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Press Release - India's Ambassador To Give Commencement Address at University of Florida

Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Nirupama Rao will travel to Gainesville, Florida, on Friday to deliver the graduation address to the University of Florida's Doctoral Degree Commencement Ceremony.

As India's new ambassador to the U.S., Rao plans to highlight the critical role that educated youth can play in the advancement of democratic values, public service, and social innovation goals.  She also intends to point out that India, like the U.S., understands fully  the importance of higher education, in fostering technological progress and inclusive growth.

"I am very honored for the invitation to address students at the University of Florida during their graduation," Rao said. "The U.S. and my country share many fundamental values, a fact that strengthens our already close partnership.  One of our most significant commonalities is the belief that education leads to economic strength and progress for all our people."

By coincidence, Rao received the invitation to speak at the university soon after she met in February with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. During that meeting, Rubio asked Rao to come to Florida, which she said she would. She also invited him to India, a visit he said he looked forward to. Rubio described the U.S.-India relationship as “extremely important” and called India a shining example of democracy in its region and the world.

While in Florida, Rao will meet with members of the Indian American community and will tour the University of Florida's HUB, the school's center for the commercialization of university research.