Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq – September 12th, 2021 – Representing the U.S. Consulate General to Erbil, Consul General Robert Palladino paid a visit to The American University of Kurdistan and met with AUK President Dr. Randall Rhodes to discuss areas of mutual interest and possible cooperation on Wednesday, September 8th.
In the meeting, attended by Ajin Saadi, U.S. Consulate General’s Focal Point at AUK, Thomas Hayes, Chair of General Education and Dr. Khedir R. Khedir, Dean of AUK’s College of Arts and Sciences, CG Palladino was introduced to AUK’s history, its academic programs, and mission and vision with a focus on the providing the best of American-style liberal arts and professional education to produce graduates with global perspectives who are fully engaged in the region’s advancement.
President Rhodes also highlighted AUK’s capacity-building activities supported by the U.S. Department of State Grant titled “Support to American-Style Higher Education in Iraq,” including AUK’s partnership with six U.S. universities, including faculty and staff mentoring, supportive of AUK’s accreditation journey, faculty research collaborations, and mobilities. The grant also included scholarships for 48 students who are now engaged in their bachelor’s programs.
AUK’s outreach to the public and private sectors was also discussed. One example discussed was AUK’s work with the Kurdistan Region’s health sector, facilitated by its new College of Nursing. U.S. Counsel General Palladino was invited to attend the “First National Conversation on K-19 Education in Kurdistan” on September 19th, 2021; this will be hosted by AUK and serve as a forum to discuss international best practices across the spectrum from elementary to doctoral education.
During the conversation, it was evident that the University’s mission and that of the Office of the U.S. Consulate General in Erbil shared many of the same values and agreed to work together on initiatives in the future.
After the meeting with AUK’s President, U.S. Consul General Palladino was given a campus tour of the Mustafa Barzani Building.