Media Note
Washington, DC
September 1, 2009


The U.S. Department of State today named Dana Tai Soon Burgess as State Alumni Member of the Month. Burgess is a U.S. alumnus of the Department’s Fulbright Specialist and Cultural Envoy exchange programs. Throughout September, his leadership and contributions to mutual understanding will be recognized on the State Alumni website (https://alumni.state.gov), the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. Each month, the Bureau’s Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.

Burgess participated in two Fulbright Specialist exchanges to Peru in 2006 and 2008, and was a Cultural Envoy to Panama in 1999, to Peru in 2004, and to Egypt, Israel and India in 2007, and to Mexico in 2008. Exemplifying alumni excellence, he implements concepts gained through his exchange experiences, exhibits leadership qualities, strengthens the alumni community, works to increase international mutual understanding, demonstrates a commitment to community service, and makes a positive impact on society.

Burgess welcomes artists on exchange programs from around the world and encourages others to participate in exchanges. His efforts have led to the start of new exchange programs, including an exchange between the National Ballet of Peru and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Mutual understanding and international dialogue resonate in Burgess’ work as the chair of the Department of Theater and Dance at The George Washington University (GW) and as the artistic director of his own dance company, Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company. He has worked with arts organizations around the world to establish study abroad opportunities for performing arts students at GW, and he is reformulating the performing arts curriculum to incorporate a deeper international perspective. Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Company has long been recognized for its international character and for infusing themes of cultural exchange in its work. Burgess regularly incorporates U.S. youth into his company’s activities and, when touring abroad, provides workshops and performances to diverse socio-economic communities.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website at: http://exchanges.state.gov/alumni/alumnus.html.

Media Contact: Catherine Stearns, StearnsCL@state.gov or phone (202) 632-6437

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PRN: 2009/867