The “Lecture Series“ project of the American Embassy in Laos is one of many programs that the Embassy undertakes to try to expand and broaden the relationship between the United States of America and Laos. In addition to providing diplomacy between the two countries, the Embassy also helps many projects to better the quality of lives of the Lao people.
The Lecture Series bring specialists or experts from the United States to Laos to give lectures on various interesting and helpful topics. This year, a Lao-Hmong American, Mr. Blong Xiong, Chairmen of the City Council of Fresno, California, was invited to discuss the role of local governments in the U.S. and his responsibilities as a councilman. In an interview with VOA, Mr. Blong Xiong expressed his thanks to the American Ambassador and his staff to make this process possible,
“First of all, I’d really like to thank the Embassy, Ambassador Huso, Amy and the staff, and the Foreign Ministry of the Lao government as well as the Lao Ambassador here and staff for putting this through. I am very happy to have this opportunity to go to Laos and share my experience and responsibilities. I’ve always wanted to do this at a personal level, and now I got a chance to do it.”
Mr. Blong Xiong will be lecturing in different parts of Laos, sharing his works and experiences in planning, budgeting, developing and public participation in local governments. The Lecture Series is to take place from November 17-21. The Fresno Council chairman says this will be a great learning experience for him. He hopes to make his lecture and presentation interesting and interactive as much as possible.
“This is one of many steps that help build a good relationship between the two communities and two countries, Laos and the United Sates. As we have discussed earlier, many Lao-Americans long to go back to their homeland. So do my parents. They want to go back, and are ready to go back,” Blong Xiong concluded.
Listen to audio files for the whole interview with Blong Xiong.