Lithuania in the news
3rd February, 2006
President Valdas Adamkus to Visit Australia
President Valdas Adamkus with
Mrs. Alma Adamkus
The President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, accompanied by Mrs. Alma Adamkus, will be making a State Visit to Australia February 24 -27, 2006. He will visit Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In Sydney a lunch to honour President Adamkus and Mrs. Adamkus will be held on Saturday, February 25 (For details please refer to Calendar).This is the third visit of Mr. Adamkus to Australia. He visited Australia for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Earlier still he came to Australia in 1966 with the American Lithuanian basket ball team, a time when interest in basketball in Australia was still in its infancy and the visit helped to lift the profile of basketball in Australia.
President Valdas Adamkus reviewing troops
President Adamkus was born in Lithuania in 1926, but had to leave Lithuania towards the end of World War II, when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. After some years in Germany as a Displaced Person, he emigrated to the United States in 1949. Having graduated as civil engineer from the Illinois University of Technology in 1960, Adamkus began a distinguished career with the United States Environmental Protection agency in 1970, becoming in 1981 the regional administrator for the Mid-West Region, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, a position he held until his retirement in 1997. He is credited with saving enviromentally the Great Lakes of North America and in 1985 he received the highest honour that can be bestowed upon a civil servant in the United States - the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award. In 1988 he was also granted an international environmental award.
Adamkus was always very active in the Lithuanian community in United States. After Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, he became active in Lithuanian politics. After campaigning for Stays Lozoraitis in the presidential elections of 1992 as Lozoraitisí campaign manager, he himself successfully stood for the presidency in the 1997 and was inaugurated as President of Lithuania on February 28, 1998. He failed to get re-elected in the elections of 2002, but after President Paksas was impeached and removed from office, President Adamkus was re-elected in 2004 for a second term.
In recognition of his international achievements President Adamkus has been designated the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Construction of Knowledge Societies. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Indiana, University of Illinois and Vilnius University.

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