PLO Ambassador to Visit Champlain College

BURLINGTON, Vt. (Oct. 15, 2014)—Champlain College, together with the Vermont Council on World Affairs (VCWA), will be hosting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Ambassador to the United States Maen Rashid Areikat on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Perry Presentation room at 251 South Willard Street in Burlington.

The Ambassador has been invited to the Queen City as part of VCWA's "Ambassadors Series." Champlain has collaborated with VCWA on several ambassador visits—most recently Ireland and Morocco. On Tuesday evening, Champlain College and the WCWA will co-host a presentation by the Ambassador titled "Window Into Middle East Diplomacy" which will address the economic turnaround of a small economy in the globalized world.

This event came about through Mahmoud Jabari, a Champlain senior who is Palestinian. The PLO ambassador's message is one of peace-making, and he is open to dialogue and Q&A with the audience. He has been well received at a number of colleges and universities this fall, including Brown University.

The Champlain College community, as well as the general public, is encouraged to attend this presentation by the PLO Ambassador. Seating is extremely limited, so please arrive early.

Contact Betsy Beaulieu, dean of the Core Division at Champlain College, or Gail Stevenson of Vermont Council on World Affairs with questions.

PLO ambassador to the US Maen Rashid AreikatABOUT THE AMBASSADOR

Maen Rashid Areikat was born Oct. 12, 1960 in Jericho in the West Bank, Palestine. Prior to his appointment to Washington, Mr. Areikat was bestowed the rank of Ambassador by Chairman of the PLO and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Maen Areikat served for 11 years at the Negotiations Affairs Department (NAD) of the PLO in Ramallah, most recently as its Deputy Head and Coordinator-General (2008-2009). Areikat first joined NAD in 1998, when it was headed by current Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and served as its Director-General until March 2008. In addition to overseeing NAD's day-to-day operations, Mr. Areikat was responsible for overseeing the work of the Negotiations Support Unit (NSU), which provided legal, policy, communication and technical support to Palestinian Negotiating Teams and to the Palestinian Leadership. Prior to his service at NAD, Chief Representative Areikat spent six years at Orient House (1993-1998), the headquarters of the PLO in Jerusalem and of the Palestinian Negotiating Team to the Madrid peace talks.

While at Orient House, he served as spokesperson for the late Mr. Faisal Husseini, former PLO Executive Committee member in charge of Jerusalem Affairs, and later as Desk Officer for the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa in Orient House's International Relations Department. Chief Representative Areikat previously took part in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations at Beit Hanoun/Erez in Gaza and Taba in Egypt in 1996, in Jerusalem in 1997 and was an official member of the Palestinian delegation at the Wye River negotiations in 1998. During the course of his career, Ambassador Areikat has traveled extensively throughout the region and abroad, including numerous official visits to Washington, DC and several European capitals, and has participated in various conferences and symposiums on the Middle East peace process and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Ambassador Areikat earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1983 and his MBA in management from Western International University in 1987. He received his diplomatic training at the Ministry of External Affairs in Ottawa, Canada in 1993 and 1994, and completed a training course in good governance at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2001. Ambassador Areikat is joined in Washington by his wife Jumana and their three boys, Rashid (15 years), Saif (12 years) and Amr (9 years).

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit