Sununu, Kamen Head to Dubai for FIRST Global Announcement

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Evan Lips photo

Gov. Chris Sununu

Editor’s note: Gov. Sununu’s spokesman responded to’s questions saying The World Government Summit will pay for the trip and Sununu’s office will file all appropriate forms as required by RSA 15-B. According to the Secretary of State’s website, RSA 15-B’s purpose is to ensure that the performance of official duties does not give rise to a conflict of interest, by prohibiting certain gifts and by requiring certain persons, including the governor, to file with the Secretary of State a report of any honorarium or expense reimbursement received. The World Government Summit describes itself: The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide. Each year, the Summit sets the agenda for the next generation of governments, focusing on how they can harness innovation and technology to solve universal challenges facing humanity. The Annual Gathering of the World Government Summit, held in February in Dubai, hosts over 4,000 participants and invites world leaders, international organizations’ representatives, thinkers, and experts from over 150 countries. Leaders: His Excellency Mohammad Abdulla AlGergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future – UAE | Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization; Her Excellency Ohood Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing – UAE | Vice Chair of the World Government Summit Organization; His Excellency Omar Sultan AlOlama, Minister of State For Artificial Intelligence – UAE | Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organization

By News release
Concord, NH – On Wednesday, Feb. 6, Governor Chris Sununu and inventor Dean Kamen will travel to the United Arab Emirates for a global announcement regarding FIRST Global. They are representing FIRST Global and the State of New Hampshire at this announcement.

FIRST was founded in Manchester, New Hampshire by Dean Kamen in 1989, and has since grown into a global program with over 600,000 students from 100+ countries. Governor Sununu has become a national leader and advocate for expanding robotics programs at the state level. In 2017, Governor Sununu created the Robotics Education Fund, a $1M initiative for public schools to implement robotics programs. In 2018, he announced the Governor’s Cup – a competitive annual robotics competition in partnership between The University System of New Hampshire, the Community College System, and FIRST Robotics that provides a tuition-free semester within the University or Community College System for seniors on winning teams.

FIRST Global was established in 2016 to more quickly spread the importance of STEM around the world and to serve as a pipeline to bring more countries and more young people to the FIRST community.  FIRST Global holds an annual Olympic-style robotics competition with teams representing countries around the world.  The Inaugural FIRST Global Challenge was held in Washington, D.C in July 2017 and the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge was held in Mexico City. More than 160 countries participated in each of these events.

Ahead of the announcement, Governor Chris Sununu will attend a gathering of global government leaders and private-sector entrepreneurs convening to shed light on methodologies the private sector could engage in to support governments in tackling the global rise of inequality. This will serve as a precursor to the annual World Government Summit, being held in Dubai beginning on February 10th.  The Summit brings the public and private sectors together to collaborate with world-renowned experts in order to help create a positive impact for citizens worldwide (

“It is an honor to represent New Hampshire at this FIRST Global announcement,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “ I have the tremendous opportunity to sit on a global stage with world leaders in government and business to share best practices on how government can open up opportunity and find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing economic inequality issues as well as discuss all that New Hampshire has to offer.”

“I look forward to traveling to Dubai with Governor Sununu for the FIRST Global announcement,” said Dean Kamen. “This trip presents an exciting opportunity for us to tout New Hampshire’s success at expanding student involvement in FIRST on a global scale in front of world leaders.”

Governor Chris Sununu was invited by Dean Kamen to travel as invited guests of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and is attending in his official capacity as Governor of New Hampshire.  No taxpayer funds will be used for this trip.  At no point during this trip will Governor Chris Sununu be unavailable to act in his official capacity as Governor. He will return to New Hampshire Monday, February 11.

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