A keystone piece of the Cornell Humphrey Fellowship

The Professional Affiliation (PA) experience provides Humphrey Fellows the chance to adapt their classroom learning to real-world settings. Fellows reflect all they learned during their Fellowship — academic courses, leadership workshops, and many opportunities to develop and expand their networks — as part of a 6-week affiliation with a US-based organization. Fellows provide an important role in the organization's operations while forming connections and collaborations that may last long beyond the Fellowship Year.

2022-23 Professional Affiliations

Edith completed her professional affiliation with Corteva Agriscience, an agriscience company providing services from crop protection to seeds, where she learned more about modern biotechnological approaches such as leaf transformation and embryonic transformation as well as their applications in Sub-Saharan Africa. She gained hands-on experience through her professional affiliation and plans to continue working with Corteva Agriscience on the Ag Equality Initiatives in Africa which resilience and adaptation among smallholder and vulnerable farming communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. These projects will reduce farmer vulnerability to lack of access to hybrid seed, climate-smart cultivars, and climate-smart cropping technologies and boost their productivity in the wake of climate change.

Diana completed her professonal affiliation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) specifically working in the Water and Sanitation Division. During her professional affiliation Diana developed a methodology and analyzed information to gain a better understanding of the gender issues related to water and sanitation access. She also further studied the context to develop nature-based solutions for flooding management in the Ecuador's coastal zone. She plans to continue building connections with IDB and foster a relationship between IDB and Cornell Global Hubs.  

John completed his professional affiliation with Cornell Agritech, a research institution affiliated with Cornell University which focuses on agricultural research, innovation, and education located in Geneva, NY. During his time he was able to enhance his knowledge and skills in the field of agriculture and rural development, specifically focusing on food product development and innovative solutions to rural poverty. Through this affiliation, John advanced his skills and knowledge of best practices and innovative approaches in produce value addition, as well as gained exposure to the latest research and technologies in value-added food product development. His work with Cornell Agritech will be crucial to his work with smallholder farmers back home in Nigeria. 

Fanuel completed his professional affiliation with the Elephant Listening Project (ELP) at the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The project uses passive acoustic monitoring tools to contribute to the conservation of the Central African rainforest by focuses on the critically endangered African forest elephant. Fanuel focused on analyzing sound recordings from Central African rainforests obtained through passive acoustic monitoring to detect the presence of forest elephants and illegal gun hunting activity. This professional affiliation provided Fanuel with training that will enable him to achieve his goal of establishing a passive acoustic monitoring program for savanna elephants in Tanzania. He will continue this collaboration by linking ELP to his former organization, Saving Africa's Nature in Tanzania, who will be working with the Lab of Ornithology at Cornell to monitor human-elephant conflict. He will be coordinating this connection and also expanding the collaboration in his new position at the African Climate Foundation.

Dongpyo completed his professional affiliation with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE). His work with CCE focused on learning about the City of Ithaca's implementation plan for their inaugural Green New Deal Project. He specifically assessed how to better support adults and teens involved in programs to support the project, considering prominent issues such as transportation fees and housing costs. 

Jean Marie completed his professional affiliation with the Soil Factory, a platform for building networks, collaborations and experiments to offer solutions to global ecological and social issues with a significant focus on supporting the development of the circular bionutrient economy (CBE). During his professional afilliation Jean Marie developed and designed source-separating, resource-recovery toilet prototype(s) suitable for low-resource and/or low-maintenance contexts. He designed ways to recover resources and recycle them into fertilizer, adopting the circular bionutrient approach that can be used by farmers to gradually reduce farmers' dependency to chemical fertilizers. He also conceptualized business models for CBE. Jean Marie was able to develop toilet prototypes and conduct experiments on how to connect sanitation waste, organic waste and agriculture to suggest different fertilizer mixtures.The results of the study will be published once the analysis is complete. Jean Marie plans to continue building a relationship with the Soil Factory network by linking them with the Circular Bionutrient Economy Network (CBE-N, East Africa).

Roza completed her professional affiliation with the Cornell Soil Health Program, which has made notable contributions in assessing the effects of management on soil health, developing testing methodologies for biological and physical indicators, and creating innovative scoring functions for interpretation. During her professional affiliation Roza developed a comprehensive policy brief on voluntary soil health goals, incorporating data from eight indicators across six types of agricultural land. She collaborated closely with experts, conducted extensive research and visited cover cropping experimentation fields to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content. Roza plans to continue collaboration with the Cornell Soil Health program by introducing the Cornell Soil Health manual to soil health experts and members of the Dairy Chamber in Kyrgyzstan. By adapting the manual to their specific practices soil health knowledge and practices in the country can be enhanced. This collaboration will contribute to the sustainable development of agriculture and the improvement of soil health in Kyrgyzstan.

Chindavone completed her affiliation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the Carbon Payments for Develpment (CP4D) programme which aims to operationalize Article 6.2 under the Paris Agreement to promote ambitious climate actions by leveraging carbon markets to enable private investments and creates the basis for bilateral agreements to reduce or remove GHG emissions. During her time with UNDP she wrote an article on a new form of climate finance under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement, coordinated two translation projects on UNDP eCourse - Operationalizing Article 6.2, conducted a market analysis for the cold storage sector in Ghana, and was involved in an organic waste management project in Peru. She was also able to learn more about international level work on climate change and the UN system, and identify future collaboration. Chin recently got a new position with UNDP in Laos focused on climate change and is continuing the collaboration with the strong networks she built at UNDP headquarters.

Carlos completed his professional affiliation with Oxfam America, a global organization that fights inequality to end poverty and injustice, offering lifesaving support in times of crisis and advocating for economic justice, gender equality, and climate action. During his professional affiliation Carlos focused on the Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM) engagement in Central and South America, particularly in Brazil. The SAM Consortium led by University of Maryland in collaboration with Oxfam is made up of consortium members Brazil, Austria, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, and Turkey. Carlos supported the engagement of the SAM Consortium members in Brazil with grassroots organizations and platforms as part of the dissemination efforts of the SAM Consortium. He also worked with Oxfam US and the Oxfam team in Colombia to support the Colombian Urban Food Hive pilot aimed at shortening supply chains and ensuring that women peasant farmers have a fair share from produce farmers markets located in Bogota. He provided a report based on desk research conducted on women’s organizations connecting to the general context of the food systems linking producers (peasant farmers) to markets in the cities (such as farmers markets) highlighting the complexities that exist. Carlos would like to continue collaboration by helping some organizations in the Brazilian semiarid region to connect the actions that they do locally with global agendas, giving further visibility to the climate change agenda.

Lydia completed her professional affiliation with International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) which provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries under CGIAR. During her professional affiliation Lydia focused on supporting several projects but mainly a project on the economics of ground water in Uganda. Lydia gathered, evaluated and interpreted evidence and communicated evidence through the development of op-eds and policy briefs. She also supported multi-stakeholder collaboration processes and received additional training through IFPRI to achieve her goal of influencing policy at the highest level in Uganda and beyond.

Meselane (Rodney) completed his professional affiliation with the World Bank. His professional affiliation focused on the opportunities and challenges of mobilizing private climate finance towards Africa's food systems. During this time he mapped options of private climate finance that are available either globally or in Eastern and Southern Africa, collected concrete and replicable examples of the use of private climate finance in the food systems through literature reviews and conducted interviews with key stakeholders. At the end of his professional affiliation he provided a report summarizing key findings and most promising examples. 

Spotlight on 2021-22 Professional Affiliations

Andressa Lanchotti completed her professional affiliation at the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), focusing on regulations in extractive industries. Formed in 1972, the UNEP is the global authority that sets the international environmental agenda, implements an environmental dimension within the UN system, and advocates for global environment conservation and sustainability. During her time at the UNEP, Lanchotti worked to bridge the gap between the UNEP’s new global regulatory standards for mining waste (the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management or GISTM) and Brazil’s mining industry’s regulatory framework. Among her many accomplishments while working with the UNEP, Andressa authored a 50-page paper on modernizing Brazil's tailings (mining waste) management at the state and national levels and developed proposals to foster technical cooperation and knowledge sharing between the US Government and UNEP and to develop training programs for Brazilian mining regulators.

Hazel Flores-Davila partnered with FONTAGRO, a “sustainable co-financing mechanism” for the development of agricultural technology in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain. She was able to connect with her PA organization during the Humphrey Fellowship’s trip to the Washington Leadership Forum. During Flores-Davila’s time at FONTAGRO, they were able to both identify new opportunities to build the capacity of the organization’s Knowledge Management and Communication plan and work with the organization’s member states to implement those improvements. Additionally, Hazel developed a workshop proposal to improve the visibility of the activities, research, and knowledge generated by FONTAGRO and its member states.

Batzaya Tsegmid worked with the Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations. During her time with this organization, she conducted a study on the experience of implementing the UN development system reform plan for the next five years through the Pooled Fund. Tsegmid also conducted a study on an implementation plan for the "International Year of Rangeland and Pastoralists, 2026" that was initiated by Mongolia. Lastly, they updated the profile of Mongolia's UN agencies and mechanisms for UNDP, FAO, IFAD, Group of Landlocked Developing Countries, Financing for Development, and more. Batzaya may continue in helping organize the "International Year of Rangeland and Pastoralists, 2026" project after completing the Humphrey Fellowship.

The 2020-21 Professional Affiliations

Since the 2020-21 Fellowship Year occurred in the midst of a global pandemic, many PAs took place online. Nevertheless, Fellows continued to innovate, make new contacts, and learn new skills to bring back home to their countries.

Woman works in a lab
Man stands in a greenhouse
Woman stands in front of Manhattan skyline
Screenshot of Zoom call with 7 participants
Man stands in front of "the bean" in Chicago
Woman organizes stock of shirts outside
Alma Perez presents during a Zoom call
Saukira holds Humphrey Fellowship certificate
Moshin stands in a field in New York State
Safras stands on Cornell campus
Madis preprares vegetables during internship with Cornell Cooperative Extension
Teddy gives a lecture at Cornell University
Keddy poses in front of garden at Cornell University