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Forum at Rockford College to feature ambassadors from Japan, Thailand

Friday, April 09, 2010  
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For immediate release – 4/8/10
Contact: Chuck Brown, Director of Communications, Rockford College (815-226-3374); or Rich Carter, Director of Communications, Rep. Manzullo’s Office (815-394-1231)

ROCKFORD, IL -- Ambassadors to the U.S. from Japan and Thailand will join U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo in a Forum on Global Economic Recovery sponsored by Rockford College, April 19, 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. in the college’s Fisher Chapel. The event is free and open to the public, though reservations are requested and may be made though the college box office, 815-226-4100.

Manzullo will be joined by ambassadors Ichiro Fujisaki from Japan and Don Pramudwinai from Thailand for the forum, which will touch on issues and trends affecting U.S. trade relations with East Asian countries and efforts to bolster the world economy. The forum will be moderated by Ray Baker, professor of economics, business and accounting at Rockford College.   

The forum was arranged by Manzullo, the senior Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment who works directly with the ambassadors in Washington, D.C. During their visit, the group will also visit Chicago-Rockford International Airport and participate in a dinner hosted by Rockford College.

"This forum sponsored by Rockford College gives us a unique opportunity to bring together significant players in the international economic arena to discuss the issues driving this global economic crisis and solutions to recovery,” said Manzullo. "Rockford College has done a tremendous job putting together this forum for their students and the public, and on behalf of the ambassadors and the United States Congress I thank them for their efforts.”     

Fujisaki has been ambassador since 2008 following a stint as Japanese ambassador to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.  He also served as chairman of the executive committee of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Ambassador Fujisaki is no stranger to the U.S., having attended junior high school in Seattle, as well as both Brown University and Stanford.

The U.S.-educated Pramudwinai has been Thailand’s ambassador to the U.S. since 2009. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UCLA and a second master’s from Tufts University. He has a 36-year career in foreign affairs with recent assignments as Thailand’s UN ambassador, and ambassador to China, the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg.  

This is one of a series of visits Manzullo has organized for foreign dignitaries to northern Illinois. He has previously arranged visits from the ambassadors from Hungary, Korea and the previous ambassador from Japan. 

"We are honored to have ambassadors Fujisaki and Pramudwinai on our campus for this important forum on global economic recovery which relates to our keen interest in world affairs,” said Rockford College President Robert L. Head. "We are especially indebted to Congressman Manzullo for choosing our campus as the venue for this event.” 

Rockford College is a 163-year-old independent liberal arts college located at 5050 E. State St. in Rockford.
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