In Amman, Jordan, on the credenza in the office of technology executive Daoud Abboud ’87, sits a prized memento, a framed photograph of him (above, at right) with the leader of the nation of Jordan, King Abdullah II.
Next to the framed photo, also in a place of honor, is a certificate of appreciation from UW-Green Bay for helping expand its Mideast connections.
This is an expanded version of a story that appeared in the February 2009 issue of the print magazine Inside UW-Green Bay.
Abboud is CEO of United Technology Solutions, an Oracle partner with branches in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He also owns three related companies, and serves on the board of his country’s Information Technology Association.
He’s a believer in international education. He attended UW-Green Bay as an international student — “The only way to be closely in touch with other cultures and people is to blend with another society for a period of time” — and earned his bachelor’s in Computing and Information Sciences before returning home to contribute to Jordan’s budding IT industry.
Since 2006 his high-level connections have helped facilitate UW-Green Bay’s Journey to Jordan program (funded by the U.S. State Department), which takes American high school students to Jordan for summer programs in Arabic language and culture. Each summer Abboud hosts a lavish, traditional Jordanian dinner for the entire delegation.
He has fond memories of Wisconsin.
“The people of Green Bay were friendly and receptive, very welcoming, and, living off campus, I made some good friends who showed great interest in my culture,” he recalls. The decidedly non-desert climate was no problem. “I made the best of it with activities like sailing in the hot humid summer and cross-country skiing in the freezing winter.”
He believes his interdisciplinary experience at UW-Green Bay was a positive. A “good mix” of computing, linguistics, and communication studies helped him understand “the correlation between computer languages and human language used in artificial intelligence. It was a good choice of program that helped me develop different skill sets for my professional career.”
Abboud is president-elect of the Amman Rotary Club, a member of the Jordan American Business Association and co-chairman of the Gift of Life-Amman, serving children with congenital heart disease.
Jay Harris, international projects coordinator and Journey to Jordan leader, describes Abboud as “a rare individual.” Says Harris, “He one of those rare individuals who makes a significant difference for understanding and goodwill across borders. The Journey to Jordan program has become a tremendous success in large part because of the loyalty he brings as an alum and the trust we have in him.”
Photos from UW-Green Bay’s 2008 Journey to Jordan
Click thumbnail images to enter slideshow view.