As October began, Eisenhower Fellowships welcomed its 2017 class of Middle East/South Asia Fellows, including our first group of Fellows from Myanmar. This program is a unique opportunity for the Fellows to engage in international dialogue, collaboration, learning and reflection that will effect positive change. Moreover, the inspiring voices and stories of these Fellows will benefit the leaders, experts and social innovators they meet across the United States.
During opening week, the Middle East/South Asia Fellows were joined by eight USA Fellows returned from their Zhi-Xing fellowship across China. Opening seminar events included a conversation with Gerald Seib, Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, providing insights on the current political landscape. Other events included visits to several sites run by Fellows based in Philadelphia, including the Navy Yard, Freire Charter School and Gabriel Investments. The following week in Washington, DC, the Global Fellows had the honor of meeting with Eisenhower Fellowships’ Chairman General Colin Powell (Retired), who had an inspiring conversation with the Fellows on leadership and contemporary global affairs. Other highlights included a visit with Trustee Susan Hakkarainen at Lutron Electronics in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania; a joint event hosted by Eisenhower Fellowships and the Aspen Institute and a lunch with Mack McLarty, Chairman of McLarty Associates and Chief of Staff to President Clinton. As the second week came to a close, the Fellows dispersed across the United States to continue their fellowship projects. The Fellows will reunite in Philadelphia in November to share their experiences and reflect on how the fellowship will catalyze their positive impact at home.