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Former BEA High School graduate visits Dubai

By Staff | Mar 17, 2019

Travis Cyphers, pictured in a red tie above with his teammates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, pose for a photo with the Middle East CEO?of Societe Generale and Facebook’s head of Public Policy for Europe and the Middle East.

Travis Cyphers, a former Blue Earth Area graduate and resident of Winnebago, has recently attended a World Government Summit in Dubai, India, and won the “Shaping Future Governments: Global Universities Challenge” as a representative of Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

Cyphers was selected along with four other students to represent the Tuck School of Business at the World Government Summit in February where the group had two days to come up with a 10-year strategy for the sustainable development for the fictional war-torn country of Urmania. Cyphers was the presenter for his group, and Tuck took first place out of 15 other elite MBA and public policy institutions.

The World Government Summit, or WGS, is considered the “largest global platform dedicated to exploring the future of government driven by technological advances and evolving citizen expectation,” bringing together more than 4,000 leaders and thinkers from 125 countries to advance sustainable development goals around the world.

Cyphers is a Captain in the United States Army and is currently getting his Master’s degree in Business at Dartmouth, and will soon graduate. His plan is to immediately begin teaching at the United States Military Academy, West Point in New York.

He has seen active service twice to Afghanistan and once to South Korea. Cyphers currently lives in Vermont across the river from Dartmouth and is married to Rebecca (Hervey) Cyphers, also from Winnebago. They have two children.

This is the second year Tuck students have attended the summit, but the first time the school has been invited to participate in the Global Universities Challenge, a competition that tasks participating student teams to come up with quick, creative solutions to global crises.

Cyphers’ teammates included Tolu Kehinde, Maria Barragan Santana, Melina Sanchez Montanes, and Alen Amini. Other members of the Tuck delegation to the WGS included faculty adviser John McKinley, executive director of the Center for Business, Government, and Society, and students Chris Ramos, Elizabeth Davis, and Hudson Leung.

The team gave a five-minute presentation of their strategy to a panel of judges that contained high-level officials from the Emirati government, including the Middle East CEO of Societe Generale and Facebook’s head of Public Policy for Europe and the Middle East.

The Tuck team proposed to improve Urmania in three youth-driven phases including stabilizing the fictional country through developing the rule of law, integrating the economy with global markets, and improving social wellbeing, connecting youth, communities and the economy through technology, and transforming Urmania with radical transparency and public-private partnerships.

The judges of the WGS deemed this presentation the best of the competition based on a number of criteria including novelty and innovation, impact and comprehensiveness, viability and feasibility, and, of course, presentation.

The Tuck team, led by the BEA alum, accepted their award in front of thousands of Summit participants.