Daily Archives: July 14, 2018

The USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai Unveils National Partners

In Landmark Public-Private Partnership, the U.S. Department of State selects PAVILION USA 2020 Consortium to Support the Development, Execution and Communications of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Expo 2020 Dubai — the next World’s Fair — may be two years away, but plans and preparation are well under way for the USA Pavilion. Recently, the U.S. Department of State announced that Big Things Group, leading the consortium Pavilion USA 2020, was appointed to oversee the fundraising, project management, design, construction, operation, and disassembly and removal of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Following a nation-wide request for proposal led by the Department of State, Pavilion USA 2020 will now begin a multi-year partnership to bring the USA Pavilion to life, a huge undertaking that will require the collaboration of its creative, commercial, and cultural partners from across the 50 United States.Pavilion.USA.2020.logo

Pavilion USA 2020’s winning design plans for the USA Pavilion were based on the theme, “What Moves You,” and will feature highlights of American culture, leading technological revolutions in mobility, and much more. The team behind the new concept is a consortium of top individuals and agencies who will work together to make the USA Pavilion a showcase of the innovation, creativity, and diversity that defines the United States. Key areas of focus include:

  • Leadership and Fundraising will be led by Big Things Group (BTG) and its principals Frederick M. Bush, who served as Commissioner General of the 1992 World’s Fair in Seville, Spain; and Gregory D. Houston, a leading figure in international public diplomacy and public-private partnership development. Combined, Mr. Bush and Mr. Houston have raised more than $1 billion in funding and sponsorship for domestic and international projects, with a focus on major events that develop stronger ties between the U.S. and the world. BTG’s network of associates include leading fundraisers and philanthropic consultants in nearly all major donor markets throughout the United States as well as numerous funding centers abroad.
  • Pavilion Architecture will be developed by Colorado-based Curtis Fentress, one of the premier U.S. architects of our day. Mr. Fentress is the founder of Fentress Architects and winner of numerous international awards, including the Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. He is internationally known as an innovative, award-winning designer of public architecture including airports, museums, convention centers, laboratories, higher education, civic, and government buildings. Fentress Architects is internationally recognized for the design of Denver International Airport and Incheon International Airport in South Korea.
  • Exhibit and Experience Design will be created by Michigan-based George P. Johnson Experience Marketing (GPJ), the largest experiential and event marketing agency in the world. Founded more than 100 years ago in Detroit, GPJ’s large-scale installation work includes a six-acre multifaceted Chrysler experience at the 1964 World’s Fair New York, pavilions at the Shanghai and Aichi World Expos, and award-winning exhibitions at the Beijing, Salt Lake City, London, and Rio de Janeiro Olympic games. They will work in collaboration with Action Impact, their Dubai-based strategic partner that created the Expo 2020 Dubai exhibition within the UAE pavilion at Expo 2015. They will also collaborate with fellow Project Worldwide sister agency Spinifex Group for the production of interactive experiences that bring mobility innovation stories to life. GPJ’s work will be led by Senior Vice President of Pavilion Activations, David Rich, and Vice President and Executive Creative Director, Paul Hemsworth.
  • Design Management will be provided by Virginia-based Giuliani Associates Architects. Giuliani Associates is an architecture, engineering, and technology firm with experience in the public and private sectors. Joining Giuliani Associates, Fentress Architects, and George P. Johnson Experience Marketing as key partners in the design team are Onuma, Inc., Thornton Tomasetti, and Syska Hennessy Group.
  • Cultural Programming will be led by Global Ties U.S., which has a 60-year partnership with the U.S. Department of State to coordinate international exchange programs that attract over 5,000 current and future leaders to the United States annually. With chapters of citizen diplomats in over 80 U.S. cities, their reach will ensure the USA Pavilion reflects the creativity, diversity, and nuance of every part of the United States. Global Ties U.S. will also be supported by G7 Entertainment Marketing in the areas of celebrity talent coordination and on-site production of all performances.
  • Pavilion Design Strategy & Monitoring and Evaluation will be supported via consultation by Dr. Jay Wang, Director of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California (CPD). Dr. Wang is considered the leading academic expert in the design of Expo pavilions for country promotion purposes and has written extensively on strategy and implementation within past Expos. As a strategic partner and a recognized leader in the field of public diplomacy, CPD will contribute to the project by providing research and evaluation tools to the designers, and public diplomacy training to all staff, volunteers, and ambassador-guides.
  • Student and Alumni Ambassador Programs will be managed through the combined efforts of Global Ties U.S., the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and local partners in the United Arab Emirates. These flagship programs of the USA Pavilion will recruit, train, and manage young leaders from across the United States, as well as alumni from U.S. Government exchange programs, who will help tell America’s story at the U.S. pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
  • Financial Management will be overseen by BTG CFO Thomas Downing, a leading expert in U.S. Government financial compliance and management. Working with Maryland-based accounting firm Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman, pre-eminent in advising and auditing organizations that implement programs for USAID and Department of State, Pavilion USA 2020 will operate under the most comprehensive set of financial controls ever implemented for a U.S. expo pavilion.

Advising Pavilion USA 2020 are a diverse and talented set of leaders from across the United States and the UAE. They include former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe; former Secretary of Commerce Barbara Hackman Franklin; President of the Aldrin Space Foundation Dr. Andrew Aldrin; Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Gulf Chambers of Commerce Mike Jones; former USAID Administrator (acting) Alonzo Fulgham; Director of TechStars Dubai Ramzi Ismail; former U.S. Ambassador J. Steven Rhodes; CPD’s Dr. Jay Wang; Director of NYU-Abu Dhabi Media Lab Matt Karau; Founder of Applied Minds Bran Ferren; Celebrity Manager and television producer Ken Kragen; and former Chairman of Columbia Pictures Herman Rush.Expo+group+2020

According to Frederick Bush, “Few events in human history have had the scale and size of Expo 2020 Dubai. Our groups take the opportunity to represent the United States and all its nuance, diversity and talent as an awe-inspiring challenge. We are proud of the teams we have assembled for this important cause and look forward to raising the funds and creating the experiences that will make all 325 million Americans proud.”

Working with Colorado-based communications firm Human Design and the consortium’s numerous communications partners throughout the U.S. and UAE, Pavilion USA 2020 will begin an international outreach campaign that engages citizens of the U.S. and the world in an awareness journey over the next 33 months. By using the road to Expo to engage the world with U.S. companies, cultures, and technologies; and to engage the citizens of the U.S. with the same from abroad, Pavilion USA 2020 will reach and excite millions beyond those who walk through the Expo gates.

The U.S. Department of State is responsible for U.S. participation in international exhibitions sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). The Department’s Expo Unit in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs manages U.S. engagement with the BIE, organizes U.S. participation at overseas Expos (also known as World’s Fairs), and mobilizes international support for U.S. candidacies to host Expos.

For more information about Pavilion USA 2020 or to register interest in participating as a vendor, please visit http://www.pavilion2020.org. For further details about U.S. participation in World’s Fairs, including Expo 2020 Dubai, visit https://www.state.gov/r/expo/. For more information on Expo 2020 Dubai visit https://expo2020dubai.ae/.

Media Contacts:
Gregory D. Houston
The Big Things Group

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at



State visit of South African President to UAE marks the beginning of a new chapter in the long standing relations

Joint Statement ABU DHABI, State visit of Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, to the UAE on 13th July, 2018, marked the beginning of a new chapter in the long standing relations between South Africa and the UAE, according to a joint statement issued in Abu Dhabi on the occasion of Ramaphosa’s visit to the UAE.

The joint statement reads: At the invitation of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, paid a state visit to the UAE on 13th July, 2018.

President Ramaphosa’s first visit to the UAE marked the beginning of a new chapter in the long standing relations between South Africa and the UAE, and constitutes a step in further enriching the strong bilateral ties between the two countries.

On arrival in Abu Dhabi on 13th July, President Ramaphosa was accorded a ceremonial reception and was received by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. President Ramaphosa also met with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

On the centennial of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Nahyan, Founder and first President of the UAE, and Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, the leaders of the UAE and South Africa pledged to open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

To this end, the leadership of the two countries reaffirmed their deep commitment to further consolidate their strong bilateral relations across a variety of fields, including trade, transport, infrastructure development, tourism, mining, investment, and cultural cooperation.

To support these efforts, a business forum was held between the UAE and South Africa, hosted by Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy. The UAE announced its plans to invest USD 10 billion in key sectors of South Africa’s economy, such as tourism and mining among others, to support the sustainable development of the country.

The UAE further welcomed South Africa’s positive role in supporting peace and stability on the African continent and the two sides pledged to work closely together in order to promote peace, stability, prosperity, and tolerance in Africa and the Middle East.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE Press: Restoring Iraq’s history and heritage important

ABU DHABI, The most recent history of Iraq has been one of tragedy and horror, terror and subversion, invasion and destruction, and the Iraqi people have endured years of hardships in their daily lives, the Gulf News said in an editorial on Saturday.

“But the lessons of history teach us that this shall pass and when we look at the history of that proud nation and the role of its people, we look back at the beginnings of civilisation,” it added.

The paper went on to say that it was in present-day Iraq, between the Euphrates and Tigris, in the ancient land of Mesopotamia, that man first learnt to write, to record knowledge and to share it with others the very basis of learning and education. “And with that came the notion of laws, of justice, of being able to live together in greater numbers under a unified code of government all tenets of our civilisation today,” the English language daily continued.

“The heritage of Iraq is unique and is of global significance. It is the cradle of civilisation, but it has been rocked by the events of these past years, whether from the United States-led invasion, the country’s fragmentation or the murderous effect of Daesh on its heritage, history and people.

“Pertinently, the UAE has pledged US$50 million (AED183.5 million) to help restore and preserve that heritage. Now that money is flowing and is making a huge impact on the ground perhaps no more so than in Mosul, where UAE-funded work is ongoing since April this year. There, over the past month, reconstruction work in underway on the historic and culturally significant Al Nouri Mosque. Indeed, its Al Hadba minaret is also being reconstructed, restoring a familiar shape to the Old City of Mosul’s skyline and a reminder that Iraq can rise from its ruins,” the Dubai-based daily concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency