BCIU Hosts Chiefs of Mission Forum for Western Hemisphere; Assistant Secretary to Address Ambassadors, Business Leaders

Jan 18, 2010, 15:10 ET from Business Council for International Understanding

Jan 20 D.C. policy forum brings together Western Hemisphere U.S. Ambassadors, business leaders, foreign ambassadors to expand trade, discuss public private humanitarian response to Haiti

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) today announced that it is hosting a policy forum in concert with the U.S. Department of State's annual Chiefs of Mission Conference for the Western Hemisphere in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 20, 6 - 8 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. For the past 25 years, BCIU has organized programs with each of the State Department's six regional bureaus to bring together business leaders, U.S. Ambassadors, think tanks and government officials to discuss trade, exports and philanthropy on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo A. Valenzuela will give remarks on U.S. policy priorities in the hemisphere, and the government's response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti. The Assistant Secretary will address and take questions from an invited audience that includes all U.S. Ambassadors to Western Hemisphere states, BCIU member business leaders, think tanks, media and government officials.

"U.S. Ambassadors and the hard-working commercial and economic sections of their embassies are essential to expanding trade, exports and philanthropic ties with the countries of the Western Hemisphere," said Peter Tichansky, BCIU President and CEO, who will introduce Assistant Secretary Valenzuela. "We're extremely pleased to host Assistant Secretary Valenzuela for one of his first policy speeches since his confirmation and we look forward to facilitating a productive dialogue among all parties. BCIU and its membership are encouraged by his appointment and the Administration's global strategy and directives to engage communities and business opportunities that will foster economic recovery.

"The needs and opportunities to drive comprehensive public and private humanitarian and economic recovery assistance to Haiti will be a key focus of this year's gathering. BCIU members have been generous in their response to this close-to-home crisis and we anticipate this unique gathering of decision makers will provide additional opportunities for action and collaboration."

About BCIU

Since its inception in 1955 as a White House initiative under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) has been a neutral, results-oriented partner, facilitating dialogue and alliances between world businesses and political leaders. With members from more than 150 world-leading companies, BCIU provides an ongoing forum for senior business executives to interact with heads of state/government, cabinet ministers and senior government officials. BCIU brokers contacts and organizes custom-tailored events, briefings and off-the-record discussions so that stakeholders may speak candidly about core issues in a direct and timely manner, enabling resolution of problems and promotion of business opportunities in both the private and public sectors of the global marketplace. For more information, visit www.bciu.org.

SOURCE Business Council for International Understanding