Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Program Brings Leaders To U.S.

Senior Fellows from 9 Countries Engage With Critical Issues In The United States

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 2017—Nine senior professionals from 9 countries recently completed a three-week program in the United States as recipients of the Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Award. This program is designed to bring these representatives together with professional counterparts in the United States for professional development and networking to facilitate cooperation on shared global challenges.


Distinguished Humphrey Fellows are senior officials who are leaders in advancing the public good through positive, near-term impact on policy formulation within their professional areas. Designed and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the program’s goal is to facilitate leadership development, multilateral collaboration, and cooperation on shared global challenges.

The 2017 Humphrey Distinguished Fellows include:

  • Felicite Traore, Burkina Faso
  • Min Shen, China
  • Mauricio Alviar Ramirez, Colombia
  • Swati Lakra, India
  • Mohammed Omran, Egypt
  • Katia D’Artigues Beauregard, Mexico
  • Marjuni Maddi, Philippines 
  • Oleg Kolpashchikov, Russia
  • Fadzayi Mahere, Zimbabwe

The Fellows began their U.S. program on Saturday, September 16, by meeting with the Humphrey Fellows who are spending a year at Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for an afternoon lecture, discussion, and informal conversation, jointly organized by the Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the Humphrey Fellowship Program on behalf of the State Department, and Dr. Bish Sanyal and Ms. Nimfa de Leon, coordinators of the Humphrey Program at MIT.

After a two-day program orientation in Boston, the 9 Fellows engaged in a one-week executive leadership course at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government entitled “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage.” This leadership development program pushes participants to reflect on their deepest assumptions and most strongly held values, and encourages them to consider how their values and beliefs may have limited them in the past.

After the course, each Fellow was placed in one or two organizations for a one-week, tailored job shadowing experience that exposed them to U.S. organizations or agencies in their fields. Each Fellow was paired with a Professional Host who is a senior-level employee of a U.S.-based entity (public, private or not-for-profit). It was a two-way exchange, in which the hosts facilitated experiences that exposed the participants to broad U.S. professional networks and enhanced their learning about the joint professional field, including the latest trends and innovative approaches taken by the organization, while the Fellows also shared experiences from their home countries.

Here are several highlights from the Fellows’ job shadowing/sharing week:

  • Mohammed Omran, acting chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA), met with Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and with Chairman James Doty of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
  • Oleg Kolpashchikov, the founder and CEO of White Cane NGO in Russia, which conducts employment training within the blind community, spent the week at LightHouse for the Blind in San Francisco, and engaged with CEO Bryan Bashin
  • Marjunni Maddi spent the week at the Department of Education in Oregon, and engaged with Deputy Superintendent of Education Dr. Salam Noor, a former Fulbright Scholar
  • Swati Lakra split her week between the Tucson Police Department and the New York Police Department, citing many practices she can replicate in India.

The program concluded in Washington DC with high level meetings at the U.S. Department of State, where the Fellows were presented a certificate by ECA’s Senior Bureau Official, Deputy Assistant Secretary Alyson L. Grunder.

The short-term Distinguished Humphrey Leadership Award is a special initiative of the Hubert H. Humphrey Program, designed to build lasting ties between U.S. citizens and their worldwide professional counterparts. The year-long Humphrey Program brings young and mid-career professionals from designated countries to the United States for non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts.

Humphrey Fellows are selected based on their potential for leadership and their commitment to public service in either the public or the private sector. The Humphrey Program fosters a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the United States and the Fellows’ home countries. It provides a basis for establishing long-lasting, productive partnerships and relationships between citizens of the United States and their professional counterparts in other countries, fostering an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.

More than 5,600 men and women from 162 countries have been honored as Humphrey Fellows since the program began in 1978. Approximately 160 Fellowships are awarded annually. The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity. Its primary funding is provided by the U.S. Congress through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Co-sponsors include other governmental agencies, multinational organizations, and private donors. The Institute of International Education (IIE) assists the U.S. Department of State in administering the Humphrey Fellowship Program.

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide, and over 1,300 member institutions. Since its founding, IIE has established itself as a world leader in conducting longitudinal research on the global mobility trends of international students. For more information visit www.iie.org.


Public Affairs