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USAID Launches Energy Initiative for Pakistan at Arizona State University

Phoenix (August 27, 2015) – With opening remarks by Senator John McCain, and in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and two Pakistani universities: the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad (NUST), and the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar (UET), Arizona State University launched  a program to develop groundbreaking energy research and solution hubs in Pakistan -- the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy.

"This new partnership presents a tremendous opportunity to help solve Pakistan's deepening energy challenges and identify new ways to develop more reliable power production," said Senator McCain. "I commend the leaders of Arizona State University and its partner institutions for launching this innovative initiative, through which students and researchers in both countries will work together to tackle the issue of sustainable energy, a vital concern for both our countries in the 21st century."

Donald “Larry” Sampler, the Assistant to the Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID, launched the five-year energy program at the event alongside the presidents of NUST, UET, and ASU’s Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development.  Together, the three university partners will develop the centers which focus on applied research relevant to Pakistan’s energy needs and educating the next generation of energy scientists, engineers, and policy makers.

 “The United States and Pakistan enjoy a long and fruitful partnership that spans over six decades,” Sampler said. “This program is yet another expression of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to building a stronger, more prosperous Pakistan. Under this new initiative, the centers at both NUST and UET Peshawar will become premier sustainable energy think tanks that will harness practical solutions for Pakistan’s current and future energy needs.”

By partnering with USAID, ASU places subject matter experts and cutting-edge knowledge on the front line of research and innovation internationally. To date, ASU and USAID have successfully collaborated on more than $40 million in USAID grant awarded projects, with more than 30 projects in progress today.

“This partnership exemplifies ASU’s commitment to access, excellence and impact around the globe,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “We are excited to collaborate with NUST and UET on this USAID project and look forward to sharing our energy research leadership and learning from the global experiences as we build these world-class centers. This project will open up new educational opportunities for students and faculty and address the critical need for sustainable energy projects that will help promote global security, stability and opportunity.”

The U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy were made possible by an $18 million USAID grant as part of a larger $127 million project to support Pakistan’s economic development by strengthening universities. The project is structured as three partnerships in the fields of energy, water, and agriculture and food security, between three American and four Pakistani universities.

During the event, Imtiaz Gilani, Vice Chancellor UET Peshawar; Muhammad Shahid, Pro-Rector NUST; and Gary Dirks, Director at the ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability took part in a panel discussion regarding this new partnership and how it will help mitigate issues around Pakistan’s energy needs. Liz Schrayer, President & CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, offered closing remarks highlighting public-private partnerships like this one as central to how our nation engages overseas and critical to how we advance America’s interests abroad and here in Arizona.