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07 June 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Foreign Affairs - Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) was signed at a special SAIS Philippines Roundtable held at the Johns Hopkins University on 06 June 2016.

The MOU recognizes the strategic importance of cooperation in the field of diplomacy and international relations and establishes institutional ties and meaningful collaboration between the FSI and SAIS. Such collaboration enhances institutional capability and competence in line with the mission of The Johns Hopkins University.

“Our respective institutions are engaged in similar activities which include training young professionals to play leading roles in conducting the foreign relations of our two countries,” Professor Peter Lewis, SAIS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, said in his remarks.

“This type of training is vital in this fast moving, globalized and connected world but even more vital is the development of analytical skills and critical thinking which are the key elements in international relations and are essential tools for our students to succeed as diplomats, policy makers and leaders of NGOs,” Professor Lewis added.

The Foreign Service Institute was represented by Ambassador Claro Cristobal who is the current Director General of FSI.

“Diplomacy is of crucial importance. For a country so small, we’ve got to have people to push, sell and work for the achievement of our aspirations and do the work that we need to perform for our country,” Ambassador Cristobal said after the MOU signing.

“Training our diplomats, training those who represent our country is of crucial importance in achieving what we hope to attain,” the FSI Director General further stressed.

After the MOU signing, Ambassador Claro Cristobal also presented a brief initial scan focused on the socio-political, socio-economic, and foreign policy agenda of the incoming Philippine Administration to the roundtable members composed of US government officials, private sector representatives and Filipino-American community members.

Professor William Wise, SAIS Associate Director of the Southeast Asia Studies Program also recognized Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia Jr. for the envoy’s valuable contributions to the SAIS Philippines Roundtable and SAIS Southeast Asia Studies Program.

“We congratulate FSI and SAIS on institutionalizing their cooperation. These two institutions both represent academic excellence and rigor, and their communities will greatly benefit from a free exchange of ideas to be facilitated by the MOU,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

The SAIS Philippines Roundtable is the only forum in the United States that meets regularly to discuss Philippine affairs and the Philippines-US relationship. The special Roundtable event was co-sponsored by SAIS and the US-Philippines Society. ###

07 June 2016

Ambassador Claro Cristobal, Director General of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) signs the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FSI and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on 06 June 2016.

07 June 2016

(L-R) Ambassador (Ret.) John Maisto, US-Philippines Society President; Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.; Professor William Wise; and Ambassador Claro Cristobal after the FSI-SAIS MOU signing on 06 June 2016.