On Tuesday afternoon on March 20, a TFAS alumni meeting of young people that participated in one of the educational programs of The Fund of American Studies took place in London. It was organized on the initiative of Mr. Randal C. Teague, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TFAS, Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, Chairman of G.A.A.E.C. and Dr.Aliki Mitsakos, Chairwomen of the Educational Committee of G.A.A.E.C (main partner of TFAS in Europe) were present as well. More than 20 young professionals came to the TFAS meeting in the St. Ermin’s Hotel. The former students discussed politics, economics, their careers and revived old memories in a very good atmosphere. Alumni were present who participated in IIPES in the early beginning, but also more recent alumni from 2009 and 2010 who continued their studies by doing a Master’s and others who have obtained a Doctor’s degree. All of them have become very successful, an example is a Turkish IIPES alumni of 1996 Dr. Ibrahim Sirecki who is now a professor at a university in London, also Mr. Akis Georgiou, alumni of IIPES 2009, will be in charge of the administration of IIPES 2012. They all talked about the good memories they have when looking back on the programs they participated in, and enjoyed the reunion in the British capital.
Chairman Randal C. Teague of TFAS and Mr. Theodossis Georgiou, founder of G.A.A.E.C., emphasized in a speech the importance of summer programs such as IIPES and AIPES. Mr. Teague welcomed the alumni: "You are all a small part of an extremely big family consisting of 13,000 alumni worldwide, but everybody of you is unique. I am sure that the memories you have from your experiences with the programs of TFAS will be part of you the rest of your lives. You took courses about freedom and the importance of a free society. Lives are changed in an instant, simply by a powerful new idea. But you and I are not young students. And 2012 is not going to be an easy year for those of you who believe in freedom. It is going to be a knock-down-and-drag-out fight. It is going to be a battle like we have never seen.’’ Mr. Georgiou: "The new generations are the leaders of tomorrow. Know-how and expertise in the areas of politics, economics and leadership are not self-evident. It is essential that young people know how to govern and get experienced with issues such as leadership and conflict management. IIPES and AIPES are perfect programs to educate them in a practical way’’. Dr. Aliki Mitsakos agreed upon that and added that "IIPES is a good opportunity to establish worldwide connections and valuable contacts.’’ She also stressed once again the importance of more women in high positions in international organizations.
Overall, it was an interesting weekend and the alumni suggested a follow-up reunion in Greece. Because one thing they have learned during the programs is that networking and staying in touch with each other is one of the most important traits of a successful leader.