Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A. McHale will travel to Tunis and Sfax, Tunisia through April 17th, 2011. The Under Secretary arrived in Tunis on April 14th.
During her visit to Tunis, Under Secretary McHale attended a dinner with members of Tunisia civil society and met with Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education. Under Secretary McHale is also participating in a workshop with a wide range of Tunisians to discuss current United States programs in Tunisia and new opportunities for collaboration. Additionally, she is meeting with Tunisian youth, including English Access Microscholarship Program (ACCESS) students, Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program alumni, and American Corner patrons.
In Sfax, Under Secretary McHale will meet with University of Sfax President Dr. Hamed Ben Dhia, as well as with University professors and master’s degree students to explore ways to extend university linkage programs beyond the classroom to create business and job opportunities. This will be an opportunity to hear students’ visions for their futures. The United States currently has two linkages with the University of Sfax's School of Engineering: one in bio-fuels (Virginia Tech) and another in robotics (Rice University).
Under Secretary McHale will later meet with members of Tunisia’s Young Business Leaders group to discuss entrepreneurship opportunities in Tunisia and the importance of economic development to the future of the country.