KWS’ Paul Udoto stands out among Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Awardees as first and only Kenyan


(Posted 19th September 2017)

(Kenya’s Paul Udoto seen here giving his address at Arizona State University)

Arizona State University (ASU) hosted a grand welcome reception for the 2017/18 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Award recipients.

A total of 12 leading global journalists and communications professionals gave speeches at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix.

The Cronkite School is the only American university campus hosting Humphrey fellows specializing in journalism and communications this year.

The event was attended by Nancy Overholt, the Institute of International Education (IIE) Hubert H. Humphrey Program Executive Director, whose organization assists the U.S. Department of State in administering the Humphrey Fellowship Program. Associate Professor Dr Bill Silcock, Director of Cronkite Global Initiatives and curator of the Humphrey Program also attended the program alongside with the Program Coordinator Claire Tyrpak.

The 12 Humphrey fellows were honored as they began their nine-month fellowship program at the Cronkite School. For the first time in the history of the program at Arizona State University, a Kenyan from the Kenya Wildlife Service Corporate Paul Udoto Nyongesa, represented his country in the program. He was the only Kenya among 153 fellows spread around US university campuses from 97 countries who were awarded the US government grant this year. Others grantees from Africa include Ahmed Elashry (Egypt) and Daneel Knoetze (South Africa). The rest of the Fellows are Martin Aguirre (Uruguay), Kazi Mohua (Bangladesh), Mila Moralic (Croatia), Szabolcs Panyi (Hungary), Bopha Phorn (Cambodia), Marina Ridjic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Holger Roonemaa (Estonia), Kiran Somvanshi (India) and Xiaofeng Wang (China).

The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity funded by the 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.

In his brief remarks to guests who included mentors, students and volunteer global friends, the Kenyan grantee highlighted his country’s challenge of striking a balance between competing needs for conservation and development. Paul noted that as the custodian of his country’s ecological assets, Kenya Wildlife Service was at the heart of the country’s national development. He said protection of nature contributed to various sectors including agriculture, water, fisheries, mining, hydro-electric power generation, tourism and general public wellness.

At the Cronkite School, fellows pursue studies, receive leadership training and forge professional affiliations with journalism and public relations organizations in Arizona and across the nation. Fellows live in downtown Phoenix, participate in academic study at ASU, develop professional affiliations and friendships, receive mentoring from Cronkite faculty and experience a rich cultural immersion into American life.

Cronkite’s curriculum for the fellows includes the Humphrey Seminar, a year-long course in global leadership; other ASU coursework of their choice; opportunities for fellows to interact with their American counterparts at conferences, meetings and seminars; professional experiences and the Washington Global Leadership Forum, a four-day seminar in Washington during which fellows learn about U.S. institutions, federal agencies and international organizations. The program builds lasting ties between U.S. citizens and their worldwide professional counterparts through independently designed programs unique to each participating university.

The Humphrey Program brings young and mid-career professionals from designated countries to the United States for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts.

The Program provides ten months of non-degree academic study and related professional experiences in the United States. 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.

The Program offers Fellows valuable opportunities for leadership development and professional engagement. It also 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 161 countries have been honored as Humphrey Fellows since the program began in 1978. Slightly more than 70 Kenyans in different professions have benefited from the program in the last 40 years.

Humphrey Fellowships are awarded competitively to candidates who are mid-career professionals in many fields. Applicants are required to have an undergraduate degree, a minimum of five years of substantial, full-time, professional experience, limited or no prior experience in the United States, demonstrated leadership qualities, a record of public service in the community, and strong English skills.

The program was started in 1978 in honor of US Senator and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey for his exemplary leadership, his tireless devotion to public service, and his sincere hope for greater understanding among nations.

Paul is expected to return to the Kenya Wildlife Service upon completion of his fellowship programme next year after being granted study leave by the organization.

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