The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research and Studies, or PMBF Program, hosted a high-level delegation last week that culminated with a presentation featuring UCF President John C. Hitt and Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, a signing of an affirmation of collaboration and the launch of the program’s new website.

The name of the PMBF Program, which was established in 2012, reflects its partnership with Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Members of the university’s administration, along with Prince Mohammad bin Fahd, gathered April 18 to formally acknowledge the program.

Hitt said:  “Together, we aim to better equip the students of both institutions for the future, and to provide them with greater understanding of our two nations, our challenges, and our opportunities.”

The PMBF Program has already been working toward its goal of advancing public awareness and knowledge about the United States-Saudi Arabia relationship this year at UCF. Gary Grappo, former U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor to Saudi Arabia and former U.S. Ambassador to Oman, visited UCF in March to discuss America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Author and journalist Thomas W. Lippman shared insights, also in March, about that relationship in the greater context of the Middle East. Videos of both presentations are available at

Other events include a presentation about economic realities in the Middle East by PMBF Program associate director David Dumke at the Central Florida Global Economic Forum on April 9. Two days later, John O. Voll, associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, spoke on Islam and democracy in the 21st century.

Those interested in learning more about the program are encouraged to watch the website for updates, email its program coordinator, Amal Khan, or stop by Howard Phillips Hall, Room 202.