Following a secret ballot of European and Eurasian leaders of American alumni associations, Dr. Paul Donnelly has been elected to the eight-member Governing Body of the European Network of American Alumni Associations (ENAM). Paul attended ENAM’s inaugural Constitutive Assembly in Rome earlier this month in his capacity as President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association(IFAA) and Board member of the Ireland United States Alumni Association (IUSA).
Formally founded on December 1st, 2011, and with the full backing of the US State Department and its embassies in the region, ENAM’s mission is to strengthen networking and collaboration amongst its member associations, facilitate their active participation in US State Department alumni community initiatives, and promote common values shared by alumni the world over of US-sponsored exchange programmes. In terms of geographic coverage, ENAM’s catchment spans 49 countries*, representing more than 400,000 alumni.
Conceived as a permanent umbrella alumni association, ENAM will promote cultural and educational exchanges that enable collaboration and cross border partnership and lead to better global understanding. The Association will also serve as a platform to share best practices from individual member associations, explore opportunities for joint initiatives, promote common ideals and values, and foster ties of friendship among the peoples of the United States and ENAM member countries. In close cooperation with the US State Department, ENAM will support the creation of, and provide mentoring to, new alumni associations in the region.
To accomplish its mission and strengthen the alumni community in the region, ENAM will develop and implement projects and initiatives through its member associations, to include conferences, seminars, workshops, awards, editorial material, and information campaigns.
In congratulating the alumni leaders on the formal establishment of ENAM, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Adam Ereli, noted that “people-to-people interactions through overseas study are at the heart of modern international relations and underscore the importance of exchange experiences”. Ambassador Ereli concluded: “we look forward in eager expectation to the achievements of your alumni network and to the seemingly boundless possibilities of what you can achieve when you link your individual passions guided by your Association’s share purpose”.
ENAM’s First Constitutive Assembly was preceded by an invitation-only conference, “Who Is Who: Identity in a Changing World”, which was held in the Italian Chamber of Deputies. In addition to delegates from alumni associations across Europe, attendees included: the Vice President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Rosy Bindi; the US Ambassador to Italy, David Thorne; the President Emeritus of the Italian Constitutional Court, Giovanni Maria Flick; former Italian Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Alberto Schèpisi; and high-level Italian government officials, academics and journalists.
* Armenia, Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City.