Hai-Vu Phan, 2016-2017, Fulbright Public Policy Fellow to Peru, visiting a solar energy plant near Tacna, Peru. (Photo credit: Maximo Meza)
As a 2016-2017 Fulbright Public Policy Fellow to Peru, I have served as a technical assistant within Peru’s energy regulatory agency, the Supervisory Organization for Investment in Energy and Mines (Osinergmin), for ten months. I am also concurrently a PhD candidate at the University of Southern California, where my interest and dissertation research focuses on renewable energy policies.
During my tenure at Osinergmin, I have helped my office publish a special report on the energy consumption ladder and a book on renewable energy. Additionally, I assisted on a number of internal projects, including academic chapters and articles, reports, institutional memoranda, and a research paper. I also conducted a weekly English conversation seminar for my colleagues. Lunch breaks and downtimes gave me the opportunity to speak with my coworkers about Peru’s energy situation and my own research. Aside from my formal work, there were also many opportunities for me to connect and make lasting friendships with my coworkers.
Katelyn Leader, 2013-2014, J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Fellow to Haiti (second from left), with her colleagues from the Haitian government’s Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation
I believe that mutual understanding is the foundation of tolerance and peace; it can only develop, however, when people are willing to listen to and learn from one another. This is such a simple notion, and yet time and time again, we see the consequences of it being forgotten by leaders and individuals.
In September 2013, I arrived in Haiti as a J. William Fulbright – Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Policy Fellow. I was placed in the government’s Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, where I was assigned to the Division of Territorial Planning and Local and Regional Development. Over the course of my fellowship, my primary responsibility was to design and implement a study examining urban expansion in an area north of Port-au-Prince known as Canaan. Unpopulated at the time of the 2010 earthquake, Canaan now hosts more than 100,000 people. Many live in substandard, makeshift shelters without access to basic services. My colleagues and I conducted over 100 interviews with individuals living in this area, and the perspectives and information that they shared offered valuable insight into the country’s housing and urban planning challenges.
Many of you may have seen Fulbright around your town lately. Here’s a recap of where we’ve been in the past month!
The Fulbright Program and Gilman Program were represented at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Leadership Institute by alumni and the Institute of International Education staff. This event hosts over 450 students from from public Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and teaches them skills they need to be competitive in the marketplace.
Fulbright and Gilman Program alumni shared their excitement from their experiences with students interested in studying abroad at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Leadership Institute.
Fulbright Student and Scholar Program Alumni hosted the Fulbright Alumni Photography Exhibit at The Atrium Gallery at the Ronald Reagan Building. Fulbright Alumni Ambassador, Kristen Erthum, presented on Nov. 8, at the gallery on her experience as an English Teaching Assistant in Egypt. Visit the gallery’s Facebook page to learn more.