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Press Release - Ambassador Ms. Nirupama Rao visits Iowa on 7-9 October, 2013 and delivers prestigious Manatt - Phelps Lecture at the Iowa State University

Washington, DC

Ambassador Nirupama Rao visited Iowa during October 7-9, 2013 on a visit to promote exchanges between India and Iowa.

Ambassador Rao delivered the prestigious Annual Manatt-Phelps Lecture in Political Science to a large gathering of more than 400 students and members of the faculty at the Iowa State University on the theme: “India-U.S. Partnership: How far have we come, what lies ahead”. In an interactive session that followed the address, Ambassador Rao responded to questions from the audience on various facets of India-U.S. strategic partnership, India’s foreign policy and India’s role in the contemporary world. The Manatt-Phelps Lecture was established by Thomas and Elizabeth Phelps and Charles T. and Kathleen Manatt, and the annual lecture focuses on significant developments in the area of international political economy. Distinguished leaders, who have earlier delivered the prestigious annual Lecture, have included then Senators Chuck Hagel and Joseph Biden. The President of the Iowa State University Dr. Steven Leath also hosted a reception in Ambassador Rao’s honor.

Earlier Ambassador Rao had a meeting with IOWA Governor Terry E.Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Director of IOWA Economic Development Authority Debi V.Durham in the State Capitol. During the meeting Governor Branstad briefed the Ambassador on his trade mission to India in September 2013 and the useful interactions had by his delegation with the Indian business communities in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. Ambassador Rao expressed her enthusiastic support for efforts to build closer economic relations between Iowa and India. Ambassador Rao stressed upon the need to establish ‘farmer to farmer’ relationships and closer agricultural cooperation between the two sides. Ambassador Rao also emphasized on the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of education, particularly among the higher institutions of learning modeled on the concept of community colleges in the United States of America.

Ambassador Rao also visited the World Food Prize Foundation at Des Moines and was given a tour of World Food Prize Hall of Laureates and a briefing on the activities of the Foundation by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn. Six out of 36 recipients of World Food Prize are Indians, the first being Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.

The Indian American community hosted a reception to welcome Ambassador Rao in Des Moines. Ambassador Rao was accompanied on the tour by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Consul General of India in Chicago.