Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ambassador Pearce's Comments regarding the Youth Leadership Program for Algeria

The Youth Leadership Program (YLP) for 2009 started officially on July 12 2009 at the Embassy with the 25 selected students coming in to the consular section for their visa interviews, followed by a lunch buffet hosted by the Ambassador at his residence in Algiers. The morning also included an information session for the students and their parents, led by the Northern Nevada International Center, the official implementer of the program. The session provided time for the many questions prior to the travel of these “junior Ambassadors.” This year the program will commence with the 2 week English language/orientation in Setif, 4 hours southeast of Algiers, and then 4 weeks in Reno, Nevada.

Ambassador David D. Pearce's comments at the Luncheon on July 12 2009:

"Welcome to the U.S. Embassy and to the official opening of the Youth Leadership Program 2009. Congratulations to the 25 students and 3 Teachers and Chaperones selected to participate in this program. We commend you for your talents and skills that were demonstrated during the application and interview process. We are counting on each one of you to take full advantage of this opportunity to improve your English language skills and your leadership skills, and to learn firsthand about the United States and its people.

This is the 5th year of the Youth Leadership Program in Algeria. The USG commends the support that the Ministry of National Education has provided in the past, and we look forward to a relationship of mutual support and cooperation. We have 25 excellent students this year, up from 20 last year, and we hope that with each year, the number of students selected will increase.

This year we have the support of the Northern Nevada International Center and “Le Club scientifique de la Faculte des Sciences Medicales” who are are partners in the U.S and Setif for this program. We thank these two organizations for their dedication and commitments.
Now I would like to ask that Mr. Joaquin Roces of the NNIC, and Dr. Khalil Sakhri come forward to say a few words of welcome.

Thank you very much, and once again, congratulations to the 25 students and 3 Teachers and Chaperones."

President Bush nominated David Pearce, a 26-year veteran of the Foreign Service with long experience in the Middle East, as the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria in June 2008. Ambassador Pearce was confirmed by the Senate in August 2008.Ambassador Pearce entered the Foreign Service in January 1982, serving first as a vice consul and political officer in Riyadh. From 1984 to 1985, he was a watch officer in the State Department Operations Center, followed by a 1985-87 tour as a country desk officer for Greece. In 1987-88, he studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute field school in Tunis, then became chief of the political section at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait. During the Gulf War, Ambassador Pearce worked as a liaison officer with the Kuwaiti government-in-exile in Taif, Saudi Arabia. He returned to Washington in 1991 to become a special assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. From 1994-97, he was Consul General in Dubai and from 1997-2001 he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. From September 2001 to July 2003, he was Director of the Department of State’s Office of Northern Gulf Affairs, with responsibility for Iraq and Iran. In May-June 2003, Ambassador Pearce served with the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. He was Chief of Mission and Consul General at the United States Consulate General in Jerusalem from September 29, 2003 through July 2005, and then Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the United States Embassy in Rome from 2005-2008.

Ambassador Pearce was born in Portland, Maine on June 9, 1950, and received his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1972 and an M.A. in journalism from Ohio State University in 1973. He has been married since 1978 to the former Leyla Baroody. The Pearces have two children: Jennifer, who recently received her master’s degree in community and regional planning at the University of Oregon, and Joseph, who is studying for a master’s degree in Arabic studies at Georgetown University.

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