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February 9, 2006

MEDIA CONTACT: Adela de la Torre
(202) 994-6424;
Nell McGarity
(202) 994-8025;

FEB. 15

Former GW Student to Receive University's Highest Honor

WASHINGTON - Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will be presented with the University's President's Medal on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 11 a.m.  The event will be hosted by GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Michael Brown, dean of GW's Elliott School of International Affairs and will take place at 1957 E Street in the City View room. 

"It is an honor to welcome the return of such an influential figure as Minister Grabar-Kitarovic," said President Trachtenberg.  "Minister Grabar-Kitarovic's commitment to public service and the leadership makes her an ideal recipient of the President's Medal."

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was born in Rijeka, Croatia. She lived in the United States for part of her childhood and graduated from Los Alamos High School in New Mexico.  Grabar-Kitarovic began her diplomatic career immediately after graduating from the University of Zagreb, where she also earned a master's degree in international relations.  Grabar-Kitarovic further pursued her studies as a Fulbright Scholar at The George Washington University from 2002-2003.

In November 2003, Grabar-Kitarovic was elected to the Croatian Parliament from the seventh electoral district as a member of the Croatian Democratic Union. In December 2003 she was appointed Minister of European Integration and began negotiations in 2004 for Croatia to join the European Union. Grabar-Kitarovic was nominated, and subsequently confirmed, Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration in February 2005.
Established in 1988, The George Washington University's President's Medal is the highest honor awarded by the President of the University. The President's Medal recognizes the distinctive achievements of each recipient. Past medal recipients include Vaclav Havel (Czech Republic), Mikhail Gorbachev, Walter Cronkite, and Abba Eban.

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