I’m Adam Ereli, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or ECA.
On behalf of the State Department and our Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, thank you for being here today.
As alumni of ECA programs, you know that we cannot overstate the importance of people-to-people connections in fostering greater understanding and lasting partnerships between the United States and Laos.
The Lao-American Alumni Overseas Students Club is just one of many great examples of how you can continue your relationships with American friends, and of how exchange programs can have powerful, long-term impacts on all of the communities involved.
Your new motto, “Creative Networking Beyond Borders,” epitomizes exactly what we hope exchange alumni will do moving forward, and I want to thank Mission Vientiane for facilitating that.
And thank you all for your open-mindedness and your willingness to engage with other peoples and cultures in the interest of building a better world. Best of luck!