Meet the Second Cohort of the 2023-2024 Professional Fellows Program Oceania

WASHINGTON, DC: In partnership with the U.S. Department of State, Cultural Vistas is proud to announce the twelve finalists selected for the second cohort of the 2023-2024 Professional Fellows Program Oceania (PFP Oceania).

These professionals are citizens/residents from six different Pacific countries and are part of the prestigious Professional Fellows Program (PFP), which facilitates these two way professional exchange opportunities all around the world.

In May of 2024, PFP Oceania participants will complete four-week long fellowships across the United States where they will gain hands-on experience in their professional area of expertise. While in the United States, fellows will build their professional networks within their host organizations and prepare to implement a follow-on project in their home communities and organizations in the Pacific, centered on the theme of Economic Empowerment. After the fellowships have concluded, Professional Fellows from around the world will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Professional Fellows Congress, where they will share their program experiences and provide peer-feedback on prospective follow-on projects.

This is the third year Cultural Vistas is implementing the Professional Fellows Program in the Pacific region, and we are delighted to welcome such talented professionals from a wide array of backgrounds.
Please see below for the selected fellows’ names and professional areas of interests that will guide their placement and follow-on projects:

Brian Mangi, Solomon Islands – Software and Business Development
David Valentine, Fiji/Papua New Guinea – Educational Technology and Digital Literacy
George Fong, Fiji – Personal Finance and Financial Technology
Iowane Ponipate Tiko, Fiji/Republic of the Marshall Islands – Project Management and Financial Analysis in Renewable Energy Sector
Torika Kalman, Vanuatu – Entrepreneurship Cultivation and Business Development
Ruth Kaltongga, Vanuatu – Female and Youth Empowerment, Community Development
Sarah Makutu, Fiji – Sustainable Development and Community Programming
Seluvaia T.U. Kauvaka, Tonga – Information & Communications Technology, Gender Equality in Technology Sector
Trina Bugoro, Solomon Islands – Marketing in Sustainable Agriculture, Small Business Support
Tuitala Lasifo, Tuvalu – Data Science and Software Development
Vicenta Waleanisia, Solomon Islands – Community Programming for Literacy Support
Wendilyna Wale, Solomon Islands – Waste Management and Community Engagement

Following the exchanges, program alumni will be eligible for some funding to assist them with completing their follow-on activity within their home communities in advancement of their professional goals. Additionally, alumni will also have the opportunity to host an American Fellow for a ten-to-fourteen-day reciprocal exchange in support of their follow-on activity. All participant program travel costs and accommodations will be covered by the program and coordinated by Cultural Vistas.

If you are interested in hosting a PFP Oceania Fellow or learning more about the program, please contact Cultural Vistas at pfpoceania@culturalvistas.org. Hosting a Professional Fellow is a great way to build relationships with these esteemed international professionals and learn more about the wide variety of programming facilitated by the U.S. Department of State.

About the Professional Fellows Program:
The Professional Fellows Program (PFP) is a two-way, global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from foreign countries and the United States. PFP participants are placed in intensive fellowships in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the United States for an individually tailored professional development experience. They build a broad network with American and other program participant colleagues as they develop a deeper understanding of U.S. society. The PFP is a two-way exchange, with American participants who have hosted foreign fellows traveling overseas for participant-driven reciprocal programs.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. Visit eca.state.gov or contact ECA-Press@state.gov to learn more.