PUAN Conference inspires alumni to serve as Agents of Change

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ISLAMABAD: Ambassador Paul Jones, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Mission in Pakistan, acknowledged the unique role that PUAN members play in contributing to their communities. As alumni of American exchange programs, you bring different perspectives and a broader understanding of responsibilities towards your communities.

Speaking at the opening session of the Pakistan-US Alumni Network (PUAN) annual conference here Ambassador Jones said,  you each took a risk and opened yourself up to new opportunities by participating in our various programs.  Now, as leaders in Pakistan, you serve as role models to all those around you. This year’s PUAN annual conference brought together approximately 200 Pakistani alumni of educational exchanges and English-language programs sponsored by the United States Government.

Under the theme, Azm-e-Aalishan: The Power of Resolve the conference, highlighted the inspirational stories of PUAN members who have played positive roles in their communities. The conference consisted of three days of panel discussions, lectures, TED-style talks, interactive exchanges networking sessions, and community service projects. The alumni were joined by 10 Afghan alumni of US exchange programs.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Senator Sherry Rehman also spoke at this year’s conference. The community service PUAN members carried out throughout Islamabad included a discussion on tolerance involving disadvantaged youth, tree plantings, and engaging with children at a local children’s hospital. PUAN is the largest US government alumni network in the world, with more than 29,000 alumni of US government-funded exchanges and English language programs.

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