May marked the induction of another amazing class of diverse, dynamic doers into the Eisenhower Fellowships community. As individuals, the Spring 2017 Global Fellowship class was full of rising stars, from peace builders and innovators to educators and industry leaders. But as a group, the Spring 2017 Global Program was another example of the fellowship’s power to unite people with diverse backgrounds and inspire them to bring about collective global change. During the opening week of the program, 10 Fellows visited The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania’s Knowledge at Wharton business radio program. Fellows offered their insights into the future of their respective fields and the impacts they hope to have on their countries following fellowship. At the Pardee RAND Graduate School for public policy in Santa Monica, California, Fellows had an opportunity to gain skills to implement their projects successfully. This special three-day course gave Fellows the chance to explore policy analysis and evaluation. Fellows worked closely with Pardee RAND faculty members, who offered mentorship and feedback as the Fellows worked through their fellowship interests and projects.
After three weeks of intensive meetings and travel, the Fellows reunited for their mid-program retreat in Sedona, Arizona for a few days of reflection and storytelling. Fellows shared a wide range of thought-provoking and passionate tales on how their personal experiences, both on fellowship and in their lives, inspire them to make transformational changes in their communities. Ghana’s Moses Tia urged Fellows to keep working for solutions no matter where they come from, while Sue Ern Tan of Australia’s mantra of “go with the bull” became a metaphor for being flexible and open to the challenges presented on the fellowship journey and beyond. Watch Tan’s video here. Sangeetha Madhu of India shared a deeply personal story of how the loss of her father strengthened her purpose to pursue leadership.
Fellows wrapped up the program with thoughtful discussion with members of EF’s Board of Trustees, including visits with Kimball Chen of Energy Transportation Group in New York City, Steve Pelch of Emerson in St. Louis, and Susan Hakkarainen of Lutron Electronics in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. In addition, Governor Christine Todd Whitman, recipient of the 2017 Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service, once again graciously hosted fellows at her New Jersey farm, bringing their journey across the United States to a warm close. Even as Fellows prepared to return to their home countries, the 2017 Global Program class came together to look for ways to share ideas and engage in future collaboration in the fields of artificial intelligence, social inclusion and sustainability. With 26 Fellows from 22 countries from around the globe re-energized and committed to cooperation, exploration and dialogue, the journey has just begun for the 2017 class of Global Eisenhower Fellows.