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2010.05.24 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

Gouttierre Named Among Bowling Green's Most Prominent Alumni

Omaha - Afghanistan expert Thomas Gouttierre has been named one of Bowling Green State University’s “100 Most Prominent Alumni.” The 1962 alumnus was recognized during a ceremony at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Before becoming dean of International Studies and Programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), he lived and worked for almost 10 years in Afghanistan. While there, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer, a Fulbright Fellow and executive director of the Fulbright Foundation. He also coached the Afghan National Basketball Team.

The U.S. Department of State then tapped him to serve as senior political affairs officer on the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission to Afghanistan in 1996 and 1997. He has served on several international committees related to Afghanistan refugees and related issues.

He has testified on Afghanistan-related topics and human rights before many different bodies, including the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, committees of the British Parliament and French National Assembly, and the U.N. Select Committee on Human Rights. He has also conducted orientation programs for U.S. military forces assigned to Afghanistan, and is regularly called upon for his expertise: In the first 10 months after 9/11, he did more than 2,000 presentations and interviews. He has also been instrumental in garnering humanitarian and educational aid to post-war Afghanistan.

Gouttierre speaks, reads and writes Afghan Persian (Dari), Iranian Persian (Farsi) and Tajikistani Persian. His publications include numerous articles about Afghanistan society, culture and politics. He was the project director for the development of the 23,000-word Dari-English Dictionary.

In 2001, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of International Relations from BGSU, and in 2005 was named a Distinguished Alumnus. Also added to Gouttierre’s list of accomplishments is Master Baker. As a student attending BGSU, he worked full time at his family’s bakery in downtown Maumee, Ohio.

BGSU decided to recognize its “100 Most Prominent Alumni” as part of its Centennial celebration. The Alumni Awards honor individuals who personify the University’s tradition as an institution of excellence.

For more information, contact Bonnie Blankinship, Bowling Green State University: (419) 372-2618 or bblanki@bgsu.edu.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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