A total of 13 high-ranking officials from energy environmental, economic and international relations ministries will discuss U.S. foreign policy and energy security with West Virginia University’s internationally recognized energy faculty.

The discussion will take place at the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy on Wednesday (Feb. 15).

“WVU has always had much to offer the world when it comes to energy. We are experts not only in the environmentally sound extraction and use of coal, oil, and gas, we also have had a longstanding interest in energy efficiency and alternative energy,” said Richard Bajura, NRCCE director. “It is gratifying that the world looks to us for insight in these areas.”

The officials are part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The 13 individuals are from Bolivia, Bulgaria, Hungary, India, Israel, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, Poland, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam.

“In today’s increasingly interconnected world, global engagement is more important to institutions of higher education like WVU than ever,” said Michael Lastinger, associate provost of International Academic Affairs. “Our work has a direct impact both here in West Virginia and far beyond our borders. This delegation representing leaders from so many nations is one further example, and we are very pleased at the prospect of their visit.”

The discussion is part of a 12-day tour to review U.S. energy and climate policy challenges and strategies to develop and secure diverse energy supplies, reduce consumption, increase investment in research and technology and strengthen international cooperation in key energy sectors.

In addition to a review of research at WVU, the participants will learn about the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory’s promising technologies, some of which are being developed in cooperation with the NETL Regional University Alliance of which WVU is a member.

“As evidenced by its 2020 strategic plan, West Virginia University has a key emphasis on creating and encouraging international partnerships in education, research, outreach and economic development that benefit our state,” said Fred King, interim vice president for research. “Add to that our traditional focus on addressing the nation’s energy needs through research and education and you can certainly see why Morgantown is an obvious stop for these distinguished international officials.

“We are delighted in their interest in WVU and we are anxious to share and learn with them during their visit.”



CONTACTS: Cecilia Orrego, Office of International Students and Scholars
304-293-3519 or 304-319-1123, Cecilia.Orrego@mail.wvu.edu


Trina Wafle, NRCCE
304-293-3068 or 304-216-1610, TKWafle@mail.wvu.edu

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