Providence, RI – Today, at a meeting hosted by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley and Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) Director General Gellwynn Jusuf signed agreements finalizing a sustained education partnership between URI and MMAF. The agreements establish terms under which MMAF will send 25 staff members to URI over the next five years to study ocean and fisheries management and related subjects.
During 2013, a delegation of URI officials traveled to Indonesia to establish partnerships between URI and Indonesian universities and agencies, which began the process that culminated today. The goal was to establish partnerships to internationalize URI’s reach, presence, and learning environment, and to expand upon early cooperative projects between URI and Indonesia through the Coastal Resources Center.
“I congratulate all of those who have put so much work into making this agreement a reality,” URI President Dooley said. “We know that international partnerships like these not only benefit URI and the State of Rhode Island, but also our partnering countries and the global community at large. I am grateful to Director General Gellwynn Jusuf for his commitment to this initiative and look forward to many years of fruitful work between URI and his country’s marine and fisheries ministry.”
Senator Whitehouse has been working to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Indonesia, particularly in areas where Rhode Island is a national leader, like ocean conservation and fisheries management. Whitehouse visited Indonesia last month with Senator John McCain, where he met with Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, Director General Jusuf, and URI alumni and students currently involved with fisheries management. His visit led him to schedule today’s meeting for representatives from URI and MMAF to discuss areas of cooperation and sign the agreements.
“The University of Rhode Island and the Indonesian government have built a strong relationship through the years, and this will make it even stronger,” said Whitehouse. “These agreements mean URI’s world-class expertise in fisheries and marine sciences will help preserve and improve vital ocean ecosystems, and bolster Indonesia’s efforts to care for their fisheries, which are a key component of the Indonesian economy. I commend Director General Jusuf and the Indonesian government on this commitment to sound ocean and fisheries management, and I congratulate the University on their continued excellence in fisheries management education.”