ciee - council on international educational exchange
BAFF

Professional Internship Program

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08/22/2017

Leadership Academy guests of honor in DC

On Thursday August 3, the Leadership Academy participants were the guests of honor by formal invitation to the Lithuanian Embassy in DC. The group was warmly received by several members of the Embassy, including Gintare Gedrimaite, Executive Assistant to the Ambassador, Kęstutis Vaskelevicius, Counselor, and Ambassador Rolandas Kriščiūnas. Ambassador Krisciunas has served as the Lithuanian Ambassador to the US since August of 2105. In addition to these featured speakers, the Embassy welcomed members of the Estonian Embassy, Kristjan Kuurme, and the Latvian Embassy, Egils Leimanis, as well as members of The Joint Baltic American National Committee, headed by Karl Altau. The guest speakers spoke to the students about the crucial role of the Embassies in matters of commerce, security, and governance, and stressed the importance of solid relations and collaboration between the Baltic States and the United States. Karl Altau and his team, including Anna Udre, BAFF PIP intern from Latvia, discussed the role of JBANC in representing Baltic affairs with regard to the political discussion in DC. JBANC represents three Baltic-American organizations, the Estonian American National Council, the American Latvian Association, and the Lithuanian American Council. We were also very pleased that, in addition to meeting these esteemed members of the DC community, our newest BAFF Director, Ambassador Jackie Wolcott, also attended the event. The students were given the chance to ask questions to the members of the Embassies, as well as meet them in person.

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Ambassador Rolandas Kriščiūnas addresses the Leadership Academy 2017
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Left to Right: Ambassador Rolandas Kriščiūnas, Egils Leimanis, Kristjan Kuurme, Karl Altau       Courtesy of JBANC


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After this visit, the Leadership Academy moved on to attend their second invitation of the day, which was from the Victims of Communism Foundation at its Memorial, dedicated in 2007. We were privileged to hear the story of the Memorial's erection by the very gentleman who spearheaded the process, VOC Chairman, Dr. Lee Edwards. Members of staff of the Victims of Communism Foundation, including David Talbot, Director of Development, and Ashley Moody, College Programs Manager, discussed the Foundation's mission and programs, the atrocities of Communist rule, and expressed their gratitude to the students for visiting the Memorial. Also attending the event was BAFF Board Member, Robert C. Odle Jr. 

A truly impactful day for these BAFF students. Thank you to all organizations for your dedication to this very special group of young entrepreneurs.

 

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Dr. Lee Edwards welcomes the Leadership Academy to the VOC Memorial

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