Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to the United States, joined DCID for the graduation of government officials from the 2015 program for the country’s Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

DCID’s three-month program on public policy and management, held annually at Duke University, gives participants the opportunity to conduct research on their master’s theses at the academy, visit various governmental and nonprofit agencies, and experience U.S. culture firsthand.

This year’s graduates included officials from the Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-Corruption, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, and the Ministry of Investment and Development.

During his speech, Umarov stressed the importance of building a professional, efficient and educated civil service in Kazakhstan.

“We are a nation that is looking forward,” he said. “Preparation of the future generation of leaders – people who can face the challenges of the next century – is very important for us.”

Kelly Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, thanked Umarov for attending the graduation and for fostering the university’s relationship with Kazakhstan.

“We get great value from our interactions with people from around the world,” he said, “And we’re very proud of and delighted with our relationship with the country of Kazakhstan.”

He also congratulated the graduates on their completion of the program.

“The fact that you chose Duke to continue your training is an honor for us, and we hope you have benefited from your time here,” he said.

Olzhas Ualikhanov, program graduate and head of the Analysis Division in the Ministry of Regional Development, expressed his gratitude to DCID faculty and staff for a successful and informative program.

“We enjoyed every lecture and every field visit, and we are eager to implement these ideas back home in Kazakhstan,” he said.

DCID presented Umarov with a Duke national championship basketball as a token of appreciation for attending the graduation and for his ongoing support of the program. Umarov, in turn, presented DCID faculty and staff with a decorative plate and a book on the history of Kazakhstan.

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