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Alumnus president of Palau will visit campus

  • man at podium in UN

Posted on October 20, 2017

As president of the Pacific island nation of Palau, Tommy Remengesau is leading a government that is in the center of U.S.-China relations, climate change and outside threats to an ocean economy.

Remengesau, who graduated from Grand Valley in 1979, will give a presentation on campus about geopolitical issues on Wednesday, November 1, at the Kirkhof Center, room 2204, from 4-5 p.m. Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, will moderate the session, "From GVSU Student to World Leader."

Sponsored by the Padnos International Center, the event is approved for LIB 100 and 201 courses.

Remengesau led Palau in 2006 in becoming the first nation to ban bottom ocean trawling, fishing boats that drag nets across the ocean floor and kills other marine life in the path. His efforts earned him a 2016 Peter Benchley Ocean Award. He also played a prominent role at the 2015 Paris Accords because of his leadership on climate change. 

Palau has maintained a strong connection with Grand Valley. More than 10 Palau residents have graduated from Grand Valley and several students are currently enrolled.

Questions about this event can be directed to Mark Schaub, chief international officer, at