U.S. Exchange Program Alumni from Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan Garner Innovation Awards

Islamabad, September 22, 2014

More than 700 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs gathered in Islamabad to recognize innovation in community service by members of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN). This fourth annual reunion of the PUAN Islamabad Chapter brought together politicians, parliamentarians, scholars, journalists, professionals, and students – all of whom are alumni of U.S. exchange programs – to share experiences and commit to building trust and understanding between the United States and Pakistan.

“Today’s reunion shows how much talent, creativity, and passion is to be found here in Pakistan. It also demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work together as partners,” said keynote speaker, Thomas Williams, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. He also acknowledged alumni projects in Sukkur and Hunza as well as distinguished alumni who made significant contributions to PUAN.

PUAN Country President, Haseeb Kiyani, encouraged participants to volunteer for the network’s activities to spread the knowledge they gained in the United States throughout Pakistan. The network also recognized several prominent alumni and volunteer mentors who have given back to their communities with Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader awards. PUAN alumni have organized numerous community activities in the Islamabad area, including environmental conservation programs, leadership training exercises, and a 3,000-person live music event.

The U.S. government invests an estimated $40 million annually on exchange programs for Pakistani citizens. More than 1,200 Pakistanis participate each year in various high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional U.S.-sponsored exchange programs.

PUAN is one of the largest U.S. alumni networks in the world, with 12 regional chapters nationwide. Its mission is to encourage people-to-people relationships between Pakistanis and Americans. Consisting of more than 14,000 students and professionals who have participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs, PUAN organizes a number of events in Pakistan, including community service projects, leadership training, roundtable discussions, and community engagement activities.

Learn more about PUAN at http://www.facebook.com/pakalumni.