Because I have been a resident of the extraordinary Kingdom of Jordan since January 2004, it is a singular pleasure and honor to introduce our very special keynote speaker today, Firas bin Raad of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. His biography and international and cross-cultural experiences coincide very much with the international orientation of our audience today. Let me give you a few examples:
(1) He was born in Amman, Jordan, attended boarding school in New Hampshire, earned a BA in economics and public health in 1991 from John Hopkins University, an MA in international studies in 1993 from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins, and a Master of Public Health in 1997 from Harvard University, and is currently completing a doctorate in public health, also from Harvard.
(2) He has worked for UNICEF and the Ministry of Health in Amman, as well as serving for three years as private secretary to His Majesty for health affairs.
(3) He has served as patron, director, and member of many social welfare organizations, including the King Hussein Foundation, the National Council for the Welfare of the Disabled, Jordan National Cleaner Production Program, Middle East Association for the Management of Hearing Loss, Palestine Hospital, and the Jordan-Swedish Medical Association, among a number of others.
(4) He has been a Fulbrighter and was awarded the Middle East Fellowship by the Middle East Institute for Social and Economic Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the African Studies Department Fellowship at SAIS.
(5) He has authored two monographs, has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, and the Far-East Asia, currently works for the World Bank, and speaks Arabic, English and French.