Humphrey Fellow Dialogues Scheduled at Jeannette Rankin Peace Center

May 18, 2018

The 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows at UMMISSOULA – The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center will host a series of community dialogues with the 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows from the University of Montana.

The talks are scheduled for select Thursdays between May 31 to July 19. They will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the center, located at 519 S. Higgins Ave. in Missoula, and are free and open to the public.

The 17 Fellows are sponsored by the U.S. State Department. They arrived this in April for a four-month intensive English language and cultural program at UM’s English Language Institute.

The Fellows are midcareer professionals from a variety of fields – from finance and banking to environmental policy.

“Each Humphrey Fellow will speak in an open forum about issues facing his or her country and profession,” ELI Chair Jeanie Castillo said. “The public will be invited to come, and the Humphrey Fellows will engage the audience in dialogue about important issues in addition to giving presentations. This will provide a means for the Fellows to share their work and cultural backgrounds with the Missoula community.”

The home countries of the Humphrey Fellows are Benin, Burma (Myanmar), Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Iran, Israel, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Senegal and Togo.

“There are more Fellows out there, but these are the ones who needed support with their English first,” said Sarah Bortis, ELI program coordinator. “They’re all really high-level people. They’re selected for their leadership potential and commitment to public service. They’ve all dedicated their lives to tackling big problems. They’re going on to do grand things.”

Bortis and Castillo coordinate and oversee the arrival and stay of the Humphreys at UM. ELI serves as a long-term English program to assist Fellows with their transition to the United States and the English language.

The Fellows will stay for four months at UM and then go on to their academic internships at universities such as Boston University; University of California, Davis; Cornell University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Penn State University; American University; and Emory University.

In addition to their classroom English, each Fellow partners with a UM faculty member who shares their same field of interest. They also are matched with a community partner who will be a Missoulian ambassador.

Community service is an integral part of the Fellows’ Fulbright exchange activity.

“The Humphreys will do a service learning component where they’ll work in a nonprofit agency in Missoula and learn through service,” Bortis said. “The community dialogues at the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center are an opportunity for the Humphrey Fellows to learn and practice their presentation skills in English. They will present about their country and their work, then open it up to dialogues.”

Later this summer, the Fellows also will enjoy field trips to Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. For a list of Fellow bios, visit

The presentation schedule follows:

  • May 31 – “Human Rights, Law and Finance” by Nino Elbakidze (Georgia), Coumba Ndiaye (Senegal) and Hadiza Gagara Dagah (Niger)

  • June 14 – “Natural Resources and Agriculture” by Hossein Babazadeh (Iran), Tuguldur Enkhtsetseg (Mongolia) and Marlen Navarro (Cuba)

  • June 21 – “Education and Technology” by Zull-kifuly Moumouni (Benin) and Serge Adouaka-Ngoimale (Central African Republic)

  • June 28 – “South America” by Luisa Marillac Trujillo Cordova (Ecuador), Jenny Urrutia Viveros (Chile) and Jorge Forero Gonzalez (Colombia)

  • July 5 – “Urban Planning and Human Resources” by David Luna (Colombia), Jesus Monreal Carvajal (Mexico) and Yasmira Calderon (Cuba) 

  • July 19 – “Public Health Policy” by Nyan Win Myint (Burma/Myanmar), Lal Kunwar (Nepal) and Kokou Alinon (Togo)

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education, brings young and midcareer professionals from designated countries to the United States for a year of nondegree graduate-level study, leadership development and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts.

Founded in 1993, ELI at UM serves international students seeking to improve their English language and academic skills in order to pursue studies at UM or another institution of higher education, or for professional training purposes. The institute, housed within UM’s Global Engagement Office, provides academic and summer instruction, as well as tailored short-term English language and American culture training programs. ELI has taught English to students from more than 44 countries, with a majority of students continuing their studies at UM or other American institutions.

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center is a nonprofit community-run organization in Missoula founded on the principles of fostering peace through cultural understanding and communication.


Contact: Alex Sydorenko, program assistant, UM Global Engagement Office, 406-243-2288,; Jeanie Castillo, ELI chair, 406-243-6235,