Join us for the first Critical Issues Forum of the new year. Featuring Ambassador Osman Siddique, the event will start with an interview on his new book, Leaps of Faith: An Immigrant's Odyssey of Struggle, Success and Service to His Country, and its themes (so attendees need not have read the book to participate although they are encouraged to do so) followed by open discussion. Smaller in attendance number than our lecture based programs, these discussion based forums provide members with an opportunity to directly converse on key issues with an invited expert and each other. Sign up before the event's limited seating sells out!
When he was appointed ambassador to Fiji, M. Osman Siddique imagined waving the U.S. flag with one hand while holding a piña colada in the other. How could he have known the dream job would land him in the middle of a paramilitary coup? It’s just one more enthralling chapter in the remarkable life of a Bangladeshi immigrant who came to the United States to find the American dream. And find it, he did. First as a hugely successful entrepreneur, and then as America’s first serving Muslim ambassador. Through it all, he gained an appreciation for the U.S. unique to those who come to the country from elsewhere, an appreciation for the freedoms established by the Founding Fathers and guaranteed by the Constitution—“The miracle of America.”
Leaps of Faith: An Immigrant’s Odyssey of Struggle, Success, and Service to his Country is the delightful memoir of a man humbled by the possibilities of his new land and by the opportunities he discovered—in business, in love, in family, and, ultimately, in government service. Ambassador Siddique reflects on his past, and looks to the future—his future and the future of America. In the turbulent seas of our times, can America continue to be the beacon of hope for the world that it was to him?
Ambassador Osman Siddique was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Fiji with concurrent accreditations to the Kingdom of Tonga, the Republic of Nauru and the Government of Tuvalu from 1999-2001 by President Clinton. He was the first Ambassador from South Asia to serve as Ambassador and Chief of Mission. He was also the first Muslim Ambassador in the history of the United States to serve in that position.
He got his MBA from Indiana University in Bloomington in the early seventies and after a brief stint with a fortune 500 company became a prolific entrepreneur. Based in Washington DC, he became an ardent student of American politics under the tutelage of the ‘Lion of the Senate’ the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He has since been active in presidential election campaigns starting in 1992 with Bill Clinton’s first bid for the presidency. Upon his return from his ambassadorial assignment he joined the presidential campaigns of John Kerry in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008/2012 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Campaigning for Senator Kerry in 2004 he spent considerable time in Michigan and the other Midwest states along with Congressman Mike Honda and Governor Gary Locke. One of his memorable campaign stops was the township of Hamtramck in Michigan which boasted a sizable Bangladeshi-American community of roughly 20 percent of the entire population with a Muslim majority council headed by a Bangladeshi-American mayor. He was very warmly received and welcomed there.
In 1996 he was a member of the United States election observer team headed by the National Democratic Institute to the Bangladesh parliamentary elections. In 2000 President Bill Clinton invited Ambassador Siddique to be a member of his cabinet delegation on his historic state visit to India and Bangladesh. He was a senior advisor and Ambassador Emeritus to ‘South Asians for Biden’, member of ‘Ambassadors for Biden’ group, and has actively participated in entities working for the Biden-Harris presidential campaign.