Leadership in public service: Improving lives, building trust worldwide

The Fulbright exchange Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides accomplished professionals from countries with emerging economies an international enrichment opportunity in leadership and public service. At Cornell, our Humphrey Fellows focus in one of three, often overlapping, areas of interest: agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management. Through the U.S. Department of State-sponsored yearlong exchange of professional development and networking, our Humphrey Fellows can go on to effect profound development changes in their home countries.

40

Years of Impact

115

Countries

400+

Fellowship alumni

About the Fellowship program

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program was established in 1978 to honor the late senator and vice president Hubert H. Humphrey for his lifelong commitment to international cooperation and public service. This specialized non-degree program provides professionals from countries with developing and emerging economies an opportunity to enhance their leadership capacity.

The Fulbright exchange activity provides intensive training across an academic year. Cornell is one of 13 Humphrey Program campuses. Primary funding is provided by the U.S. Congress through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. Co-sponsors include other governmental agencies, multinational organizations, and private donors. The Institute of International Education (IIE) assists the ECA in administering the Humphrey Fellowship Program.

The Program at Cornell

At Cornell, we focus on three, often overlapping, areas of interest: agriculture, rural development, and natural resource management. The Fellows not only strengthen their knowledge and skills through an academic year of Cornell coursework, internships, seminars and more — they also collaborate on projects with faculty and students and, primarily through their 6-week professional affiliations, with public and private organizations around the USA.

Our Fellows enrich communities in Ithaca and beyond by sharing their personal experiences and cultures. A long-standing partnership with our associate campus Alfred State College has led to rewarding educational exchanges and exciting collaborative projects. Our Friendship Partners continue to multiply the effectiveness of the Program well beyond professional development. They provide the opportunity for Fellows to meet American citizens, young and old, and to enter the real life of the USA. They are a great source of support as well as friendship.

 The Cornell Humphrey experience results in profound development changes back home as well as engendering trust in, and collaboration with, the USA. Our Fellows experience a transformative year that lasts long after they leave the program.

Leading sustainable change

Humphrey Fellows at Cornell make an impact in 3 areas

Agriculture

Addressing local and global impediments to improving agricultural yields and achieving food security

Rural development

Improving the quality of life and economic well-being of rural communities

Natural resource management

Managing conservation challenges from a social, ecological, and cross-disciplinary perspective

Our Team

Peter Gregory

Director

Polly Endreny Holmberg

Associate director

Francine Barchett

Graduate assistant

Denise Percey headshot

Program assistant

Linda Gasser teaches in a classroom

Friendship partner coordinator & advisor

Making a difference around the world

Explore the impact stories resulting from the Humphrey Fellowship Program at Cornell

Group of fellows visits Letchworth Falls

Field Note

Quotes Du Jour from the Humphrey Fellows
What the Cornell Humphrey Program director Peter Gregory and I have in common is we both love quotes! Quotes put words to our unexplainable fears, inspire us to stand up for ourselves and take risks, and open our eyes to the struggles we share...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Three individuals show a thumbs up outside

Field Note

Every August, a new international cohort of Cornell Humphrey Fellows arrives in Ithaca, New York. While each Fellow is an accomplished professional in their own right, many begin their fellowship feeling lonely, uncertain, and disconnected from...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Two individuals volunteer at a wildlife refuge

Field Note

  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Group of Humphrey fellows pose for a photo on campus

Field Note

  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Polly Endreny Holmberg at a lectern speaking into a microphone

News

Humphrey Program associate director Polly Endreny Holmberg recounts a first year with the program full of uncertainty, experimentation and inspiring support.
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development