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Open World Official to Speak at UVU
September 15, 2011

For Immediate Release

University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807

Ambassador John O’Keefe, executive director of the Open World Leadership Center, will speak at Utah Valley University on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, room 024. His topic is “The Great Game after 9/11: Operation Enduring Freedom and the Making of the Coalition Base in Kyrgyzstan.”

O’Keefe negotiated the treaty that resulted in a primary forward-supply base for coalition forces in the war in Afghanistan, the Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan.

“Ambassador O’Keefe’s visit will be an invaluable learning environment created for student engagement,” said John McClure, assistant to UVU’s student body president. “Visits like this are essential for our practical professional growth.”

Rusty Butler, associate vice president of UVU’s Office of International Affairs & Diplomacy, added that UVU students and faculty will be able to engage with one of Washington’s most brilliant strategic international thinkers and planners.

As a result of UVU’s international outreach, Open World Leadership Center has sent to the University numerous delegations from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other Eurasian countries to study civil societies, judicial processes, market-based economies and other topics.

Among his many posts the ambassador has been the director general of the State Department, deputy director of the Foreign Service Institute and U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Meritorious Service Award.

The lecture is free and open to the public.


About UVU

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to nearly 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.