The 100,000 Strong Foundation Hosts Inaugural Conference; National Student Ambassador Program Officially Launches

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The 100,000 Strong Foundation today held its first annual conference to promote the importance of study abroad as a means to enhance the US-China strategic relationship in conjunction with the fourth annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong headlined the event at American University’s School of International Service.

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Understanding China is increasingly a basic skill required to compete, collaborate and succeed in the global economy — one that should be available to all students, regardless of background.

The 100,000 Strong Foundation today held its first annual conference to promote the importance of study abroad as a means to enhance the US-China strategic relationship. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong headlined the event at American University’s School of International Service.

The 100,000 Strong Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization launched in 2013 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, seeks to strengthen US-China relations through study abroad.

The conference brought together prominent US and Chinese officials, business leaders, academics and students. They discussed the future of the US-China relationship and the importance of ensuring that the next generation of leaders can work together to address the most pressing global challenges.

“The relationship between China and the United States is based on practical cooperation on shared goals and an understanding of the need for constructive management of our occasional differences,” Secretary of State Kerry said. “Neither country can go it alone. That’s why the 100,000 Strong Foundation is so important and deserves our wholehearted support. The cultural understanding promoted by the Foundation will pay dividends for both countries long into the future.”

The Foundation’s 100,000 Strong Student Ambassador Program officially launched at today’s conference, which was held in conjunction with the fourth annual US-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange. The student ambassador program selects top students from around the country to promote the Foundation’s mission. 100,000 Strong student ambassadors underscore the diversity of the United States and the need for students from all backgrounds to gain fluency in China-related issues.

“Understanding China is increasingly a basic skill required to compete, collaborate and succeed in the global economy — one that should be available to all students, regardless of background. Our student ambassadors are a critical part of our effort to increase the number of students from underrepresented populations studying in China,” 100,000 Strong President Carola McGiffert said.

"We are honored to host Secretary Kerry and Vice Premier Liu today and delighted to house the 100,000 Strong Foundation at the School of International Service," said American University's School of International Service Dean Jim Goldgeier. "Fostering better understanding of countries such as China through student exchanges is among the principal aims of our school's mission, and we strongly support the work of the foundation."

The 100,000 Strong Foundation is housed at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. The Foundation’s work is generously supported by the Ford Foundation, the Florence Fang Family Foundation, WorldStrides, Wanxiang NA, Deloitte and GreenPoint Group.

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For more information about the 100,000 Strong Foundation, please visit http://www.100kstrong.org

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