5 Current Heads of State Who Studied in the USA

July 20th, 2018

Historically, the United States has been most welcoming to students from other countries and demonstrated a consistent record of being a favored destination for international students. According to a report by the Washington Times the “U.S. State Department lists nearly 300 world leaders, current and former, who chose U.S. institutions, a trend that analysts say reinforced the nation’s status as the global leader in higher education but also underscores the figures’ desire — or, in many cases, need — to familiarize themselves with the United States, its politics and its culture.”

In this week’s blog, we would like to spotlight 5 current world leaders in office who completed all or a portion of their education in the United States.

COLOMBIA

President: Juan Manuel Santos

columbia

He has been in office since 2010 and sole recipient of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. He graduated from the University of Kansas and then attended the London School of Economics. In 1981, he received a master’s degree public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy’s School of Government and was a 1988 Nieman Fellow for his award-winning work as a columnist and reporter. Santos was a Fulbright visiting fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Economics at Tufts University in 1981. Santos served as a member and Vice Chair of the Washington-based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association. To learn more, click here

CROATIA

President: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović 

croatia

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has been in office since 2015.  At age 17, she moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico as an exchange student and later graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1986. She returned to Yugoslavia and enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, where in 1993 she graduated with a Degree in English and Spanish languages and literature.  She continued her studies in a Diploma Course from 1995 to 1996 at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria and In 2000 she received a master’s degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb. She then attended George Washington University as a Fulbright scholar. She also received a Luksic Fellowship for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and was a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. To learn more, click here

JORDAN:

King: Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein

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Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein has been King of Jordan since 1999.  Abdullah attended high school at Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy in the United States. He then attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1987, where he pursued advanced study and research in international affairs. To learn more, click here

KENYA

President: Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta

kenya

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta has been in office since 2013. He studied economics, political science and government at Amherst College in the United States.  He is the son of Jomo KenyattaKenya’s first president, and his fourth wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta. In August 2017 general election, Uhuru was re-elected for a second term but the election was successfully challenged in the Supreme Court of Kenya by his main competitor, Raila Odinga. On September 1, 2017, the court declared the election invalid and ordered a new presidential election which was held on October 26. Uhuru won, with 39% participation. His presidency has not been without controversy, and to learn more, click here

SINGAPORE

Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong

singapore

Lee has been in office since 2014.  He graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Trinity CollegeCambridge University, as Senior Wrangler in 1974 and later earned a Master of Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. To learn more about Prime Minister Lee, click here.

According to an interview with the Washington Times, Allan Goodman, President of the Institute of International Education explained why the U.S. has been an attractive destination for study: “We have been the most open to students from other countries. It’s our tradition of academic open doors and a very consistent record of having international students here. The best American universities have been open to international students for the longest period of time. The credentials [obtained from those schools] matter, and the byproduct is that they gain a better understanding of the United States.”

We hope that the tradition of academic open doors will continue and remain strong.

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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