Fulbright Scholar Colombia
Colombia is the country with the second largest displaced population after Syria. Internal conflict has forced 7.7 million people to flee their homes and farms. At the same time Colombia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world (first on birds and orchids). In that context, after my experience in central banking, I wanted to apply my work into agricultural and natural resource management issues looking for sustainable alternatives in rural regions where inequality and conflict coexist with biodiversity protection challenges.
In 2010 I presented a proposal with my ideas to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship board, and I was awarded with a full-tuition scholarship to continue my graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. I graciously accepted this scholarship with a sense of responsibility to establish collaborations and to evolve ideas that promote sustainable rural production and market opportunities for smallholders.
Land Grant University Consortium
I am part of the team that represents Cornell at the Land Grant University consortium, a strategy from the US Government to incentivize policy dialogue and to promote rural development during post-conflict in Colombia.
Inspired by previous missions that successfully contributed to develop the flower sector in Colombia during the late 60’s (“Nebraska Mission”), we are promoting strategic partnerships and programs such as Cacao for Peace.
60th Anniversary of the Fulbright Commission in Colombia
Colombian Ambassador to the United States hosted an event at his residence commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Commission in Colombia.
I had the priviledge to be invited to participate in a panel with Maria Eugenia Verdaguer, Western Hemisphere Fulbright Programs Branch Chief, U.S. Department of State; Dr. Marc Chernick, Professor of the Practice of Conflict Resolution and Human Rights and former Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Georgetown University and Dr. Rafael Obregón, Chief of Communication for the Development Section, United Nations Children’s Fund.
During the panel we discussed outcomes and future of the academic cooperation between United States and Colombia. The first panel included the current and former Ministers of Education.