For Immediate Release
Contact: Marilyn Wilkes (203) 432-3413
Kazakh Ambassador to Redress the Misinformations of Borat at Yale
February 7, 2007. New Haven, CT - The MacMillan Center at Yale will host Kanat B. Saudabayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States and Canada, February 20.
In addition to meeting with Yale students, professors and faculty, the ambassador will give a talk to contradict many of misconceptions about his country created by the satirical film “Borat.” Titled “Kazakhstan: Realities and Challenges,” the lecture will take place in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave., at 4:00 p.m. It is sponsored by the Central Asia Society of Yale University as well as the MacMillan Center and is free and open to the public.
Ambassador Saudabayev assumed his present post in 2000 after having successfully held positions in government, the foreign service and the arts.
He began his diplomatic career in 1991, as the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic to the USSR in Moscow. Before the Soviet Union collapsed, Mikhail Gorbachev appointed Saudabayev ambassador to Turkey, making him the last ambassador ever appointed by the Soviet government.
Months later, Saudabayev was again appointed ambassador to Turkey, but by the newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1994, Saudabayev served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, signing the Partnership for Peace agreement with NATO. In 1996, Saudabayev became the ambassador to the United Kingdom. Immediately before becoming ambassador to the United States, Saudabayev served as the Head of the Prime Minister’s Office, a cabinet-level position, from 1999 to 2000.
Before entering the diplomatic service, Ambassador Saudabayev had a distinguished cultural career, serving as chairman of the State Committee of Culture, chairman of the State Film Committee and Deputy Culture Minister. He began his career as a theatrical producer.
Ambassador Saudabayev holds degrees from the Leningrad Institute of Culture and the Academy of Public Sciences of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Kazakh State University and a Ph.D. in political science from Moscow State University. In addition to Kazakh, he speaks Turkish, German and Russian.
The Central Asia Society, an undergraduate organization dedicated to promoting interest in the people and cultures of Central Asia, invited Ambassador Saudabayev to Yale. As well as helping to give Yale students an accurate image of Kazakhstan today, the organization hopes that the Ambassador’s visit will help to build strong ties between Yale University and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
To these ends, the Central Asia Society has also launched a new summer program that will provide internships for 15 Yale undergraduates for eight weeks in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale