Friday, November 6, 2009

GlobalPittsburgh® Coordinating Local Visit of U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Nov. 10-11

GlobalPittsburgh® will host the Honorable Michael W. Michalak, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, for a two-day visit to Pittsburgh Nov. 10-11, 2009, highlighted by meetings with leaders of the academic, energy and technology communities.

GlobalPittsburgh has arranged numerous meetings for Ambassador Michalak, including sessions with top leaders from key corporations and research institutions, as well as with heads of many of Pittsburgh’s colleges and universities, according to GlobalPittsburgh President Roger Cranville.

"Vietnam is interested in creating partnerships with and learning lessons from Pittsburgh in the field of education, as well as in the energy and technology sectors," Cranville said. "Welcoming Ambassador Michalak to Pittsburgh is a very important step in developing these partnerships, which will be of great benefit to the Pittsburgh region."

Ambassador Michalak will start his visit with a morning session at Chatham University with regional academic leaders to discuss the Ambassador's focus on education in Vietnam, including opportunities to build bridges between Vietnamese and American institutions of higher learning, and to explore opportunities for student recruiting and exchanges, cooperation and collaboration. Vietnam is now the fastest-growing foreign student market in the United States and currently ranks 20th among all countries sending students to the United States.

Later in the day, the Ambassador will deliver a lecture titled “U.S.-Vietnam Relationships, Education Links, and Technology Opportunities” at the University of Pittsburgh. The lecture is presented by the Asian Studies Center of the University of Pittsburgh in conjunction with numerous other campus departments.

Ambassador Michalak will offer his ideas on the U.S.- Vietnam political and economic relationship, as well as the importance of educational links between the U.S and Vietnam. He will discuss faculty & student exchange, executive training, and university collaboration. Other topics will include priority technologies, products and service needs in Vietnam, including intellectual property security.

A career foreign service officer with extensive knowledge and experience in Asia, Michalak was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam on August 10, 2007. Prior to that, he served as the U.S. Senior Official to APEC, Bureau of East Asia Pacific Affairs.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ambassador Michalak received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Physics from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., respectively. He received a second Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He speaks Chinese and Japanese.

GlobalPittsburgh works with the U.S. Department of State and other international organizations to arrange and coordinate visits by foreign individuals and delegations interested in learning more about Pittsburgh’s centers of excellence, including energy, technology, health sciences, green design and education, and in studying the region’s economic and environmental transformation.

For 50 years, GlobalPittsburgh (formerly the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors) has welcomed volunteers and hosts to act as tour guides, dinner hosts, home stay hosts and drivers for visiting delegations and individuals. For more information about GlobalPittsburgh programs, visit www.GlobalPittsburgh.org, call 412-392-4513 or send email to info@pciv.org.

For further information about Ambassador Michalak’s visit, contact Thomas Buell, Jr., VP-Communications, at 412-720-2218 or tcbuell@versopartners.com.

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