Media Note
Washington, DC
February 4, 2011


The U.S. Department of State has named Samat Panov of Kazakhstan, an alumnus of the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program, as State Alumni Member of the Month. Throughout February, his leadership and promotion of mutual understanding is being recognized on the State Alumni website, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official site for the more than one million alumni who have participated in a Department-sponsored exchange program.

Panov is an accomplished leader in business and community development in his native Kazakhstan. Since receiving his MBA through the Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship Program in San Francisco, California, he has initiated a number of projects to enhance youth leadership skills, create networking opportunities for professionals and promote educational exchange programs. The Astana Alumni Association (AAA) was established in May 2010. Panov was elected the first president of the association, which unites alumni of U.S. government-sponsored and other exchange programs in Astana to contribute to the development of education, public health and community service in Kazakhstan.

While on his Muskie fellowship at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Panov joined the local Toastmasters club. Eager to share the leadership experience with those in his country, Panov founded the Astana Toastmasters Club (ATC), the first chapter of the Toastmasters International network in Central Asia, a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.

Panov also shares the knowledge and experience he gained from his business degree as a marketing instructor to MBA students at Astana-based universities. He co-founded Marketing Partners Ltd., which assists small and medium-sized businesses develop and execute marketing plans, conduct market research, and understand brand creation and auditing.

Through his work with the alumni association, the AAA, Astana Toastmasters Club and his local business community, Panov has become a leading role model for his fellow Kazakhstan alumni.

Each month the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the State Alumni Member of the Month award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.

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

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PRN: 2011/166