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U.S. General Wesley Clark Salutes Kosovo American Education Fund Program


Economic Development Program Educates Future Kosovo Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. (PRWEB) October 25, 2012

More than 300 attendees and distinguished guests gathered for “An Evening with General Wesley K. Clark” on Thursday, October 18 at the Emerald Hotel in Prishtina, Kosovo. The guest list comprised an exclusive and high profile group including Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo, Deputy Prime Minister Mimoza Kusari-Lila, Minister of Interior Bajram Rexhepi, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo Tracey Ann Jacobson, USAID Mission Director Maureen Shauket, and University of Prishtina Rector Mr. Ibrahim Gashi. General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) gave the keynote address, emphasizing the continuing need for Kosovo to exist as a strong, independent country recognized for its strength and prosperous economy by the international community. This fundraiser was sponsored by the Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF), a program designed and administered by American Councils for International Education, and originally funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Following remarks made by Her Excellency Atifete Jahjaga, General Clark stressed the importance of economic development as a tool for sustainable change in Kosovo. He lauded the KAEF program for establishing a foundation of progressive international education that will continue to inspire Kosovo's emerging leaders to work towards transforming their country. “The role of the Kosovo American Education Fund in providing scholarships to young Kosovars in some of America's finest graduate schools is one of the pillars upon which the future of Kosovo depends,” said General Clark. In addition, he commended American Councils for its professionalism and effectiveness in the administration of KAEF, calling it the best investment that has been made in Kosovo's future. He asked all Kosovars to support the program.

The people of Kosovo have a long history of appreciation for General Clark's leadership in the region, remembering his role as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander in Europe. In this capacity, General Clark worked to bring peace to a region of Yugoslavia that had experienced stratification and ethnic cleansing. The gala event was an opportunity for guests to both honor General Clark for his meaningful contributions to Kosovo, and to support the KAEF program.

In closing the evening, American Councils' Vice President David Patton, surrounded by KAEF alumni, stated, “Each Fellow's story is one of individual professional success. Even more importantly, their story is one of collective success in creating a stronger and more prosperous Kosovo.”

“The event had a great turnout. It was nice to see so many people gather to support General Clark and KAEF. Thanks to the generous donations from attendees and distinguished guests, we raised over 50,000 Euros for the program,” stated Miriam Parel, American Councils' Chief Strategy and Development Officer.

About General Clark
American General Wesley K. Clark, born December 23, 1944, is a retired general of the United States Army. Graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and later graduated from the Command and General Staff College with a master's degree in military service. He spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. In addition to being an educator, writer, and commentator, General Clark is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic advisory firm he founded in 2003.

About the Kosovo American Education Fund
The Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) is a perpetual education fund dedicated to the long-term economic development of Kosovo through the education of its people. KAEF provides fellowships to promising Kosovars for top-level training at select U.S. universities. After returning to Kosovo, program graduates assume leadership positions in government, business, finance, and nonprofit organizations, using their knowledge and attained skills to generate sustainable and positive change. From 2005 through 2012, KAEF has awarded 59 master's-level fellowships through a competitive, merit-based process. Thirteen students are currently completing their studies in the U.S.

The U.S. Agency for International Development provided original funding for the endowment.

About American Councils
American Councils for International Education is a leader in international education, academic exchange, and overseas language immersion, creating opportunities that prepare individuals and institutions to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world.


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