Ashland University President Fred Finks Meets with Ambassador of Timor-Leste

Fred Finks and Ambassador Pinto

4/27/12 ASHLAND, Ohio -- Ashland University President Dr. Fred Finks met April 27 with Constâncio da Conceição Pinto, the Ambassador of Timor-Leste, at the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste in Washington, D.C. Pinto’s niece, Davida de Fatima Mesquita, is a freshman at Ashland University.

“Ambassador Pinto is a visionary leader who helped bring independence to East Timor. His fight for freedom was an inspiration,” Finks said. “We are pleased to have his niece, Davida de Fatima Mesquita, as a freshman at Ashland University.”

Pinto was appointed as the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United States of America in November of 2009. Prior to taking up his position in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Pinto was the Director General for External Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste from June 2008 until October 2009. Ambassador Pinto was the first Timorese senior diplomat ever posted to Washington, D.C., soon after the Restoration of Independence of Timor-Leste in May 2002.

Pinto’s niece started as a student at Ashland University this spring semester. She received the Presidential International Scholarship from Ashland University and is majoring in business at Ashland.

Located just north of Australia and formerly known as East Timor, Timor-Leste became an independent nation in 2002. Nationwide in 2011, there were 48 students from Timor-Leste studying in the United States.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2012, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.