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Shepherd's Pi Sigma Alpha to host ambassador

ISSUED: 20 April 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd's Pi Sigma Alpha to host ambassador)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society and the Department of Political Science at Shepherd University will host Temur Iakobashvili, ambassador of the Republic of Georgia to the United States, on Monday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies Auditorium.

Iakobashvili's presentation, "Georgia: From Failing State to Functioning Democracy," is free and open to the public. Iakobashvili is a Georgian political scientist, diplomat, and politician, who served as state minister for reintegration since 2008.

He was named deputy prime minister in 2009 and has served as ambassador to the United States since November 2010. Iakobashvili graduated from the Department of Physics at Tbilisi State University in 1984 and attended diplomatic courses at the universities of Oxford and Birmingham (1998), the Yale University World Fellows Program (2002), and the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government (2003).

Iakobashvili, who graduated from Tbilisi State University during the era of reforms initiated by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, used the new openness to help found several campus Jewish groups that united activists from across the U.S.S.R.

Iakobashvili then began organizing political demonstrations at home and across Europe, which gave him quite a "rap sheet," including arrests in Moscow for dancing to "Hava Nagila" in Red Square during Chanukah and for staging a large protest outside of the Syrian embassy on behalf of Jewish causes. He was also arrested, in both France and Switzerland, for staging Jewish-oriented political demonstrations.

For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Robbins, assistant professor, department of political science at jrobbins@shepherd.edu or 304-876-5498.

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