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Former U.S. official to make case for international education and language learning

Mohamed Abdel-Kader
Mohamed Abdel-Kader

America needs more people with deep understanding of other languages and cultures, argues former U.S. Department of Education official Mohamed Abdel-Kader.

Those who possess that understanding stand to benefit as well, he adds. 

Abdel-Kader will present the case for international studies and language learning in a talk titled "Passport to the future: Why international education and languages matter" on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Kaufmann Auditorium in Goldwin Smith Hall. 

The talk is part of the Distinguished Speaker Series of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies

An expert in international education and philanthropy, Abdel-Kader served in the administration of President Barack Obama as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) Office at the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education.

Abdel-Kader was responsible for encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and the study of the cultures of other countries at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in the United States, and for coordinating with related international and foreign language education programs of other federal agencies.

He was also chief administrator for the domestic programs authorized under Title VI of the Higher Education Act and the overseas programs under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright-Hays) Act.

Prior to joining the education department, Abdel-Kader served as the director of development for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He also managed the university's advancement strategy in the Middle East, where he focused on strategic engagement.

Prior to that, he led donor development efforts for the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University.

He has advised a variety of clients on organizational strategy, doing business in emerging markets, intercultural communication, and cultural competency in international philanthropy. He has also advised organizations on strengthening fundraising operations domestically and abroad. He is the author of a children's book about stereotypes.

Abdel-Kader also served as the executive director of the  Aspen Institute's Stevens Initiative – a multi-lateral virtual exchange program with the goal of developing 21st century skills in young people in the US and the Middle East.

Abdel-Kader speaks fluent Arabic and basic Spanish. He holds a bachelor's degree from Clemson University, a master's degree in Higher Education from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.