President of Kosovo visits Iowa, DMU

President Jahjaga meets with DMU students
President Jahjaga meets with DMU students

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 establish habitual, long-term relationships.

President Jahjaga is the fourth president of Kosovo since the country declared its independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008. She is the first female, the first non-partisan candidate and the youngest to be elected to the office. She is the first female head of state in modern Balkans.

President Jahjaga’s Iowa trip also included meetings with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and other leaders, a visit to Iowa State University and a tour of a cattle farming 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.

View footage of President Jahjaga’s visit to campus on DMU Tube.

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