|Date||–||April 18, 2017|
|Time||–|| 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Refreshments and networking from 4:00 to 4:30pm
Talk program from 4:30 pm onwards
Shangri- La Hotel
Mr. Michael C. Gonzales
Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa
Dr. Rishi Raj Adhikari
This year we are celebrating 70 years of US-Nepali bilateral relations. This panel discussion, which features three speakers of long and broad experience, will look back on the history of this relationship to discuss highpoints and challenges, as well as current directions. Each panelist will speak about his experiences and interpretations then the panel will entertain questions from the audience.
The panel with be moderated by Dr. Thomas Robertson, Ph.D., historian and Executive Director of USEF/Fulbright Nepal.
Mr. Michael C. Gonzales
Mr. Michael Gonzales is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy. He received a Master of Arts degree in international development from American University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States.
Mr. Gonzales served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Malawi from 2013-16, shepherding bilateral relations through an election crisis and corruption scandal while increasing U.S. assistance to the southern African country.
He is a four-time recipient of the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award, and the 2009 recipient of the William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent from the American Foreign Service Association.
Bhekh B. Thapa
Dr. Bhekh B. Thapa is a well-known economist who has twice served as Nepal’s ambassador to the US. He holds a BA degree in Economics Honours from Calcutta University, India and a PhD in Economics from Claremont University, USA.
Dr. Thapa started his career in the early 1960s as a Member Secretary of the National Planning Commission. He has led the country’s delegation at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Commission 2004 and the SAARC Ministerial Meeting and Meeting of Heads of States and Governments in 2004.
Currently, he is a member of the Governing Council of the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), and also the coordinator of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) founded by the Government of Nepal, whose role is to review the treaties between Nepal and India.
Rishi Raj Adhikari
Dr. Rishi Raj Adhikari is an expert in development and diplomacy and has served as the ambassador of Nepal to Malaysia. He received his BA degree in Agriculture from Michigan State University, USA and completed his Ph. D. from the University of the Philippines, with a major in Agriculture and Management.
His expertise is in foreign relations and diplomacy, livelihood policy development, advocacy and program Implementation, among others. In the Past, he has worked on economic, social and development issues at the Prime Minister’s Office. He also was the Executive Director of the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) at the Foreign Ministry.
Dr. Adhikari serves as a board member of the Fulbright Commission.
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