U.S. Department of State Honors Mr. Shamshad Hussain of Pakistan as State Alumni Member of the Month

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 5, 2011

Shamshad Hussain of Pakistan, an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State’s Community College Initiative Program (CCIP), has been named State Alumni Member of the Month. Throughout May, his leadership and promotion of mutual understanding is being recognized on the State Alumni website (https://alumni.state.gov), the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official site for the more than one million alumni who have participated in a Department-sponsored exchange program.

Shamshad Hussain is a role model for his fellow Pakistani alumni of exchange programs. He is also an instrumental force in promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Pakistan. Hussain lives in the beautiful and remote area of Gilgit-Baltistan. In spite of the region’s struggles with transportation and security issues, he effectively promotes volunteerism, education, and ecotourism. Hussain credits his exchange experience in the United States with broadening his vision and reaffirming his mission to make a positive difference in his society. When describing his U.S. experience to residents of his region, Hussain emphasizes that volunteer work is a “noble and highly recognized job.”

Following his exchange program, Hussain returned to Pakistan to initiate numerous community service projects. He was elected president of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network Gilgit-Baltistan Chapter, and in April 2010 became the coordinator for the local English Access Microscholarship Program. As a result, educational and future professional opportunities have expanded significantly for Gilgit-Baltistan’s underprivileged children.

Shamshad Hussain is the executive director of the Grassroots Association for Community Empowerment (GRACE), a Pakistani nonprofit that mobilizes marginalized communities to help create a more peaceful society. In October 2010, he led 100 alumni of U.S. Government exchange programs in the Gilgit-Baltistan region to organize a local chapter of the Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network. As president, Hussain also led this committed group to encourage local students to learn about U.S. Government-funded exchange programs. More than 800 female students attended the seminars, the first of their kind in Gilgit-Baltistan. As a direct result, the number of applicants to Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program and the Community College Initiative Program (CCIP) from Gilgit-Baltistan significantly increased.

Each month the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the State Alumni Member of the Month award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna. For more information, visit the website at http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html.

Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, StearnsCL@state.gov, phone (202) 632-6437

PRN: 2011/696