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Edmund S. Muskie Professional Fellowship Program alumni gather in Tbilisi, Georgia for the 2022 alumni conference

Pool photo from the Muskie Professional Fellowship Orientation event in Washington, D.C. in May 2022.

In conjunction with the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi, Cultural Vistas is pleased to be hosting the second in-person Edmund S. Muskie Professional Fellowship Program Alumni Conference from September 28-October 2, 2022 in Tbilisi, Georgia!  

This event will bring together over 90 alumni from 12 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, offering professional development and networking opportunities.  

Dr. Alexander Cooley, Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University and an Academy Adjunct Faculty member at Chatham House, will launch the conference by discussing how professional development, adaptive leadership, and leveraging alumni networks and connections can help to address regional challenges. 

Representatives from the United States Embassy in Tbilisi will additionally participate in the conference and emphasize the value of exchange programs, study opportunities in the United States for young professionals, and the significance of giving back to the community after returning home. 

Participants will also get a unique opportunity to strengthen their leadership abilities by taking part in a training on Adaptive Leadership facilitated by CoInnovate Consulting. The Adaptative Leadership framework was initially established at the Harvard Kennedy School, and teaches leadership as a skill that can be used in a range of professional and community scenarios. 

Now more than ever, there is a need to reimagine outdated ideas and advance new ways of thinking about leadership and action.  

Throughout the conference, program alumni will also have a chance to share their professional achievements and exchange their stories since completing their studies in the United States. 

The Edmund S. Muskie Professional Fellowship Program is a professional development program funded by the U.S. Department of State since 2015 that provides emerging leaders of the Fulbright Program from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia with the opportunity to gain real-world experience complementing and enriching their graduate studies in the United States.  

Since 1992, the U.S. Department of State has provided thousands of graduate school fellowships for students from across Eurasia in order to build democracies, strengthen the transition to market economies, and establish strong civil societies. Cultural Vistas has built upon that foundation by providing hands-on, professional skill-building opportunities across the United States for more than 380 Fulbright Scholars over the last eight years. 

Named after the late Senator from Maine and preeminent U.S. environmental leader, the original academic program was established by Congress in 1992 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union to help ensure that countries in the region continued healthy economic and democratic growth. 

During their time with the program, Muskie fellows attend a series of professional workshops, volunteer in their host communities, and acquire professional experience by completing a three-month fellowship with an organization in their field in the United States. 

The conference will conclude with a special reception celebrating the continuous collaboration between the United States and the 12 program countries. 

Cultural Vistas exhibits its ongoing commitment to previous and present Muskie participants by bringing together program graduates to participate in this extended training and professional development long after their programs have been completed. 

Muskie fellows show a commitment to developing practical skills, gaining a deeper understanding of American work culture, as well as preparing themselves to use this experience for implementing positive change and creating a long-lasting impact in their home countries.