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Andreas Borgeas is a family man and an educator. As a State Senator he proudly represents the Eighth District of California while his heart compass points directly to Greece.
By Mia Kollia
#statesenator #politics #greece #greeksabroad #greekimmigrants #diaspora #society #hellenism #heritage
- What does America mean to you and what myths about it should be dispelled?
The essence of America fosters equal opportunity for all people, more so than other places in the world. One myth is that Americans only care about themselves, and not about the advancement of the global community. While we have an individualistic tradition, Americans desire to improve the whole of humanity and contribute to the global community.
- What were the harshest difficulties you encountered in your long career and how did you deal with them?
The hardest difficulties are when people do not appreciate the opinions of those who are educated or experienced in certain disciplinary fields. We have seen this during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a double-edged sword, because everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but this can sometimes lead to dangerous disinformation. The political divide is rendering our system of government temporarily dysfunctional. We need to remember that our obligation is to America, not just political parties.
- Which, in a nutshell, are the biggest ideological differences between the ruling parties of the US?
The role of the state. One party believes the government should have a stronger role with the individual, and the other believes the government should be restrained and remain small with as little interference as possible.
- What are your goals around tightening US-Greek relations and how do you try to achieve results in different areas?
We need a multi-disciplinary approach where we find ways to work together through industry, commerce, education, military relations, and culture. All of these efforts can be pursued in all different regions of Greece and to varying degrees. An all-hands-on-deck approach between industry and government is required to strengthen our ties and exchange cultural values between our two countries.
- What is Greece for you? What do you love about it? How often do you visit the country, and what have you missed?
Greece is poised for greatness. As an educator, I appreciate that Hellenism serves as the basis of modern academic thought. Greece is a place that my family visits every year to be reunited with family and friends at home. The Greece of today is a lot different from the country that our family experienced. Greece has an abundance of opportunity today, and it makes me even more proud of my heritage.
- What success tips would you share with younger people regardless of line of work?
Don’t be afraid of hard work, and don’t forget your role in your community. It is important to leave behind more than you take.
Who is Andreas Borgeas
As an educator, Andreas Borgeas has worked in numerous international, professional and academic positions, including, as a Fulbright Scholar, Contributing Fellow for the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Policy Specialist Fellow at the US Embassy in Kazakhstan and as Commissioner on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Andreas conducted his PhD field research in, and published extensively on, China and the neighboring Central Asian Republics, receiving his graduate education at Georgetown Law School, Harvard University and Panteion University of Political Sciences. After clerking for a federal district judge he practiced international law at Luce Forward. For over a decade he has been a professor in the fields of international law and security affairs at the San Joaquin College of Law in Clovis, and is an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey.
Andreas began public service as a Fresno City Councilman and member of the Fresno County Board of Supervisors before being elected in 2018 to the California State Senate.
While originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Andreas is a proud Fresnan. Along with his wife Anna, whom he met at a Starbucks in Fresno, they are proud parents of two young boys. The Borgeas family is also very involved in the local Greek and Armenian communities.
Andreas is Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Vice-Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with other committee assignments including Governmental Organization; Energy, Utilities and Communications; Insurance; Joint Legislative Audit; Pandemic Emergency Response; Cybersecurity and Identity Theft Prevention; California, Armenia & Artsakh Mutual Trade, Art & Cultural Exchange; and California’s Wine Industry.
The Eighth Senate District encompasses all or portions of the following Central Valley, foothills, and mountain counties: Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Sacramento, Stanislaus, Tulare, and Tuolumne.