Three FDU international students enjoyed a rare behind-the-scenes opportunity to explore US foreign policy by participating in the U.S. Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference at Annapolis, MD from April 8-11. The 2013 conference theme was “A Time of Transition: Crafting Policy for the Near Term.”
FDU participants included Muhammad-Haseeb Ahmad and Umar Khalid, undergraduate engineering students from Pakistan studying in the US through the Department of State's IREX program, and Amogh Tathe, a pharmaceutical chemistry graduate student from India. “Each of them represented FDU extremely well and I am proud that we had such great students at this conference,” said Jim Deleppo, Director of the Office of International Student Services.
As part of a select delegation of international students, the FDU representatives debated US foreign policy with American college students and foreign affairs experts. Speakers included Admiral William McRaven, commander of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Richard Armitage, Deputy Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2005, and Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky, a veteran diplomat who has served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs and as President's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.
In addition to participating in formal conference activities, participants enjoyed informal networking and social time with US Naval Academy midshipmen and experienced typical academy activities, including sailing on a 44-foot boat used for midshipman training and a Yard Patrol vessel used for applying navigational skills to ship-handling and training scenarios.
“The roundtable discussions were the best part of the conference. It was not only great to hear naval perspective on current issues but also it was a good platform to share ideas and concerns relating to international affairs,” said Tathe, adding, “The perspective, knowledge and understanding that I gained by going to this conference was invaluable and has enhanced my global education.” According to Ahmad and Khalid, many conference attendees had considerable knowledge of Pakistan and its geographic region, but everyone was eager to learn more.
The FDU students were part of a delegation organized by One To World (http://www.one-to-world.org
). Founded in 1977, One To World works to help international students and Fulbright scholars adjust to American life and take a more active role in the community. The delegation of international students, organized by One To World, was first invited to participate in 1991.
April 08, 2013 - April 11, 2013