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Open World Hosts Uzbek Leaders for Ten-Day Professional Development and Exchange Program in United States
October 8, 2004

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC Fifty Uzbek government and civic leaders arrive in the United States on October 7 to participate in ten days of intensive professional and cultural exchange with their U.S. counterparts through the Open World Leadership Centers new exchange program with Uzbekistan. The visiting Uzbek leaders include top economists, judges, prominent journalists, agricultural experts, women entrepreneurs, and health advocates, together comprising some of the most important components of the countrys political, economic and civic future.

Among the many accomplished Open World delegates are Farrukh Ubaydullayev, Chief Economist of the Ministry of Finance; Sardorbek Koshnazarov, Chief Specialist of the Ministry of Economics; and Sayera Khakimova, an Uzbekistan Republic Constitutional Court Judge. Located north of Afghanistan in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is a former Soviet state that became independent in 1991.

Following a two-day briefing session in Washington, DC, the Uzbek leaders will divide into small delegations according to their professional backgrounds. They then head to Bemidji, MN, Cape Cod, MA, Chattanooga, TN, DeLand, FL, Kansas City, MO, Little Rock, AR, Montclair, NJ, and Tampa, FL, for eight days to join their U.S. counterparts in exploring issues relating to economic development, health, independent media, or the rule of law.

During their community visits, the Uzbek delegates will have the opportunity to learn firsthand how the U.S. government and the private and nonprofit sectors work together to meet social and civic needs. In Massachusetts, the Uzbek women entrepreneurs will meet with Lt. Governor Kerry Healey to discuss advice for women who aspire to leadership in state government, as well as domestic violence issues. In Tennessee, Uzbek journalists will discuss First Amendment issues and newspaper reporter practices with Tom Griscom, Publisher and Executive Editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. In addition, all delegates will live in American homes, allowing them to participate in American family and cultural life.

Funded by the U.S. Congress and managed by the Open World Leadership Center, the Open World Program brings emerging leaders from participating Eurasian countries to the United States to experience U.S. democracy and free enterprise in action. The Open World Leadership Center is an independent U.S. legislative branch agency located at the Library of Congress.

Uzbekistan became eligible for Open World in 2003, when the U.S. Congress authorized the program to expand beyond the Russian Federation, the sole focus of its early years of operation, to other countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition to its Uzbekistan program, Open World also currently conducts exchanges for leaders from Russia, Ukraine, and Lithuania.

The Academy for Educational Development, the American International Health Alliance, and Friendship Force International will host the Uzbek delegates for Open World. Through their local affiliates or partners, the grantees plan and carry out professional programs, provide meals and accommodations, and arrange cultural and social activities.

For more information on the Open World Program in Uzbekistan, please contact Britta Bjornlund at the Open World Leadership Center, (202) 707-6555 or bbjo@loc.gov, or George Felcyn at the PBN Company, (202) 466-6210 orhttp://george.felcyn@pbnco.com. For general information on the Open World Program, please visit our website athttp://www.openworld.gov.