Written by NAC
Nigerian-American Council Welcomes former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Admiral Donald Loren as Policy Advisor
Building Bridges between the US and Nigeria
Washington, DC, December 26, 2013
The Nigerian-American Council (NAC) has elevated its “presence” in Washington, DC, by welcoming former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rear Admiral Donald P. Loren (ret), to the Council’s Advisory Board.
Donald P. Loren is a retired Rear Admiral, with 31 years service with the US Navy, and as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. He is currently an international consultant, and serves on the Board of several highbrow US and international organizations.
The December 13, 2013 NAC welcoming event attracted distinguished Nigerian-Americans from across the US, amid other VIP’s from the US Congress, US Justice Department, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Africa Experts, Business Executives, and others.
In his remarks, Admiral Loren acknowledged the role of the Nigerian-American Diaspora in facilitating business and other related relationships between the US and Nigeria.
Other high-profile guests included Gregory Simpkins, US Congressional Africa Sub-Committee Staff Director, who in his remarks recounted the US Congressional Sub-Committee’s recent visit to Nigeria; where the Committee interacted with and interviewed victims of the Boko Haram terrorist organization.
Mr. Simpkins remarked that Nigerians and the Nigerian-American Diaspora, should first initiate efforts to solve Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa problems; including security and related business engagements; before other Africa well-wishers in the US can assist, by propping-up perceived deficiencies in those efforts.
Former Nigerian-American Diplomat and member of the NAC’s Advisory Board Kayode Tani-Olu, called for a concerted approach by Nigerians from all regions of Nigeria; in a joint effort to commonly address Nigeria’s current political divisiveness, which stems from divisive rhetoric by current leaders and political actors in Nigeria. Nigerian-American lawyer Eric Ula-Lisa also reminded the Nigerian-American community, of how the Israeli-American Diaspora community built Israel from the ground up, and ensured Israel’s security and standing in the world today.
In his closing remarks, the Executive Director of NAC, Samuel Okey Mbonu, stated that the Council has taken very careful steps to engage necessary partners and advisors, in the bid to ensure that NAC achieves its goals of advocating effectively for the Nigerian-American community, and for US businesses and agencies with interests in Nigeria.
Mbonu recounted that the Council had accomplished some notable feats in 2013, including organizing and hosting the first Boko Haram International Security Summit; interfacing with the US Congress; engaging with the State Department; and engaging with international media on behalf of the Nigerian-American community. The Council has called for other approaches to Nigeria’s handling of the Boko Haram and related security challenges. Mbonu reiterated that Nigeria’s greatest assets included its ethnic and religious diversity, which creates a hybrid-culture that could be harnessed for positive nation-building.
The Council has called on Nigerians to eschew ethnic thinking that undermines Nigeria’s political progress, geo-political influence and greatness; and instead embrace dialogue in all cases. Mbonu stated that dialogue is the only civil way forward to greatness, which would benefit “all” Nigerians.
The Executive Director summarized NAC upcoming programs for 2014, which includes, policy advisory and advocacy for the Nigerian-American Diaspora, and US entities or agencies with interests in Nigeria; elevating the role of the Nigerian-American Diaspora in formulating US-Nigerian policy; dealing with International Security in the Gulf of Guinea; assuring a credible Investment climate in Nigeria and West Africa; consolidating the Council’s relationships with US and international partners; and a proactive socio-political engagement with Nigeria, pursuant to Nigeria’s upcoming national elections in 2015.
The Council also announced its “free” enrollment/membership initiative, which means that membership is open to all Nigerian-American Diaspora. Registered members will benefit from free community services; free E-copies of the upcoming “NA Journal”; and opportunities for educational grants and other benefits. Registrations are being accepted at the contact page of the Council’s website at: www.nigerian-americancouncil.org.
Signed: S. Walter, Media Relations, Nigerian-American Council (NAC)
1701 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 300, NW Washington, DC 20006
Web: www.nigerian-americancouncil.org Tel: 202 379-2848, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.