Online registration for those interested in attending the "Deans' Forum on Global Engagement: Developing a Community of Excellence" at Virginia Tech opens today.

Featured speakers include Mitchell Reiss, a senior American diplomat currently serving as the president of Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and Harriet Fulbright, the unofficial ambassador for the Fulbright program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

During the George W. Bush administration, Reiss served as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Department of State under Colin Powell. He also served as a U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland. He has held memberships on the National Security Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, The Ford Foundation, the Cambridge Institute for Applied Research, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

His talk, "Engaging the world: old threats and new challenges for America" will be held on Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

On Thursday, March 27, the forum will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome from Richard Benson, dean of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering.

Fulbright, the former executive director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities under President Bill Clinton, will present her talk, "Value of international education and the Fulbright program," at 10 a.m.

Fulbright and three additional Virginia Tech Fulbright Scholars will host a question and answer period from 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m., immediately following her talk. These scholars are Richard Wokutch, the R.B. Pamplin Professor in Management, and Janine Hiller, the Richard E. Sorensen Professor of Finance, both in the Pamplin College of Business, and John Galbraith, associate professor of crop and environmental sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Also, Maichel M. Aguayo, of Coelemu, Chile, a graduate student in the industrial and systems engineering department, will also participate on this panel.

A series of panel discussions on Global Trends will follow at 11 a.m. During this time, there will be six concurrent panels in the areas of health, education, science and technology, institutional collaboration, and social change.

All events on March 27 will occur on the Virginia Tech campus. Watch the website for the location.

Chairing the organizing committee for the Deans' Forum is Glenda Scales, associate dean for international programs and information technology in the College of Engineering.

The engineering website contains a complete listing of the organizing committee and a complete schedule for the March 27 event.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.