On December 10, 2014, the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the United States, with the support of the Council for Turkic American Associations (CTAA) held its 2nd U.S.-Kazakhstan Convention, at the Willard Intercontinental in Washington D.C. to strengthen bilateral ties and assist in fostering strategic regional and global partnerships.
This year’s convention theme was “Working Together For a Secure Future” brought together over prominent political leaders, ministers, policy experts, and individuals from government and private sector organizations in U.S. and Kazakhstan. the Breakfast and Opening Ceremony was attended by Hon. Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan Ambassador to the U.S and U.S. Members of Congress. The breakfast was moderated by Former U.S. Congressman Don Bonker.
The first session, titled “Turning Great Games into Great Gains”, deliberated on the challenges and opportunities in global and regional security. The keynote Speaker was His Excellency Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan and Madeline Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State. The panelists included Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State, Anne Harrington; Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration; Daniel Poneman, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Andrew Kuchins, Senior Fellow and Director, CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program.
The second session titled, “Kazakhstan-Gateway to Central Asia”, focused on new investment opportunities and the Future Energy and Climate EXPO 2017 in Cairo, Egypt. The event was moderated by William Courtney. President of U.S. Kazakhstan Business Association (USKBA) based in Washington D.C. The keynote speakers were Zhanar Aitzhanova, Minister of Economic Integration of Kazakhstan and Catherine Novelli, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. Panel speakers included Ainur Kuatova, Deputy Chair of the Astana EXPO-2017; Assel Yergaziyeva, Deputy Chair of KAZNEX INVEST, a national export and investment agency based in Kazakhstan; Robert Hormats, Former Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; Steven Green, President of Guggenheim International and Sabr Essimbekov, Executive Secretary of National Chamber of Entrepreneurs.
The convention concluded with a National Day Reception in celebration of the 23rd Anniversary Kazakhstan’s National Independence. The evening showcased the country’s traditions, heritage and future prospects of the country’s development. Among the distinguished guests was Hon. Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the U.S.; Hon Erlan Idrissov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.