A former secretary of state and alumnus will be the keynote speaker at the GW Global Forum, an event aimed at expanding the University’s international presence, which will be held in Seoul, South Korea this March.
Colin Powell’s keynote presentation will address global growth and innovation. Other prominent speakers at the two-day event include Ferid Murad, Nobel Laureate and biochemistry professor and Alec Ross, the senior advisor for innovation in the Office of the Secretary of State.
“The Forum will benefit immeasurably from the wisdom and insight that General Powell has garnered from his career as one of our nation’s greatest military and civilian leaders,” University President Steven Knapp said.
Powell was the first choice keynote speaker, University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said.
“The primary focus is to have speakers who have ties to the GW community and are well versed on topics related to our theme,” Sankey said.
Powell graduated in 1971 and most recently served as secretary of state under President George W. Bush. Powell was awarded two Presidential Medals of Freedom as well as other awards for his political service.
“As the University’s premier international event, the Global Forum showcases the research and thought leadership of GW’s global community and provides a platform for enhanced international connections among alumni, students, faculty, parents and friends of the University,” according to a press release.
The Republic of Korea is home to the largest population of alumni outside the United States.
The GW Global Forum, a program that launched in 2009 in Hong Kong, reflects the University’s efforts to become a global institution. In previous years, the program has focused on the global economy, international security and women’s issues.
International student enrollment topped 7 percent of the Class of 2015, and more than 1,600 graduate students came to GW from abroad. International programming, including this fall’s partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, has steadily increased in recent years.