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APEC 2009

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2009
November 7-15, 2009

In November 2009, four Furman students—Kelly Cressy, Dez Clodfelter, Cary Fontana, and Hannah Johnson—were selected as student delegates to the annual APEC “Voices of the Future” Program, hosted by Singapore’s government and the Department of Youth Affairs. To view the students’ blog, click here; read a story about the trip that appeared in Furman Engage.

The group of students, led by Dr. Don Gordon, Executive Director of the Riley Institute and Furman professor of Political Science, joined students and educators from APEC’s 21 member economies (countries), as they participated in interviews with world leaders and press conferences surrounding APEC’s emerging issues. In addition, the “Voices” group had the opportunity to experience Singapore from a tourist perspective, as they took part in city tours and traditional Singaporean activities with the local student representatives.

Furman’s team experienced unprecedented access throughout the week. Highlights from the group’s first day included meetings with the President of Singapore, His Excellency S.R. Nathan, at the Presidential Palace, listening to two fascinating addresses, and attending very candid sessions with the Minister of Community Development and Youth and the Board Chairman of Singapore Management University. These meetings were extremely personal and of remarkable high quality.

The group also interviewed delegates from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council (ABAC), which consists of some of the most powerful and important CEOs and business leaders from the U.S., China, Russia, Korea, Canada, and other APEC economies.

Kelly, in particular, had the opportunity to interview Kurt Campbell (Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs), Lieutenant General Paul Selva (Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Miltary Advisor to Secretary of State), and many other incredible people. According to Kelly, the highlight came when she and Dez met U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a small press conference. Additionally, the group had a one-hour conversation with Peter Scher, the Executive Vice President of Global Goverment Relation and Public Policy for JP MorganChase.

The students were invited to meet with the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Only ten people were involved for a half-hour conversation with the Prime Minister. The students had unprecedented access to world leaders!

APEC 2009 continues Furman’s strong presence at the annual international conference and furthers the Riley Institute’s mission of student engagement abroad.

Press Coverage

The Greenville News, Furman Engage, APEC “Voices of the Future” Newsletter, Channel NewsAsia