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Remarks by President John J. DeGioia

Georgetown University Welcome to the U.S.-India Higher Education Summit

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Gaston Hall
Georgetown University

Thank you all for being with us this morning at Georgetown University. It’s an honor to be part of this important gathering on 21st century education and to be with so many leaders representing higher education and the American and Indian governments. This is a topic of vital importance and one that we have been engaging very deeply here at Georgetown. 

We come together in the spirit of partnership advanced by the ongoing conversations between President Obama and Prime Minister Singh, and we wish to build upon that spirit in our gathering today. It’s in this context that we are grateful to be a part of today’s conference, and we appreciate each of you being here with us.

Whether you are with us in person or joining us from around the world onthe event’s webcast, let me welcome you to the first session of the 2011 United States-India Higher Education Summit.

Co-hosted by the United States and India, today’s summit provides us with the opportunity to deepen our engagement and strengthen the collaboration between our two nations, which, as President Obama said when visiting the Indian Parliament in 2010, “will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” We are deeply honored to have with us today Minister Kapil Sibal, Indian Minister of Human Resource Development, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to speak about their vision of this partnership. Their committed leadership on education has provided the firm foundation upon which this conference builds.

I’d also like to offer my gratitude to all those who have contributed to this event, especially all the panelists offering their insights today. Thank you.

It’s now my honor to introduce to you Ambassador Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Appointed Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs in May 2009, he oversees U.S. foreign policy with India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. He previously served as Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives from 2006 to mid-2009 and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi from 2003 – 2006.

Since he entered the Foreign Service in 1985, he has served at the American Embassies in Tunisia, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He has also held a number of positions at the State Department in Washington.  

It’s my pleasure to invite to the podium... Ambassador Robert Blake.


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