More than 700 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs gathered in Islamabad to recognize the extensive contributions members of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) have made to their communities and the U.S.-Pakistan relationship. The fifth annual reunion of the PUAN Islamabad-Rawalpindi Chapter brought together politicians, parliamentarians, scholars, journalists, businessmen, and students – all of whom are alumni of U.S. exchange programs – to share their experiences and renew their commitment to strengthening ties between the United States and Pakistan. PUAN alumni have led dozens of community service activities in the Islamabad area in the past year, taking active roles in the fields of education, leadership development, counter-narcotics, and women’s empowerment.
U.S. Mission Pakistan’s Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan Pratt said, “For those of you who traveled to the United States, you served as cultural ambassadors. You were the bright face of Pakistan to scores of Americans.” He also acknowledged PUAN’s extensive community service programs and distinguished alumni who made significant contributions to PUAN.
PUAN Country President, Haseeb Kiyani, encouraged participants to volunteer for the network’s philanthropic 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.
The U.S. government invests more than $40 million annually on exchange programs for Pakistani citizens. Over 1,200 Pakistanis participate each year in high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional U.S.-sponsored exchange programs.
Pakistan has one of the largest U.S.-alumni communities in the world, with more than 15,000 students and professionals who have participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. PUAN organizes events across Pakistan through 12 regional chapters, including community service projects, leadership training, roundtable discussions, and community engagement activities.
Learn more about PUAN at http://www.facebook.com/pakalumni.