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On February 11, 2015, the American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) welcomed Mr. William (Bill) Todd, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Ambassador Todd spoke to students and faculty about a variety of topics, including education, economic growth, and environmental issues in Cambodia. Following his remarks, the Ambassador engaged in discussion with the students. Throughout the conversation, Ambassador Todd emphasized the critical role that the youth of Cambodia will play in shaping the country’s future.
Kaknika Lin, a second year student majoring in Law, said, “The ambassador provided some statistics that really surprised us. We didn’t realize that young people made up such a high percentage of Cambodia’s total population. We now realize our opportunity and responsibility as future leaders in the country.”
Todd was confirmed as the U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia in March of 2012. Prior to his confirmation, he served as Coordinating Director of Development and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Acting Inspector General of the Department of State, and held several senior positions in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the Department of State.
Ambassador Todd is one of a number of notable figures who have addressed AUPP students and faculty since the University’s inception in 2013. Other speakers have included Dr. Okyu Kwon, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy of the Republic of Korea; Dr. Benny Widyono, former Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary General; and Mr. Rady Mom, the first Cambodian-American elected to serve as a state legislator in the United States.
Discussions with guest lecturers and other co-curricular activities play an integral role in the degree programs offered at AUPP, allowing students to actively engage in their own learning through interaction with prominent figures in their respective fields of study.