U.S. Pavilion Expo 2020 reveals new details and highlights key ways to participate


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Ambassador John Rakolta, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the U.A.E. and Commissioner General of the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, encouraged U.S. educational, content, and private sector partners to utilize the U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 to showcase American innovation, creativity, and ingenuity to the world. Updated and newly revised plans for the U.S. Pavilion were showcased during a videoconference hosted by the Meridian Center and the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council on 22 June 2020. Ambassador Rakolta and the U.S. Pavilion team explained how the U.S. would leverage the delay in the opening of the Expo to 1 October 2021 to further broaden and deepen U.S. engagement at the world’s greatest show. Please click here to view the presentation and here to watch a video recording of the entire webinar.

This timely discussion provided an opportunity for the U.S. Department of State’s Expo Unit and its key partners, Thinkwell and Global Ties U.S., to detail their newly revised plans for the U.S. Pavilion’s design, programming, and outreach activities. This was the first presentation of the way ahead by the Expo Unit to key U.S. stakeholders, and represents a significant new departure for the U.S. Pavilion.

After brief remarks by Meridian Center President and CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday ​and U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright, Ambassador Rakolta underlined the importance of a strong U.S. presence during Expo 2020 Dubai and the many opportunities this six-month long mega-event presents for American companies and organizations. He further praised the U.A.E. for making it possible for the U.S. to build and operate its pavilion.

Mr. Matthew Asada, Deputy Commissioner General of the U.S. Pavilion, subsequently provided an update on the rapid construction of the pavilion and ways for American companies and organizations to engage with the official U.S. team. Mr. Asada assembled key members of the U.S. Pavilion team to brief the audience on verticals of interest.

Mr. Peter Ford, Creative Director at Thinkwell Group, Mr. Simon Arnold, Managing Director at TVG Global, Mr. Shakir Farsakh, Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Ms. Katherine Brown, President & CEO of Global Ties U.S. provided more details on how best-in-class American ingenuity and thought leadership will be highlighted at the U.S. Pavilion.​ They outlined key thematic areas that the U.S. Pavilion will showcase.

The Thinkwell Group, an international experience design and production agency, will work on the content of the U.S. Pavilion alongside TVG Global. Meanwhile, Global Ties U.S., a non-profit public diplomacy organization, will focus on the scheduling and event program for the pavilion as well as leading the Youth Ambassador Recruitment program.

The U.S. Pavilion will feature four major exhibits, connected by a moving walkway that transports visitors through the pavilion. The four main exhibits will be focus on key pillars of the overall American experience: opportunity, invention, innovation, and freedom. 

Following the presentation, the panelists engaged in a question & answer session with attendees. The conversation, moderated by Mr. Sebright, focused on the different ways American companies and organizations can potentially collaborate at the U.S. Pavilion and utilize it as a platform.

The presence of a U.S. Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is made possible thanks to the generosity of the U.A.E. government. By law, the U.S. Department of State is not permitted to use public funds for international expositions.

The video call was attended by over 300 senior executives from leading American and Emirati companies, organizations, hospitals, and universities as well as by Expo Dubai 2020 and U.S. and U.A.E. government officials. 

This videoconference is part of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council’s ongoing series, “Looking Ahead: Conversations with U.S. and U.A.E. Business and Government Leaders.” For more information about this series and the Business Council’s Expo 2020 Dubai engagement, please contact Mary Zuccarello, at mzuccarello@usuaebusiness.org