As one of Australia's most popular and respected political commentators, Annabel Crabb provides analysis and commentary in her online column at ABC News Online and as an analyst on ABC Television. Her move to Chief Political Writer in 2009 enabled her to bring her passion for stimulating interest in politics into the new media arena after more than a decade in the print world. On her fellowship, Ms. Crabb met key players in U.S. broadcast news, examine innovations in political news coverage, and explore how media convergence can generate interest in the political process.
2011 MULTI NATION PROGRAM
Click the name of each Fellow for a short biography.
Known for his entrepreneurial skills and commitment to professional sector collaboration, Flavio Nogueira is President and CEO of Colortextil Participacoes Ltda., a leading textile producer in Brazil; President of the Union of Knitting Textile Industries of Minas Gerais; and an active member of many professional associations. On his fellowship, he gained information and insights to improve the environment for entrepreneurs in Brazil, and visited companies and organizations active in the U.S. textile industry.
Dr. Gong Weibin
Dr. Gong Weibin is a widely-traveled public administration specialist responsible for training mid- and senior-level public officials throughout China and for conducting research in social and cultural policy and management. He previously served as Vice Mayor in the Haimen municipal government and as Deputy Director General in the Chinese Academy of Governance's Department of Political Science. While on fellowship, he examined social policy development and administration in the U.S., civil service training programs, and higher education administration.
Dr. Chou Yuntsai
A specialist in public policy and economics, Dr. Chou Yuntsai directs the 21st Century Foundation's research in the areas of digital convergence, innovative governance, and the knowledge economy. She is also an Associate Professor of Social Informatics at Yuan Ze University and an advisor to the National Communication Commission of Taiwan. Her fellowship focused on broadband and new media development, telecommunications/IT policymaking, industry innovation and regulatory oversight.
Dr. Liisa Suvikumpu
Dr. Liisa Suvikumpu is a prominent expert in European cultural history and was the founding COO of the Finnish Council of Foundations, an association of over 120 philanthropic associations in Finland. She currently directs two eminent cultural foundations and plays a leading role in various cultural institutions. On her fellowship, she focused on innovations in the U.S. philanthropic sector, intercultural dialogue, and increasing youth engagement and interest in cultural heritage.
Dr. Tünde Tátrai
A public procurement consultant to the Office of the Prime Minister and other government agencies, Dr. Tünde Tátrai teaches supply chain management, public procurement, purchasing, and IT law at Corvinus University; directs research projects in public and electronic procurement; and has co-authored and edited several books on purchasing and public procurement. While on fellowship, she examined best practices and benchmarking processes in public procurement with the goal of enhancing the effectiveness and regulatory oversight of the public procurement process in Hungary.
Rajsekhar Budithi belongs to the prestigious Indian Administrative Service, where he has focused his career on developing innovative systems and institutional frameworks to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. He currently oversees the Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty, which supports self-help groups providing employment to over 10 million rural poor women. While on fellowship, Mr. Budithi explored public health initiatives and food security programs, to help him improve the health of vulnerable populations in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
Zulfiani Lubis (Uni)
As the first Indonesian woman to become editor-in-chief of an Islamic magazine, Zulfiani Lubis is a staunch advocate of investigative reporting known for her willingness to take risks to eradicate corruption and nepotism. She presently oversees all editorial and strategic decisions and activities at ANTV, which has over 130 million viewers. While on her fellowship, she studied media convergence issues, including U.S. perspectives on regulation of the broadcast industry and the impact of the internet and social media.
Lt. Colonel Avi Biran
Lt. Colonel Avi Biran is founding director of the Israel Defense Force's new Technological Research and Development Branch, which works toward rapid development and deployment of new technologies. He has overall responsibility for technological issues, budget and procurement, human resources, and innovation management. On his fellowship, he explored leadership and management, technological innovation, entrepreneurship, and programs to enhance technological proficiency and interest among youth.
An expert in media and corporate law and creator of FIEG's legal and international affairs office, Dr. Isabella Splendore is the legal adviser to the management of FIEG as well as Italian publishing companies. In addition, she coordinates publishing policies at the national and international levels, and represents Italian publishers before European institutions and international associations. During her fellowship, she explored challenges faced by the publishing industry and, more generally, by information providers in the face of the quickly evolving digital revolution.
Tominiyi Openifunluwa Owolabi
Tominiyi Owolabi is a key legal advisor on financial sector reform to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Security Exchange Commission. For the past 15 years he has provided legal support to institutions in financial crisis. While on fellowship he gained insight into the American financial sector, including the legal and regulatory framework and processes for intervention in failing banks.
Dr. Erfa Iqbal manages and coordinates the Prime Minister of Pakistan's development program for Southern Punjab with the aim of improving the social and economic conditions in the poorest regions of Punjab province. On her fellowship, she examined best practices in enhancing economic development including entrepreneurship, public-private partnerships, and women's empowerment and role in the workforce.
Nisreen Mohammad Shahin
Nisreen Shahin oversees quality of life projects for Rawabi City, a groundbreaking project intended to spur economic development in Palestine. The largest construction project in modern Palestinian history, it brings together economic development, education, sustainability, cultural opportunities, and mixed use construction to middle class Palestinians. On her fellowship, Ms. Shahin focused on developing and sustaining planned communities; aligning educational efforts with private sector needs; and best practices of U.S. foundations.
Dr. Sheyla Blumen
Dr. Blumen is recognized as one of the preeminent scholars in the field of gifted education, both in Peru and throughout South America. Among her numerous accomplishments, Dr. Blumen has developed testing and educational materials to foster creativity in schools, universities, and organizations and promote academic excellence and competitiveness. While on her fellowship, she examined curriculum and learning strategies; education models that bring together schools, entrepreneurs, and policy makers; and collaborative relationships with U.S. institutions.
A former Congressman representing the "Tri-People of Mindanao" (Christians, Muslims and Indigenous People), Ariel Hernandez brings his lifelong passion for combating rural poverty and promoting peace to his current position at the International Center for Peace. The center offers a range of activities to bring the people of Mindanao and the Armed Forces of the Philippines together to work towards joint solutions for regional peace and development. On his fellowship, he examined security sector reform programs and the role of government agencies, NGOs, and business groups in the security sector in the United States.
Omar is a founding member of the recently established Economic Cities Authority, where he oversaw the development of two Economic Cities with private sector developers and various government entities and was responsible for the strategic cluster development and investment strategy for these cities. While on fellowship, Mr. Al-Madhi investigated the dynamics and systems that lead to a nation's competitiveness and a flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Anati Canca is responsible for the commercialization of Agricultural Research Council (ARC) scientific output and for formulating and executing strategies for intellectual property management, knowledge management, and agricultural economic services. Although trained as a scientist, she soon moved into leadership and managerial aspects of the scientific arena. On her fellowship, she explored opportunities to use agriculture as a tool for economic development, with a particular focus on the theory and practice of technology transfer and the use of agricultural extension programs and offices.
Juan José Güemes
Juan José Güemes has spent 17 years in positions such as Minister of Health and Minister of Employment and Diversity for the Region of Madrid. He now focuses on fostering entrepreneurship and innovation as key sources of economic and social growth, as well as promoting entrepreneurship among women. Mr. Güemes utilized his fellowship to examine public and private institutions dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship, venture capital, and efficient uses of healthcare technologies.
Dr. Harsha de Silva
As the key opposition United National Party spokesman for economic affairs in Parliament, Dr. Harsha de Silva is a vocal critic of government economic policy and a strong advocate for increased economic liberalization. An internationally recognized development economist, he hosted a popular weekly TV talk show on economics and politics from 2006 until 2010, an endeavor he plans to resume in the near future. On his fellowship he examined perspectives on economic freedom in the U.S. economy; the political and economic decision-making process; and television programming focused on political and economic issues.
To read about the 2011 MNP Fellows' fellowship outcomes and their program summaries, please click here.