On April 12, David Bakradze, the Georgian ambassador to the United States, visited the Manassas Campus to talk about his country’s success and coexisting in that area of Europe.
Business Professor Frank Ferrara invited Bakradze as part of the International Speakers Series he established to expose students, faculty and staff to experiences that promote an understanding of foreign relations.
Before the presentation, a reception in Bakradze’s honor was attended by several NOVA faculty and staff members, including Ferrara and Dr. Rebecca Hayes and Interim Dean Barbara Hopkins. It also included the Ambassador’s staff Attaché Tamar Tchelidze and defense attaché to the U.S. and Canada, Col. Vepkhvia Chalabashvili.
Ferrara welcomed a large crowd in Howsmon Lecture Hall and introduced Hopkins who introduced Bakradze with a brief summary of his long, distinguished career in diplomatic service. He was appointed ambassador of Georgia to the United States in December 2016.
The ambassador’s presentation covered the country’s history from its early days under Roman law until today. Because of its strategic location, Georgia calls itself the “gateway to connect Asia and Europe” and strives to maintain free trade agreements with a large number of countries.
Georgia is struggling against Russian aggression, including occupation of 20 percent of the country, efforts to destabilize the economy, propaganda, cyberattacks and more, but Georgia has pledged to use only non-military efforts in response to prevent escalation.
To strengthen its economy, Georgia is focusing on a four-part plan that includes tax reform, inclusive and service-oriented government, infrastructure development and enhanced education.
During the question-and-answer period, a Georgian exchange student asked how to become a diplomat, another audience member requested more information about the Russian occupation of Georgia and someone else asked about Georgia’s participation in the Euro-Atlantic community.
At the end, Bakradze showed several videos that highlighted the beautiful countryside awaiting visitors to Georgia, which is expecting seven million tourists this year, nearly double its population.
A video of the presentation will be available soon through NOVA-TV. To learn more, contact Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org.