Turkmen leaders visit Utah

Five government leaders from the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan came to Utah in the first week of March to examine the U.S. audit system.

They came as part of UVU’s Office of International Affairs & Diplomacy who hosted the delegation for OpenWorld. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging Eurasian political and civic leaders to work with their U.S. counterparts and experience American democracy at the local level.

While in Utah, the delegates discussed accountability, transparency and separation of powers with UVU professors and students; met with local, as well as state government officials to discuss the differences and similarities of the audit systems; and became acquainted with some of the State’s attractions. In addition, home-stays with local residents allowed the delegates to experience Utah family life and create life-long friends.

“Global engagement at UVU means involvement with international leaders,” explained Rusty Butler, UVU associate vice president for international affairs. “Turkmenistan has vast influence in Eurasia because of its immense gas reserves. This visit offers the opportunity for our students and faculty to become involved with a strategically critical nation and its leaders.”

The Open World Leadership Center has awarded a grant to Utah Valley University’s Office of International Affairs & Diplomacy to administer this and other similar exchanges in 2009.

The Open World Program is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia. More than 12,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states since the program’s inception in 1999. Delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators.

For more information on OpenWorld, visit http://www.openworld.gov.

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