Citizen Diplomacy and the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative

08.22.2013 | Morgan Davis

Elder Ben B. Banks (right), an emeritus Seventy and a member of the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, presents a tribute to Dr. Erlend “Pete” Peterson of BYU last Thursday.

We at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship wish to warmly congratulate Dr. Erlend “Pete” Peterson, BYU’s Associate International Vice President, for being honored by the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy for his work in international diplomacy. Dr. Peterson was officially recognized during the Council’s annual tribute to citizen diplomats on Thursday, August 15, 2013.

Over the years, Dr. Peterson and his indefatigable assistant Kate Andreasen have arranged and helped to coordinate campus tours, lectures, meetings, and meals with BYU faculty and students and thousands of heads of state, high-ranking diplomats, clergy, media representatives, leaders of education, and legal professionals from all over the world. He has also represented BYU abroad on countless occasions. It’s been gratifying for several of us at the Maxwell Institute, myself included, to work with Dr. Peterson. He has frequently invited campus visitors with Arabic or Islamic backgrounds to meet with Institute scholars, giving us the opportunity to share information about our Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI). Such meetings have resulted in countless enriching conversations as these guests share their enthusiasm for the work of METI and sometimes offer assistance and ideas for further collaborations on METI projects.

We’re grateful to Dr. Peterson for his long-standing support of METI and for the remarkable results—especially the goodwill generated for the Institute and University—that he’s garnered through his tireless efforts.

Mabruk, Pete!