American Consulate General Networks with Alumni at Flagship Conference

On June 9, the American Consulate General in Jerusalem brought together approximately 500 Palestinian alumni of U.S. government exchange and long-term educational programs for “” conference – the Consulate General’s flagship event this year. The conference, held at the Red Crescent Society in Ramallah, focused on the power of Palestinian alumni to lead and serve.  Alumni who attended the conference represented a broad swath of the roughly 20,000 Palestinian alumni of U.S. government-sponsored programs, and included young entrepreneurs, self-starters, community leaders who are creating positive change in their communities, who are building bridges between Americans and Palestinians. offered participants the opportunity to network, meet successful Palestinians, and listen to inspiring and motivational speakers. The conference workshops focused on promoting entrepreneurship and leadership to help alumni continue to be successful agents of positive change in Palestinian society in their roles in both the public and private sector.

American Consul General Michael Ratney said in his welcome remarks that “the professional, cultural, and academic exchange programs in which Palestinians participate represent an incredible opportunity to learn about the American people, culture, and society.  They also offer a chance to teach Americans about the Palestinian people.  Engaging and supporting our alumni – either after they return from their programs in the U.S. or after they have participated in programs locally – is a priority for the Consulate General.”

Speakers at the conference included prominent Palestinian alumni such as Mayor of Bethlehem Vera Baboun; Reham Al-Wahaidi, the founder of Al-Athar; and Bassem Khoury, Chairman and CEO of Pharmacare PLC and former Minister of Economy.

A broad range of Palestinians from the private sector, NGOs, and academia spoke on topics ranging from fundraising to sustainability to social entrepreneurship to capitalizing on and leveraging participation in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs.  International speakers included internationally renowned motivational speaker, David Pearl, a creative consultant for international businesses, and Michael Sampson, a certified Franklin Covey trainer in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

The conference concluded with a networking reception with representatives from the Palestinian private sector. is one of the largest gatherings of U.S. government exchange alumni held in the Middle East and .is part of the American Consulate General’s ongoing efforts to support alumni of U.S. government exchange and long-term educational programs.

For more information please contact the Consulate General Press Office at 02-622-6909 or Information Assistant Hassna Dajani at 054-6620257.