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Graduate School Recognizes Arab Emirates Center for SPIA Support

His Excellency Jamal Al-Suwaidi, a member of the royal family and director general of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) in Abu Dhabi, was the fourth inductee in the University of Maine Graduate School’s George Davis Chase Society. Al-Suwaidi is a member of the UMaine School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) advisory board. Al-Suwaidi was inducted as a Distinguished Patron, the highest level of the society.

The Graduate School established the society in 2011 to recognize individuals, who are not students or employees at the university, for significant contributions to graduate studies at UMaine. George Davis Chase served as the first dean of the Graduate School, 1923–38.

UMaine Graduate School Dean and Associate Provost for Graduate Studies Dan Sandweiss inducted the ECSSR as an Institutional Patron to recognize the center and its staff’s contributions to and support for UMaine’s Graduate School and SPIA.

Sandweiss was part of a UMaine delegation of faculty, administrators and 10 SPIA students who attended a conference in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on global financial crises and the future, where he made the presentations.

Jim Settele, assistant director of SPIA, says Al-Suwaidi and the ECSSR have been instrumental since 2007 in supporting SPIA with travel expenses for speakers in Maine, and also travel and accommodations for UMaine students, faculty and others to attend three previous conferences in Abu Dhabi on global affairs. Last year, the ECSSR conference was on civility between Islam and the West. Next year, water is the topic.

“Dr. Jamal made it happen,” Settele says. The conferences have placed UMaine international affairs students into global settings to discuss world affairs and conflicts. The SPIA students also met with U.S. Foreign Service officers in Abu Dhabi to discuss U.S. State Department careers.

Contact: George Manlove, 207.581.3756

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