News Line

    Go to Home Back
Email this to a friend
Printable version
Friday, July 27 , 2012 - 6.25 GMT
Patrick Mendis: Sri Lankan-American scholar appointed to UNESCO to represent US


The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appointed Dr. Patrick Mendis, a specialist in foreign and military affairs, trade and commerce and a former state department diplomat, as a commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) considered a prestigious recognition for a Sri Lankan expatriate by an American administration.

Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum said, “The depth of knowledge and experience as diplomat possessed by Dr. Mendis makes him a natural choice to join the US National Commission for UNESCO. His leadership on the commission will be extremely valuable to our country.”

Professor Mendis joined a distinguished group of American leaders drawn across government organizations, universities, and civil society. Commissioners offer insights to the US National Commission using their expert knowledge in specific subject areas. Mendis will serve a minimum of three years. “This is a distinct honor to serve my adopted country through the UNESCO Commission,” said Mendis, who was born in Sri Lanka and educated in Minnesota.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota wrote to President Barack Obama, saying, “Dr. Mendis is a respected leader and award-winning public servant, teacher, and diplomat."
Mr. Mendis, a visiting scholar of foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the author of Trade for Peace, is a former American diplomat, military professor, and academic administrator. Recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin Franklin Award and the Meritorious Honor Award, his other professional and teaching experience includes positions in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the World Bank, and the United Nations, as well as at the Universities of Minnesota, Maryland, Norwich, Yale, and George Washington University.

He attended Oxford University’s Merton College as a 21st Century Trust fellow, and is an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The first recipient of the Hubert Humphrey Alumni Leadership Award and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Dr. Mendis has authored several books and published more than 100 journal articles, newspaper columns, and research papers. He is an affiliate professor of public and international affairs at George Mason University and a senior fellow of the Osgood Center for International Studies.

The U.S. National Commission for the UNESCO is a Federal Advisory Committee to the Department of State that supports worldwide humanitarian development and values by coordinating efforts and delivering expert advice from the Federal, State and Local Governments and from Non-Governmental Organizations on issues of Education, Science, Communications and Culture.

At the Department of State, Dr. Mendis advised the US Delegations to the United Nations, coordinated the science and technology policy with the White House, and served as the secretariat director of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of US State department. He has also worked for the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Patrick Mendis grew up in Sri Lanka - born Sri Lanka's North-Central Province at Polonnaruwa - and Minnesota. For almost a quarter-century, he was a protégé of the late Assistant Secretary of State and NATO Ambassador Harlan Cleveland who characterized him “a budding leader if I ever saw one” when Mendis received the Hubert Humphrey Leadership Award at the University of Minnesota along with Vice President Walter Mondale and Ambassador Max Kampelman at his graduation in 1986.;

As the founding Dean of the Humphrey Institute, Ambassador Cleveland reflectively observed: “All real-world problems are interdisciplinary, inter-professional, and international. Policy analysis means combining the rigors of different disciplines, the insights from multiple professions, the work ways of multiple cultures. But remember that a committee of narrow thinkers doesn’t produce integrative outcomes. The best interdisciplinary instrument is still the individual human mind.”

His latest book, Commercial Providence: The Secret Destiny of the American Empire, is an insightful commentary on America, within which he combines his Washington experience with having traveled, lived, and worked in more than 75 countries and visited all 50 states. Three distinguished Americans—Ambassador Michael Retzer, Professor Robert Kurdrle, and Rear Admiral William Sizemore — independently called him“Alex de Tocqueville.”

Commercial Providence picks up where Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol left off, giving readers a consummate guide to America and its secret mission in the world. Professor Trachtenberg explains that, “Unlike Dan Brown in the Lost Symbol, Patrick Mendis has a serious scholarly purpose . . . seen through the eyes of the Founding Fathers and the Masonic Architect of the Universe.” Akram Elias, past Masonic grand master of Washington and co-producer (with Academy Award Winner Richard Dreyfuss) of Mr. Dreyfuss Goes to Washington, offers this description: “Professor Mendis goes beyond Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol to disclose the true story of the fictional narrative. . . . The professor is a mind-reader of the Founding Fathers, a judge of ancient symbols, a lover of his adopted country, and a seer of America’s secret destiny.” Other accolades include:

Dr. Mendis provocatively depicts President Barack Obama the latest testament to Commercial Providence. He then explores the unseen forces that have guided America to global dominance and details how the creation of Madison’s “Universal Empire” through Hamilton’s “Federalism” realizes Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty.” Finally, the author unveils America’s Masonic endgame of universal brotherhood: E Pluribus Unum. To narrate this American saga—within God’s crucible nation—Dr. Mendis postulates a captivating new Theory of Commercial Providence to explain America’s “invisible attraction” and its grand founding strategy for technological innovation, national security, and global supremacy.
Previously Dr. Mendis authored a well-accepted and read Trade for Peace.

Professor Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus of the George Washington University, writes in his foreword to the book: “History reveals that real world problems are not bound by academic disciplines or formal occupations. Author Patrick Mendis brings an unbounded career and a unique background to his investigation. He was born in Sri Lanka, came to the United States as an AFS exchange student, was adopted by Minnesotans when the civil war erupted in Sri Lanka in 1983, and is now a naturalized American citizen. Through a career spanning academe, government, and the private sector, Mendis has been exposed to an eclectic group of world leaders and scholars. His distinctly American experience adds insight to his perceptive analysis; this book is a testament to what he represents as an American.”

The Asian Tribune takes this distinct honor of introducing (he need not have any introduction as he is already a famous erudite personality) Dr. Patrick Mendis to our worldwide readers, especially to his country of birth Sri Lanka, who in his book Commercial Providence, unveils America’s Masonic endgame of universal brotherhood: E Pluribus Unum, the motto of the American nation, which means "Out of Many, One", an appropriate one for a nation - Sri Lanka - which is exploring avenues for meaningful reconciliation among her people who emerged from a destructive atmosphere.

Courtesy: Asian Tribune


  005 TD  



Contact Information:: Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: July 27, 2012.

Copyright © 2008 Policy Research & Information Unit of the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved.