Remarks on the Occasion of the Signing Ceremony of an Agreement between Marymount University (VA) and the National University of Public Service

Minister Pintér, Rector Pátyi, President Shank, Ambassador Szemerkényi, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning!  Jó reggelt kívánok! 

Thank you very much for the invitation to join you today and participate in this morning’s ceremony!  I am honored to witness the signing of the memorandum of understanding between Marymount University and the National University of Public Service.  This agreement offers an excellent opportunity to expand the educational and training cooperation between our countries, particularly because of the strong emphasis placed on public service by both institutions.

Marymount University, located in Arlington, Virginia – just steps from the White House and U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. – has enshrined this outlook in its mission statement:

Marymount will distinguish itself through a culture of engagement that fosters intellectual curiosity, service to others, and a global perspective.

This new international partnership with a university focused on educating European leaders of tomorrow will only strengthen Marymount’s dedication to its core principles and expand its ability to offer its students and faculties a truly unique view of our increasingly interconnected world.

The National University of Public Service recognizes the value of these connections, these bridges across borders — and across the ocean.  Although a relatively new university, it has built a very impressive network of partners in Europe and beyond, through the Erasmus Program and links with other universities and military academies — as well as through programs offered in conjunction with the United States and the Budapest International Law Enforcement Academy,  where  I believe Marymount’s team will visit next week and where over 22,000 law enforcement officials from around the world have trained since it was established in 1995.  This broad, practical approach helps the National University of Public Service to deliver a comprehensive and adaptable education to its students in a very international environment.

Under the agreement signed today, the two universities will cooperate and develop curriculum in several key, emerging fields of study, primarily cyber security and forensic science.  In the long term, this agreement is not only an educational cooperation but also a contribution to Hungarian-U.S. relations.  It will build the capacity of the Hungarian law enforcement and justice system by introducing high-technology U.S. crime investigation techniques and methods through competitive, practice-oriented education for future law enforcement and police officers as well as providing in-service training for senior civil servants.

This is an especially timely issue.  Just last year, President Obama said,  “Cyber threats pose an enormous challenge to our country. It’s one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation. It is a matter of public safety and public health”.

And in this era of interconnectivity, it’s an issue that affects us all.  Everyone has an interest in maintaining the security, integrity, and availability of our cyber resources — whether to protect vital security, energy, and health care systems, or to safeguard intellectual property rights and economic interests.

By bringing together intellectually curious students and staff from Hungary and the United States – students with the desire to serve their countries – this new bilateral cooperation between Marymount University and the National University of Public Service enhances the efforts of the global community to research and resolve the latest challenges and problems facing us all.  I look forward to watching the relationship between these two institutions grow and flourish over the coming years and produce future Hungarian and American leaders in public service, law enforcement, and the military.

Thank you.  Köszönöm szépen.