On Monday, February 13, 2012, Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, was presented with the a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa from the University of Bridgeport. The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife Stella and by friends from Ansonia where he did his high school studies. Ambassador Barbalic graduated from the University of Bridgeport School of Business where he majored in marketing. After completing graduates studies in International Relations at the University of Bologna, he worked in Bosnian civil society until he was invited to join his nation’s diplomatic corps.
In recognizing Ambassador Barbalic, President Neil A. Salonen saluted him for his service for his country and thanked him for his frequent visits to the University and for the time that he had spent with our students during his three years of service as his country’s Ambassador to the United Nations.
In 2010 Barbalic successfully lobbied for Bosnia and Herzegovina to serve as a member of the Security Council. In January 2011 he served as President of the United Nations Security Council. In his remarks, Dr. Thomas Ward, Dean of the International College commented, “Ambassador Barbalic was the youngest president of the Security Council in the history of the United Nations. He often attributes his success to the fact that, while at UB, he decided to find his own way. Instead of looking for a high-paying job in international finance in the U.S., he made the decision to return to his war-torn country to serve his people. He sets a high standard for all of our students.”
Following the award ceremony, Ambassador Barbalic remained for a Q & A session with University of Bridgeport students. He harked back to his days at UB. He conveyed to the audience how the international community of students present at the University of Bridgeport served as the foundation upon which to build a wider perspective of the world and develop the skills needed to foster international cooperation.