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Eighteen diplomats from Kuwait, including sixteen ambassadors, recently attended a five-day executive training program run by the Middle East Initiative at the Kennedy School.
The program, “International Diplomacy in the New Century,” was developed for the Kuwait Foreign Ministry at the request of the Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mohammed Al-Sabah.
It was the eighth executive training program for Kuwaiti leaders since the establishment of a partnership in 2001 between the Kennedy School Middle East Initiative and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS).
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host this contingent of Kuwaiti diplomats,” said Dr. John P. White, faculty chair of the Kennedy School Middle East Initiative.
Participants included Kuwait’s current ambassadors to China, the United Kingdom, Iran, Argentina, Greece, Uzbekistan, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Czech Republic, Sweden, Romania, Venezuela and Kenya. The range of knowledge and experience made for a week of lively and highly informed discussions.
“We're learning from the Kuwaitis as much as they're learning from us,” said Kennedy School Dean David Ellwood.
Guest speakers during the program included the Honorable Edward Gnehm, former U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, and the Honorable William Rugh, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The program featured sessions on international relations, global and regional trade issues, the geopolitics of energy markets, U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy, international strategies for small countries, and negotiation skills.
The Honorable Khaled Al-Duwaisan, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, said, “The level of discussion and the topics were so fascinating and relevant to our field.”
The Kuwait Program at Harvard is an historic three-tiered program of engagement, partnership and intellectual exchange aimed at building bridges, opening and furthering dialogue, advancing scholarship and informed research, training leaders, and developing relationships between Harvard University, Kuwait and the other states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). It is designed to complement and reinforce Kuwait's independent efforts and progress towards meeting the global and regional public policy challenges facing Kuwait and the Gulf.
Photos: Tom Fitzsimmons