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Representing ASU outside of Arizona to share our model and explore new opportunities is a big part of my job. This month, I traveled more than 16,000 miles to and from Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to do just that. By special invitation, I participated in the International Exhibition & Conference on Higher Education in Riyadh as a keynote speaker and panelist discussing thefuture of postsecondary education and ASU's unique approach. Making the most of my time in the region, I was graciously received by the head of the UAE Space Agency, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Education, and representatives of KAUST - our new education and innovation partner - among other leaders with an interest in learning more about ASU's demonstrated leadership in comprehensive innovation. I also had a great time visiting with prospective students, some alumni, and staff from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Dubai.
To learn more about my trip, watch the message below and see more photo and video highlights on Facebook and Twitter, as well as my new Instagram account.
Closer to home, I recently had the pleasure of participating in the 5th annual Sedona Forum, a three-day gathering of national and international thought-leaders with diverse perspectives convened by the McCain Institute to discuss strategies and solutions related to real-world problems. In addition to welcoming guests who included National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt, and CBS Chairman Les Moonves, I also had the honor of sitting down with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean of Singapore for a thought-provoking conversation about China, U.S.-Singapore relations, and the future of Asia. DPM Teo emphasized that US leadership is integral to the area's peace and prosperity, and shared Singapore's perspectives on the region's development.
Centered on the theme of character-driven leadership, the Forum includes the Institute's Next Generation Leaders, an amazing group of emerging leaders from around the globe in leadership training to evolve targeted solutions for challenges in their home countries. They visited ASU before the start of the Forum and you can learn more about them below.
I am excited to share that in a just released report by the Milken Institute, ASU has surged dramatically to No. 21 in national technology transfer and commercialization rankings. This movement lands ASU ahead of Harvard, USC, Duke and Johns Hopkins, the top recipient of funding from the National Institutes of Health, and underscores the competitiveness and speed of our public research institution compared to our nation's most notable private institutions. It also demonstrates that by re-engineering our knowledge enterprise and tech transfer armwith a focus on use-inspired projects and a culture of transdisciplinary collaboration among our faculty, staff and students, ASU is a research force to be reckoned with. I appreciate the ingenuity and hard work of everyone who has contributed to this outstanding progress.
With so much happening in and around ASU, it is critical to regroup regularly the men and women who are charged with planning and executing our ASU charter. My University Management Team is composed of 400-plus individuals, director-level and above, from across ASU. I bring them together twice a year to exchange progress and plans, and during the remainder of the year, we stay connected via e-mail and engagement at university events. In the current public climate where many issues related to our work remain uncertain, it was important to me to remind our team that, despite past challenges, ASU has managed to consistently grow in competitiveness, quality, access and impact. I assured them that there is much to be optimistic about and we must continue to work together to continue this trajectory. We will find ways to keep moving forward in service to our students and all those we serve.