA for International Education Week, which is a national joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of State and Education.

For more information and to register, see www.uga.edu/oie/pd.

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