In a challenging year, Humphrey Fellows focus on program goals
Nompumelelo Prudence Radebe was
thrilled when she learned in February that she would spend a year at the
Maxwell School as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow. Radebe, a director at the National
Treasury of South Africa, has experienced a roller coaster of emotions since
“I went from anxious to excited
to being nervous about whether the program would continue because of COVID,”
she said. Anticipation mixed with panic as she learned in August she was
expected in Syracuse by the end of November.
Her trip from South
Africa was smooth despite rocky moments this year. “I was tested before flying,”
she said. “The airports were not as packed as usual. Everything was fine.” She
took a breath, adding, “Now we are here.”
eight more Maxwell Humphrey Fellows started a compressed program Dec. 1. The
program, typically 10 months beginning Aug. 1, will last six months this year.
Syracuse’s 2020-21 fellows hail
from Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, South
Africa, Tanzania and Togo. The midcareer professionals will engage in academic
study, professional development and cultural exchange.
The fellows bring a variety interests
and experience, including public finance, public policy, development,
technology and health.
thrilled to welcome the fellows to the Maxwell School and admire their
determination and dedication in these challenging times,” said Margaret Lane,
director of Syracuse University’s Humphrey Fellowship program. “They are
focused on fulfilling their academic and professional goals.”
meetings in the fall focused on logistics and community building, and
orientation continued online. Program directors will follow COVID-19
regulations and adapt Humphrey events as needed. Despite some uncertainty,
fellows aim to maintain their professional goals.
because we have lost time does not necessarily mean we have lost what we hoped
to achieve,” Radebe said.
worked at South Africa’s treasury since a 2016 internship. As a public finance
director she works on police budgets and resource allocation. She hopes her
Humphrey experience will teach her to collect and use data to develop public
policy. She also is interested in using technology to improve service delivery.
“I hope to
leave this year a much better policy analyst than I was,” Radebe said. “Once
you can collect the data and understand it, you can use it to improve government
wants to learn more about volunteerism, NGOs and fundraising.
“I will be
able to learn the experiences of eight other countries in terms of policy and
culture,” she said. “That in itself makes it a very meaningful experience for
fellows are among the year’s approximately 127 scholars from 81 countries.
Syracuse University is one of 12 campuses across the country to host Humphrey
Fellows. Approximately 135 fellows from 72 countries have called the Maxwell
School and Syracuse University home during their fellowship year since 2009.
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.