When Atifete Jahjaga, the president of Kosovo, visited Iowa June 13-15, her itinerary included a tour of DMU. Her visit, part of the U.S. Department of Defense State Partnership Program, represented the first time in history that a Kosovo president came to the state. Iowa was selected in March 2011 by the State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Guard Bureau to participate in the Security and Cooperation and State Partnership programs. The programs’ goals are to link National Guard states and territories with partner countries to foster mutual interests and long-term relationships. Since Jahjaga’s visit, DMU representatives have participated in discussions exploring those relationships, including possible rotations for DMU students in Kosovo and faculty exchanges.
Jahjaga, 37, is the fourth president of Kosovo since the country declared its independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008. She is the first female and the youngest to be elected to the office. Her campus visit included a gift exchange with DMU President Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., and a tour of the University’s Iowa Simulation Center.
Jahjaga also met with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and other leaders, visited Iowa State University and toured a cattle operation and wind energy facilities. She was accompanied by Akan Ismaili, Kosovo ambassador to the United States; William Christopher Dell, U.S. ambassador to Kosovo; Brigadier General Xhavit Gashi, Kosovo defense attaché to the U.S.; and Major General Tim Orr, adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard.