Assistant Secretary of State Dina Powell Speaks at Waseda University

Dina Habib Powell, Assistant Secretary of State
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Welcome Remarks at Waseda University
As prepared for delivery

November 13, 2006

Good morning. I am so pleased to be here with you this morning.

We are delighted that Japan is our very first stop on this historic trip to Asia, the first ever in which senior government officials have traveled with a distinguished group of U.S. college and university presidents to honor the long and important history of the U.S.-Japan higher education partnership. We are here to talk about our interest in welcoming international students to the United States as well as encouraging American students to study abroad, especially in Japan.

For so many decades, Japanese students have chosen to come to the U.S. for higher education. Many of them did so through the Fulbright Program, the State Department's flagship exchange program. We are very proud that the Fulbright program in Japan is among the strongest in Asia, with more than 50 years of service to students and scholars in both our countries.

The Japanese Fulbright alumni association is among the strongest in the world. Japanese students have been the best Ambassadors for Japan by sharing their rich culture, heritage and tradition with the American people in the United States.

Our Secretary of Education is a strong advocate for these international academic exchanges. She has not only been welcoming foreign students to study in the United States but has been encouraging more American students to study around the world.

Secretary Spellings has been an active leader in U.S. educational policy. She is one of America's true experts in that field in every way, including being the mother of two very special young women. She has been a long time senior advisor to President Bush and ran his Domestic Policy operation in the White House, where I had the privilege of working very closely with her. She is a powerful role model for women throughout our government and in our country.

Under Secretary Spellings' leadership, the Department of Education has made a strong commitment to the importance of international exchange and partnered with the Department of State to co-host the U.S. University Presidents Summit with Secretary Rice last January.

At the Summit, they announced the plan for senior U.S. government officials to travel abroad with leaders of higher education to talk about our interest in welcoming foreign students to the U.S.

I am honored to be here with her and 12 of our most distinguished University and College presidents on our first-ever Higher Education Delegation.

Please join me in welcoming my good friend, Secretary Margaret Spellings.