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NFTC’s Global Innovation Forum Launches Immigration Discussion Series at Duke University
Date: 3/29/2013
Written By: Jennifer Cummings, The Fratelli Group for NFTC, (202) 822-9491

Washington DC– Yesterday, the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation's Global Innovation Forum held the first in a series of regional roundtable discussions, themed "Goodbye Global Innovators?," on the impact of U.S. immigration and visa policies on American competitiveness. The event, which took place at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, featured two panel discussions – "The Impact of U.S. Visa and Immigration Policies on American Businesses and Entrepreneurs" and "The Impact of Visa and Immigration Policies on Innovation, Research and Life in University Communities." Both panels focused on the ability of the United States to attract and retain top global talent, particularly students, entrepreneurs, researchers and high-skilled workers.

The purpose of the discussion series is to convene students, faculty, entrepreneurs and business voices to elicit stories on how current policies affect the business and education communities to better inform the debate surrounding high-skilled immigration and global mobility policies in Washington.

"Attracting and retaining global talent is critical to American innovation," said NFTC Vice President for Global Trade Initiatives Jake Colvin. "Fixing America's outdated immigration and visa systems and making the United States more attractive as a destination for the world's best and brightest is essential to maintaining our competitive edge."

Business and university leaders, students and entrepreneurs from the Research Triangle area participated in yesterday's event. Speakers included: Madhu Beriwal, President and CEO, IEM; Nicole Hedrick, HR Director, Global Immigration, IBM; Chris Hare, Founder and CEO, The nTeTe Group; Jeremy Robbins, Director, Partnership for a New American Economy; Aaron "Ronnie" Chatterji, Associate Professor, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Judith Cone, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Pan Wu, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Chemistry, Duke University; and Michael Schoenfeld, Vice President, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Duke University, and Chairman of the Board, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.

The NFTC's Global Innovation Forum discussion series on immigration and American competitiveness is part of a national innovation initiative made possible by the GE Foundation. Yesterday's event was held in partnership with Duke University, the Durham Chamber of Commerce and Partnership for a New American Economy.

The next discussion in the series will be held at the University of Texas at Austin on April 3. 


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About the NFTC
The National Foreign Trade Council was founded in 1914 and is the oldest and largest trade association devoted entirely to advocating an open, rules-based international trade system. NFTC promotes open markets and U.S. engagement in the world on behalf of its member companies, which include Abbvie, Caterpillar, eBay, General Electric, Hanes Brands, IBM, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart. The Global Innovation Forum is a project of NFTC's educational arm, the NFTC Foundation, which brings together diverse groups of stakeholders to create a better understanding of how the innovation ecosystem and public policy can improve the lives of workers, families and communities. 
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