Alianta President, Ambassador Jim Rosapepe (ret.) on Romania's Efforts to Assist Ukraine
FOURTH CONFERENCE OF ROMANIAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONALS
VESTED IN WEAVING SOCIAL COHESION
2nd Day, Community Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship Panel, Dec. 3rd 2022
As in previous years, the panel on community civic engagement and social entrepreneurship was opened by Alianta President and Maryland State Senator, Ambassador Jim Rosapepe. The US Ambassador to Romania from 1998 to 2001 is a tireless promoter over decades of Romanian American diaspora’s visibility in the greater Washington, DC metro area and the co-author of “Dracula is Dead: Travels in Post-Communist Romania” with his wife, public broadcasting journalist Sheilah Kast. Ambassador Jim Rosapepe (ret.) is also the Chair of Patuxent Capital Group and Vice Chair of the Maryland Senate Budget and Tax Committee, as well as a Board member of the Council of American Ambassadors. Established by several former US ambassadors to Romania, “Alianta” is a non-profit organization that foster stronger ties between the two countries. It hosts an annual gala in Washington, DC honoring those who make a major contribution to Romanian-American relations. This year, the Alianta Gala at the Willard Hotel in Washington, the International Public Service Award was given to Ambassador Alfred Moses (ret.) and H.E. Mircea Geoana, Deputy Secretary General NATO marking the 25 years since the two ambassadors serving at the time the USA and Romania respectively facilitated the signing of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and United States. Ambassador Rosapepe provided an overview of the history of that partnership and its relevance within the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the unprecedented mobilization of Romanian society in assisting Ukrainian refugees. He estimates some ninety thousand Ukrainians sought relief in Romania hoping to return to their homes once it is safe to do so. Alianta board members identified the needs of Ukrainian refugees in Romania, in particular those who had ties in the United States in order to facilitate their eventual relocation here. They worked with the Biden administration who accepted their proposals to facilitate the safe resettlement and eventual workforce integration of Ukrainian refugees in the US. Alianta coordinated with other diaspora organizations with ties to the region to lobby for increased US support for NATO and specifically in boosting assistance to Ukraine that would allow it to defend itself. Alianta continued the series of public panel discussions engaging diplomatic and military experts in the field looking at regional security, including food and energy security. Ambassador Jim Rosapepe hopes that these commendable efforts of Romanian society on Ukraine’s behalf receive the visibility and recognition they deserve from the US Congress and the Biden Administration.