Humphrey Fellows Begin 10-Month Program
October 20, 2023
With a robust orientation behind them, eleven Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from 10 emerging democracies and developing countries have embarked on a 10-month program involving graduate study, professional development and cultural exchange.
The nearly three-week orientation in August is designed to introduce fellows to the program, along with program components and expectations, academic opportunities and core public administration principles.
The orientation was led by Margaret Lane, assistant director of Executive Education and director of the Humphrey Fellowship Program. She provided an overview of what to expect in the year ahead, additional information about the program, as well as expectations.
The orientation also provided these midcareer professionals with opportunities to get to know one another, including short “Day in the Life” presentations where fellows provided snapshots of their lives and work, along with family, traditions and hobbies.
Other orientation activities included a walking tour of downtown Syracuse conducted by the Downtown Committee, where they showcased revitalization efforts as well as historical locations and cultural attractions in the city core, which is undergoing a renaissance.
Also at the orientation, Steve Lux, director of Executive Education, discussed theoretical and practical justifications for and against non-government organizations, while Grant Reeher, a political science professor and director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute, provided overviews of American political institutions and the concept of American exceptionalism and the U.S. system of federal government.
Additional orientation sessions included Managing and Interrupting Bias and Influence, led by Kofi Addai, associate director of Bias Education and Response and Community Standards at Syracuse University. His workshop focused on bias and the distinction between implicit and explicit bias and how they play a role in our lives.
Participants worked in teams to analyze their biases and in collaboration, discuss steps to address behaviors as professional leaders, while developing strategies to promote welcoming, belonging and inclusive communities.
In another session, Marie Pennucci, of the College of Professional Studies, discussed intercultural communication, highlighting key concepts for understanding communication across cultures, with discussion and reflection on intercultural communication skills, attitudes and competencies.
Humphrey Fellows enjoy cross-cultural exchange, leadership development and an opportunity to consider issues from afar. They return home with new perspectives and skills that allow them to make transformational impacts in their countries. Along the way, the fellows also make an impact on individuals and organizations here in the U.S.
As an example, fellows spent an afternoon volunteering at the Samaritan Center, where they learned about food insecurity and how local nonprofits look to combat the problem.
A member of the 2023-24 cohort, Grecia Vasquez of Guatemala, says she is honored to be a Humphrey Fellow.
“The Humphrey Fellowship is highly prestigious, bringing together a diverse group of global leaders and emerging talents dedicated to bettering their nations,” she says. “These experts are determined to make significant positive changes. The program serves as a powerful catalyst, supporting transformative goals, encouraging collaboration and excellence. Its core revolves around sharing ideas, expertise, and enriching cultures, contributing to a better world.”
The 2023-24 Syracuse Humphrey Fellows, their native countries, and some of their interests:
• Zaur Allahverdiyev, Azerbaijan: Innovative development policy, cybersecurity policy and strategy, law and regulation
• Trim Berisha, Kosovo: Public policy analysis, public administration, strategic planning and economic development
• Marcelo Funes, Argentina: Public policy, artificial intelligence, data analysis and decision-making, blockchain management
• Minseok Kang, South Korea: Government innovation, government trust, local governments, democracy
• Ghulam Jan Naseer, Pakistan: E-governance, ICT project management, policy management, data protection
• Maria Alejandra Pozo, Ecuador: Economics for public decisions, tax innovation
• Sanam Rasool, Pakistan: Tax exemption regime for developing countries and other tax policy studies
• Emahatsion Tekle, Eritrea: Internet, block-chain, big data, AI, cybersecurity
• Grecia Vasquez, Guatemala: Public policies, leadership, community development, prevention of money laundering
• Ana Villarreal Garcia, Costa Rica: Service design, public policies in innovation, public policies in human talent
• Cristina Virlan, Moldova: Leadership in the public sector, evidence-based public policy development, policy analysis
Maxwell’s Humphrey fellows are among the year’s 148 scholars from 91 countries. Syracuse University is one of 13 campuses across the country to host Humphrey Fellows. About 170 fellows from 85 countries have called the Maxwell School and Syracuse University home during their fellowship year since 2009.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program began in 1978 to honor the late Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and his lifelong commitment to international cooperation and public service. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. government and administered by the Institute of International Education.
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