Published April 16, 2015
President Satish K. Tripathi spoke at the Summit of the Americas in Panama City last week as part of a panel examining the role of universities in sustainable economic development — one of three major themes addressed at the forum.
Tripathi was one of two U.S. university presidents invited to speak at the panel on April 10.
The seventh Summit of the Americas drew worldwide attention due to the meeting between President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro — the first sit-down talks between the top leaders of the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50 years.
Tripathi was invited to speak by UB alumnus Oscar Ramirez, president of the Technological University of Panama, the host institution of the summit’s inaugural Forum of Rectors of the Americas, titled “Prosperity and Education: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas – the Role of Universities.”
“It was a privilege to represent UB and Western New York at this international meeting and to share our experience of the vital role of research universities in advancing the economic development agenda of our region,” Tripathi said. “It is my hope that the experience of Western New York is helpful for my colleagues at universities throughout the Americas.”
Tripathi spoke about UB’s major initiatives that support local economic development, the collaboration with government and private-sector partners, and his role as co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
Several presidents of leading U.S. universities were in attendance at the forum, as well as the leaders of 35 nations. Tripathi was joined at the summit by Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost for international education.
Tripathi and other university presidents will draft recommendations on the role of higher education that will be submitted to the heads of state attending the summit, including Obama.
After the forum, Tripathi visited the campus of the Technological University of Panama (TUP), where he met with university leaders and signed an institutional agreement to promote scholarly exchange and collaboration between UB and TUP.
Sponsored by the Organization of American States, the Summits of the Americas are institutionalized gatherings of the heads of state and government of the Western Hemisphere where leaders discuss common policy issues, affirm shared values and commit to concerted actions at the national and regional level to address continuing and new challenges faced in the Americas.