Monday, June 8, 2015

GlobalPittsburgh Hosts Delegation of Environmental Professionals from Kazakhstan Studying Green Technologies and Innovation

GlobalPittsburgh hosted a group of environmental professionals from Kazakhstan who have come to study green technologies and innovation in the Pittsburgh region. The five Kazakh leaders were in Pittsburgh June 5-14.

The group came to Pittsburgh through the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, which enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American-style democracy at the local level. Their program was titled “Accountable Governance: Green Technologies & Innovation.”

GlobalPittsburgh arranged for the delegates to meet with their professional counterparts working on a variety of environmental issues in the region, learn about U.S. federal, regional, and local government initiatives that undertake environmental cleanup and promote environmentally friendly best practices, and learned about cooperative efforts involving nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the general public.

The delegates, who include officials from the public and private sectors, shared with their U.S. counterparts environmental initiatives in Kazakhstan aimed at promoting waste management, alternative energy, cleaning up chemical and industrial waste, and how they’re dealing with environmental challenges and climate change.

The program is expected to lead to new collaborations between Pittsburgh organizations and organizations in Kazakhstan to help protect people’s health and the environment, and benefit the economies of the United States and Kazakhstan, according to Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program.

“GlobalPittsburgh is pleased to have the opportunity to introduce our distinguished visitors from Kazakhstan to their peers in Pittsburgh and hope that some ongoing linkages may be formed as a result of this Open World training session,” Shrott said.

In Pittsburgh, the delegation met with Jordan Ball, Regional Representative in the Office of U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.; Thomas Bartnik, Executive Director, Pittsburgh Green Innovators; Ron Schwartz, Assistant Regional Director in the Southwest Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Ned Eldridge, President & CEO of eLoop LLC; Mr. Justin Stockdale, Western Regional Director, Pennsylvania Resource Council; Dave Brown, Manager of Wastewater Education, and Bob Stimmler, Training & Development, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (Alcosan); Mike Gable, Executive Director, Construction Junction; Dr. Peter Adams, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Engineering and Public Policy, and Dr. Kelly Klima, Research Scientist, Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University; Rick Smitsky, Sr., District Manager, Waste Management, Inc., including a tour of the Arden Landfill; Dr. John Stolz, Director, Center for Environmental Research and Education, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University; Myrna Newman, Executive Director, and Joe Davick, Assistant Executive Director and DumpBuster Director, Allegheny Cleanways; and Indigo Raffel, Education Coordinator, Conservation Consultants, Inc.

Homestays with local GlobalPittsburgh host member families also allowed the delegates to experience American family life. They also took take part in several cultural and community activities, including a tour of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens; a walking tour of the city and an outdoor concert at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. Over 16,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators.

The visiting delegates were Ms. Aigul Orakovna Kusainova, Specialist, Climate Change Coordination Center; Mr. Aidar Kenesbekuly Makhambet, Deputy General Director, “Zhasyl Damu” (Green Development) JSC; Ms. Mariyam Serikovna Abisheva, Chairperson of the Board, Kazakhstan Innovations Co.; Mr. Roman Vadimovich Mukhin, Executive Director, LLP PromTechnoResource KZ; Ms. Ainel Beysengazyyevna Rymbayeva, Head of the Department of Environmental Information and Analysis, Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan; Mr. Aidar Kenesbekuly Makhambet, Deputy General Director, “Zhasyl Damu” (Green Development) JSC; and Ms. Yulia Beloslyudtseva, Program Manager, Institute for National and International Development Initiatives and Facilitator for Open World.

GlobalPittsburgh, which was founded in 1959 as the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV), boosts international connections in the Pittsburgh Region and around the world through three main programs:
- Coordinating activities and events for globally-minded members.
- Hosting delegations of international leaders for the U.S State Department.
- Attracting international students to the region through its Study Pittsburgh initiative.

For more information on GlobalPittsburgh, visit For more information on Open World, visit

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