NEW YORK – St. John’s University in New York welcomed Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, for an Academic Lecture Series event on April 10 that explored the past, present and future of Kazakhstan.
Dr. Jay Nathan, Ph.D. Professor of Management, Tobin College of Business, coordinated a visit to the Queens Campus for the newly appointed Ambassador Abdrakhmanov. It was one of Abdrakhmanov’s first extended visits to Queens County.
“I am very impressed with the expansive campus, the diversity of students at St. John’s and the intellectual curiosity presented during our conversation,” said Abdrakhmanov. “I am confident that we will have the opportunity to continue to talk in greater detail about the issues related to my country and the current developments in our parts of the world.”
During the well-attended academic lecture, Dr. Nathan, a four-time Fulbright Scholar who lived, worked and researched in Kazakhstan and recently authoured a book entitled “Kazakhstan’s New Economy,” presented some of his research on Kazakhstan, and Brian Browne, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations, moderated a broad discussion on current issues and challenges facing Kazakhstan.
“The world is our classroom and when societies interact, they learn,” Dr. Nathan remarked. “When a society is far removed from other countries, it lacks knowledge and knowledge is not only powerful but critical to any success.”
The lecture concluded with audience questions and answers and several smaller conversations with students and faculty who were in attendance. Kerry McGurty, a third-year government and politics major from Pennsylvania commented, “I learned a great deal about an emerging country and how my generation of students are growing up in Kazakhstan.”
Before returning to his duties at the United Nations, Abdrakhmanov left behind some books and prints of artwork from Kazakhstan.
“A global education dictates an understanding and appreciation for all corners of the world,” Browne said. “Kazakhstan, a good and strategically important ally for the United States, has a vital and emerging role in the region and the world that our students should understand.”