Mrs. Hermila Yifter, Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, and Mr. Elie Ferneiny, Academic and Outreach Specialist at the US Embassy, visited Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU) to meet with the President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, to strengthen the relationship between NDU and the US embassy and discuss opportunities for future collaborations.
Attending the meeting from NDU were the President, Fr. Bechara Khoury, Former Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Dr. Elie Badr, newly appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Michel El Hayek, Vice President for Administration and Finance (VPAF), Abbot Semaan Abou Abdo, Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (AVPGRS), Dr. Ghazi Asmar, Professor at the Faculty of Humanities (FH), Dr. Edward Alam, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering (FE), Dr. Michel Chalhoub, Director of Public Affairs and Protocol (PAP), Mr. Chadi Dirani, President of American Friends of NDU (AFNDU), Mr. Majed Bou Hadir, and Director of Communications, Ms. Emma Chacar.
Fr. Khoury welcomed Mrs. Yifter and explained that NDU has a longstanding relationship with the US which concretized following the attainment of the NECHE institutional accreditation.
Dr. Asmar highlighted certain research projects that received support from the US and wished to expedite and intensify the relationship with the US embassy in Lebanon and to craft potential partnerships with American universities that carry similar missions.
Dr. Chalhoub highlighted the importance of the NDU-USA relationship and the need to strengthen it. He hoped that NDU participates in US-Embassy and USAID Programs to receive research funding and collaborative research opportunities. He also highlighted the necessity of partnering with American universities that share common values and discussed several emerging topics following the Beirut Blast that he presented to Region 9 - California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (CAL-OES) and to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE-CA-USA) that require urgent support.
Mr. Dirani explained the mission of the American Friends of NDU, an organization founded in the US in 2008, with the objective of supporting the higher education industry in Lebanon and particularly NDU.
From her end, Mrs. Yifter confirmed that a lot of opportunities for future collaborations are present and that she is ready to help build the needed connections between NDU and the needed US entities.
A full program was planned to properly introduce Mrs. Yifter to the University which concluded with a short tour to the Lebanon Migration Nucleus Museum.