In what was likely his last official function as the honorary consul of Mongolia in Atlanta, John Endicott hosted a luncheon last week to celebrate Mongolian National Day.
In August, Dr. Endicott will be leaving his posts–both as the director of the Center for International Strategy at the Georgia Institute of Technology and as honorary consul–to become the president of Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea.
He will also be vice chancellor of Solbridge International, a business and international affairs school recently established by Woosong, a university that conducts 85 percent of its classes in English, Dr. Endicott said.
Solbridge plans to open satellite campuses in China, India and Vietnam, and Mr. Endicott is excited about visiting Vietnam for the first time since served in the Air Force there during the Vietnam War.
Dr. Endicott’s extensive experience in East Asian affairs has prepared him well for his new position. In his combined 31 years of service in the U.S. military and 18 years at Georgia Tech, most of his work has revolved around East Asia, nuclear proliferation or both, he said.
During the luncheon Thursday, which was attended by Dr. Endicott’s family and friends as well as representatives from the German, British and Korean consulates, Dr. Endicott thanked all in attendance for “honoring the Mongolian republic” with their presence.
He then read a letter sent by President Bush to Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, honoring Mongolia’s 801st national day and acknowledging 20 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Dr. Endicott began work in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech in 1989. His civilian work on controlling nuclear proliferation in Asia eventually led him to Mongolia, and about two years ago he was asked to represent the Asian nation in Georgia.
Dr. Endicott takes his role as honorary consulate seriously, to the extent that his work promoting Mongolia’s economic and political interests in Georgia seems more charitable than obligatory.
He performed his duties without receiving payment, and he even funded diplomatic trips to Mongolia with personal money.
“(Being honorary consul) is a wonderful thing to do for a very, very poor country,” Dr. Endicott told GlobalAtlanta in an interview following the luncheon.
But Dr. Endicott humbly shrugged off the significance of his work. Only four of Mongolia’s approximately 3,000,000 citizens live in the Atlanta area, so consular duties did not pack his schedule, he said.
“It has left me time to do other things,” Dr. Endicott said, laughing. “It’s not onerous.”
While Dr. Endicott has not seen much progress in the way of economic ties between Mongolia and Georgia, he said that the real “magic” comes with representing Mongolia to other Asian nations, something he will continue to do in an unofficial capacity in Korea.
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