June 19, 2017 – Ambassador W. Stuart Symington and Consul General F. John Bray welcomed the June 19 launch of the Lagos Chapter of the U.S. Government Exchange Alumni Association in a ceremony held at the Colonades Hotel in Lagos. The new chapter for Lagos State welds together interested alumni from all public diplomacy exchange programs: Fulbright programs, the Humphrey Fellowship, International Visitor Leadership Programs, the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, TechWomen, Study of the U.S. Institutes, Fortune 500 and others.
In his dialogue with the audience of 160 alumni of Lagos State, Ambassador Symington said “Will you change the world together? I’m betting on you. This is a profound investment by the people of my country in the people of your country.” The ambassador also announced Mission plans to award a $10,000 public diplomacy grant to the Lagos Chapter for mentoring activities for members of the YALI Network. “It’s a very small amount of money” that would nonetheless go far “in the rich soil of this country.”
At the end of the ceremony, Ambassador Symington and Consul General Bray unveiled a banner announcing the new chapter, which is organized and led by a mix of alumni from all programs. Lagos State and Osun State are among the first alumni groups to have launched new chapters in Nigeria.