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Greek diplomat to visit USF

He has worked in Athens, Greece as a contributor in both diplomatic and political capacities. His career covers a wide range of interests from positions in government and foreign affairs to working as a visiting fellow of university centers.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the former mayor of Athens, comes to USF tonight to discuss “Athens as a World City” at 6:30 in the Grace Allen Room in the Library.

“He will talk about the fact that globalization affects the role that cities and government can play in international relationships,” said William Murray, executive director for the Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenistic Studies.

Murray said Avramopoulos’ extensive experience working in government as a leader and spokesman will provide important advice for students who seek a future in politics. Murray said Avramopoulos knows the importance of a strong education in language, business, politics and history which are needed to be successful in government.

Avramopoulos’ diplomatic career began in 1980 as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In past years, he has filled many positions, including spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consul general and director for the Diplomatic Office of the Prime Minister of Greece.

Murray said learning from such world-class figures as Avramopoulos should be important to Americans.

“We have to know what other people think of us and what they are thinking,” Murray said.

Murray said Avramopoulos’ relationship with the Athens area provides a unique perspective of the world because of the former mayor’s location between the crossroads at eastern Mediterranean and Islamic regions.

Avramopoulos’ work has received worldwide recognition as he has been presented with various awards from countries including Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Finland and Spain. He holds the honorary citizenship of 35 Greek and foreign cities.

“His observations are critically important for us as Americans as we try to understand how in the world we are to interact and co-exist with the Islamic world in the eastern Mediterranean,” Murray said.