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International Educators Conference Kicks Off Tuesday at Houston Convention Center


More than 8,000 international educators from 100 countries expected to attend

The 64th Annual Conference and Expo of NAFSA: Association of International Educators begins tomorrow at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

The conference is the world’s largest gathering of leader and professionals in international educational exchange, with more than 8,000 participants from 100 countries expected. The conference runs through Friday, June 1, and features an excellent lineup of plenary speakers, hundreds of professionals sessions and workshops, and a vibrant 400-exhibitor Expo Hall that is a global celebration of the field of international education.

For complete information about media registration, a schedule of events, and other details, visit NAFSA’s 2012 annual conference pages for the media at

The on-site press kit is available online at Check-in for news media begins Tuesday, May 29, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. 

World-renowned Featured Speakers

There will be four plenary events during conference week:

* Tuesday:  Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

* Wednesday:  Nobel Peace Laureate and Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee

* Thursday:  Travel guide and television host Rick Steves

* Friday:  Newly appointed United Nations deputy secretary-general and longtime human rights activist Ambassador Jan Eliasson 

Please note that the Robert Gates plenary is closed to news media. A camera riser, multbox, and limited reserved seating for press will be available at the other three plenaries. Learn more about NAFSA’s conference plenary lineup at

Other conference highlights for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 29: 

* Featured Event: Opening Celebration Concert with Ozomatli

5:30 PM, Discovery Green, at the Convention Center 

The Grammy-Award-winning group Ozomatli, designated cultural ambassadors of the U.S. State Department, has long been a favorite of international audiences. The group has a strong social conscience, which comes through in their musical mix of jazz, funk, and Latin and Caribbean styles. Ozomatli is teaming up with NAFSA and its grassroots community, Connecting Our World, to speak out for immigration reform in the United States that’s true to our values and our history as a nation of immigrants. Watch Ozomatli’s video here. This event is only open to registered conference attendees and news media. Register inside the George R. Brown Convention Center before 5:30 PM.

* Pre-registration for media passes is closed. Reporters may register on-site, 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM, beginning Tuesday.

* Conference concurrent sessions will run from 2:30 to 3:45 PM. These sessions are open to news media. No reserved seating is available, and prompt arrival is advised. University of Houston’s Jordan Paust will address the topic “Examining Universal Human Rights: Speech, Association, and Education” at 2:30 PM on Tuesday. View a complete listing of NAFSA’s 2012 sessions online at

* The International Education Expo, also located at the convention center, will open with a ceremony at 8:30 AM and close at 3:30 PM. See which countries, organizations, and companies are represented on our interactive map at

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