Monday, January 24, 2022, 6:00 p.m.
Thank you Costa for the comment and also for the introduction.
Let me just be very brief and say, first of all, I cannot think of a better way to mark International Education Day than to participate in this seminar with Minister Kerameus and so many of our colleagues from across Greek academia who have driven the fantastic progress we’ve seen in our university and academic partnerships over the past couple of years.
This has been a very high priority in the overall bilateral U.S.-Greece relationship. That’s reflected in the high place that these educational partnerships have in the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue that Secretary Blinken led on last October.
I am confident that is going to continue to be the case because this is one of the most lucrative areas of cooperation between our two countries in terms of the long-term return on investment.
I’m really glad that we were able to here from Minister Dimas because I feel very strongly about the importance of the partnership in basic sciences, and I am very proud of the Science and Technology (S&T) MOU that we signed a year and a half ago and the foundation that provides for doing even more.
I am delighted that we have the head of our Fulbright office on one of the panels this evening. Artemis Zenetou is a national asset for both countries in terms of growing our academic partnerships. And I would encourage everybody to listen to what she has to say.
I am also really glad that we have Allan Goodman here. Allan has been a fantastic partner with the International Institute for Education, IIE, from the beginning of this enterprise. Just before the pandemic hit, we were ready to pull the trigger on an IIE-led delegation that was coming to Greece to further develop these institutional partnerships. I’m sorry we haven’t been able to do that yet, but I’m really glad that we’ve been able to accomplish so much in the virtual space.
There is literally not a month that goes by without me hearing about or participating in another announcement like the one that Minister Kerameus had with Harvard last week. The month before, it was Columbia, Georgetown. I could go on and on in terms of the top-tier American institutions that have begun to take advantage of the window that Minister Kerameus and her team have opened up.
Finally, my very best wishes to my dear colleague, Ambassador Papadopoulou in Washington D.C.
My zoom background was taken in our front yard just a couple of minutes before we started. So you can see Alexandra, we have a lot of snow in Athens. And as you know very well, Washington D.C. and Athens take a similar approach to snow removal. So I am expecting the snow to last a little bit until the sun comes out.
But I am very, very optimistic about everything that we’ve accomplished. I am extraordinarily proud of the partnership with Minister Kerameus and the fantastic leadership that she has exercised — in terms of charting a new direction for the extroversion of Greek education, and also creating opportunities for students in both countries.
Because I think that’s what’s most important about this. It’s important for American young people to come to Greece, to learn more about this country. I can’t think of a better place for an American student to come and get some international experience.
And likewise, for Greek young people whether they’re in humanities, or the sciences or some other field. We want to make sure that doors are open so that they can avail all the opportunities that the United States’ unmatched academic infrastructure provides to grow and move forward.
Thank you to everybody, congratulations, and I am confident the best is yet to come.