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The Consul General of the United States of America in Erbil, Mr. Joseph S. Pennington, received a delegation from AUK in his office at the Erbil Consulate on Thursday, September 4, 2014.  The purpose of the meeting was to introduce AUK officially to the U.S. government as a new fully approved Research University in the Kurdistan Region. Mr. Pennington was joined by Mr. William R. Silkworth, Deputy Principal Officer, and Lidia Avakian, Acting Public Affairs Officer. AUK was represented in the meeting by Board of Trustees Member Dr. Muthanna G. Abdul Razzaq, Board of Trustees Member Dr. Honar Khoshavi Issa, and English Language Institute Director Dr. Paul Martin Kingery. Discussion centered upon the great need for a research university in the Kurdistan Region and the Middle East in general, the superior quality education that AUK was bringing to the Region, the need for Consular services for incoming American Administrators and professors, and mechanisms for collaboration between AUK and the US Government. Consul Pennington expressed strong support for higher education in Kurdistan and for the establishment of AUK in the Dohuk Province.  Action steps from the meeting included formal recognition of AUK by the U.S. Department of Education, funding mechanisms such as the Iraqi Youth Leadership Exchange Program and the Ambassador’s Fund, registration of AUK with Duns and Bradstreet and the U.S. Systems Award Management System, and the need to spread awareness of AUK’s excellent programs to the Social Responsibility units of American oil and oil services companies now working in, or entering, the Region.  AUK looks forward to beginning a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the U.S. Consul, the U.S. Government, American companies, and the American people in general.