Program Updates

Dr. Jack McCarthy Delivers “Last Lecture” to Graduating Class of 2018

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 11.33.53 AMEvery year at the Questrom School of Business, one professor is chosen to deliver a "last lecture" to the entire class of graduating business students prior to their graduation ceremony. This year Dr. Jack McCarthy, HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, was given this honor. 

On their last day of class, the senior graduating class filled Questrom's formal 400-seat auditorium. Dr. McCarthy's lecture discussed the great leadership challenges of the 21st century and reminded the graduating students of their responsibility to take action to make our world better and more inclusive than it is today. As a central part of the lecture, Dr. McCarthy described the incredible work being done at The Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria, a network of public schools for girls in NYC with affiliates in six states that aims to provide economically disadvantaged girls with a high-quality college preparatory education.

Our Fellows and Staff had the opppoutunity to visit the school on our annual New York Professional and Cultural Trip in March 2018. We had the chance to meet their inspiring students, as well as the wonderful STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, math) teacher Andrea Chaves and their outstanding Principal Dr. Allison Persad. Dr. McCarthy was greatly impressed by the work TWYLSA does to shape young leaders to better face the challenges of the future and wanted to share this message with the graduating class. In addition to explaining the work done by the educators at TWYLSA, he included a video produced by some of the girls at the school about confidence and self acceptance, which can be viewed below.

We look forward to continuing to work with and be inspired by TWYLSA as we work together towards the common mission of shaping the leaders of tomorrow.


Family, Friends and Fellows Celebrate 2017-2018 Commencement

The 2017 - 2018 Humphrey Cohort with Program Director Jack McCarthy and Assistant Director Jelena Durkovic

On Monday, May 7th, Questrom School of Business Dean Kenneth W. Freeman and the HHHP team welcomed faculty advisors, professional affiliates, host families, and other friends and supporters of the Program to the Questrom School of Business in celebration of the 2017–2018 Fellows’ successful completion of the Fellowship year at BU.

The evening began with opening remarks by BU HHHP Director and Associate Director of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy. After reflecting on the professional, personal and academic growth of the Fellows, Professor McCarthy thanked the many people who are part of the extensive network of faculty, staff and friends who devoted their time to making the Fellows' experiences meaningful and engaging throughout the 2017-2018 Fellowship year.

2017 - 2018 Class Speakers Alena Vachnová & Collen Masunda

We were honored to have multiple professional affiliation hosts join us to celebrate including Sarah Ciambrone, Director of Clinical Innovations at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Catherine Bolinger, Senior Risk and Compliance Officer at Accion, Deborah Drake, Vice President of Accion, and Laura Le Drean, Executive Editor at National Geographic Learning.

The program also featured videotaped congratulations by former President Jimmy Carter.

The 2017–2018 Class Speakers were Collen Masunda (Zimbabwe) and Alena Vachnová (Slovakia) who delivered a wonderful speech on behalf of the cohort. Their speech reflected on their professional achievements throughout the year, and the sense of community they felt as a cohort. They acknowledged the long road each of them still have ahead as they continue to define their personal goals and integrate back into the workforce in their home countries. Speaking of the diversity within the group, Alena thoughtfully noted about each of their home countries that "now, each of these countries has a face attached to it."

BU HHH Director Jack McCarthy, Keynote Speaker Robert Loftis, Friend of the Program Al Petras, and Humphrey Fellow Milena Vučinić

Our Keynote Speaker for the evening was Mr. Robert Loftis, former US Ambassador to Lesotho and Director of Graduate Studies at the BU Pardee School of Global Studies. From 1980 to 2012, Mr. Loftis served in the State Department and Foreign Service, where he held many roles including serving as Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations Agreements, Deputy Chief of Mission to Mozambique and, most recently, as Inter-agency Professional in Residence at the United States Institute of Peace. He was also the lead negotiator for a status of forces agreement with Iraq, as well as the Deputy Executive Director of Implementation Planning Team for the creation of the Department of Defense's new Africa Command (AFRICOM). His previous overseas assignments have included the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, and the U.S. Embassies in New Zealand, Brazil and Guinea-Bissau.

As Keynote Speaker, Mr. Loftis delivered a speech about the challenging times we live in, but reminded the audience of how far we have come. Since the inception of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, diseases have been eradicated, wars have ended, and progress continues to be made toward bettering the lives of people around the globe. He then acknowledged the accomplishments the Fellows have made during their Fellowship year. As they return to their home countries as Humphrey alumni, Mr. Loftis encouraged them to continue striving to directly touch the lives of ordinary people, because "individually, we may not be able to change the world, but if each of us makes a small effort, the effects are going to be quite profound."

Special thanks to longtime host family member Don Murray for his wonderful photography during the event.

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Friends & Family Year-End Closing Celebration

On Saturday May 5th, we hosted our annual "Humphrey Program Friends & Family Closing Celebration". The gathering included a catered lunch and was attended by Fellows and their families, HHH Staff, and our wonderful host families. The event also acted as an open house for our beautiful new offices on Bay State Road. It was a bittersweet event, and gave our cohort a chance to reflect and celebrate the end of their fellowship year before our annual Commencement ceremony.

Thank you to long time friend of the program Don Murray for his photography during this event!










2017-2018 Seminars Conclude with Leadership Session and Reflections

On Monday, April 30th, Fellows and coordinators gathered for the final meeting of the 2017–2018 Spring Seminar Series.

BU HHHP Director and Associate Director of Organizational Behavior Jack McCarthy delivered his final lecture on leadership development. He summarized the leadership lessons of the entire year and emphasized the changing nature of leadership. The Fellows practiced giving each other feedback during during their Admired Leaderships Capstone Projects, as well as what they thought they could improve. Dr. McCarthy reflected on the past seminars through out the year, reminding the Fellows of how far they have come. He also reminded Fellows of the two core capacities of leadership in the 21st century: Adaptability (flexibility and openness to change) and Identity (self awareness and presence).

With this year’s cohort just days away from their Commencement and subsequent return to their respective countries, Prof. McCarthy concluded his lecture with a clip from the 2002 film, The Emperor’s Club in which a private school teacher edifies his students on the meaning of the Latin phrase Finis origine pendet— "the end depends on the beginning".

Following Prof. McCarthy’s lecture, Fellows and coordinators made declarative statements about their personal and/or professional goals going forward and the steps they will take towards becoming a better leader.

Prof. Jack McCarthy reviewed many of the leadership strategies discussed throughout the Spring Seminar Series.

Fellows Deliver Capstone Project Presentations on Admired Leaders

On Friday, April 27th, the Fellows gave team presentations on selected, admired leaders to an audience of their cohort and program coordinators.  The Admired Leaders presentation event is the capstone session for the Fellows’ year-long leadership development seminar led by Dr. Jack McCarthy, HHHP Director and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior.

The cohort has worked over the past few months on this project, which acted as a platform for them to demonstrate the lessons learned from Dr. McCarthy’s leadership seminars. Using the 360 degree leadership feedback from Dr. Chris Roland that the Fellows received earlier this year, the Fellows applied the fundamentals of Kouzes and Posner’s MICEE Model to their chosen leaders (Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, Encourage the Process).

Fellows presented on their admired leaders in teams, with each presentation running for 15 minutes. The chosen leaders were:

  • Carmen Aristegui: Mexican journalist and anchorwoman. She is widely regarded as one of Mexico's leading journalists and is best known for her critical investigations of the Mexican government.
  • Elon Musk: South African-born American business magnate, investor, and engineer. He is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; and co-founder and CEO of Neuralink.
  • Albert Einstein: German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.

The Fellows related how their leader accomplishments can be applied to improve the difficulties in their own countries. They individually shared their strategies to achieve the goals they want to accomplish upon their return home. They discussed their own critical goals, their strengths and weaknesses, the steps they need to take to improve on their own leadership through the MICEE leadership theory.


Spring 2018 Symposium Retreat: The Challenges of Re-Entry

Fellows from multiple cohorts participating in the Learning Under Uncertainty and Complexity Exercise.

On Friday April 13th, the Fellows attended and participated in a day-long Symposium Retreat organized by MIT, Cornell and Boston University. This was the 7th annual cross-campus collaboration between the three universities. The focus of the Symposium was on the challenges and opportunities for Fellows as they begin their post-fellowship re-entry process. It is not uncommon for Fellows to experience a reverse culture-shock when returning to their home countries. This workshop strives to address some common issues with re-entry and coping mechanisms to deal with them successfully.

The cross campus collaboration began with opening remarks by the HHH Program Directors (Bish Sanyal from MIT, Francine Wilson Jasper from Cornell, and BU's Jack McCarthy). The Fellows then moved into breakout groups to discuss what they've learned from each other and what they've learned about living in the U.S. The Fellows spoke about learning respect for other's differences and cultures, as well as the importance of the Humphrey spirit and caring for one another. They also addressed the diversity of the U.S. as well as some of the challenges they've noted such as poverty and issues of individualism.

BU Fellow Sergiu Bulbas addressing the group on his Fellowship experience.

Professor Jack McCarthy then led the group in an experimental exercise on learning under uncertainty and complexity titled Pipeline (pictured above). Pipeline is a group cooperation and problem solving activity in which teams create a moving, free-standing “pipeline” by constructing a makeshift conduit as a metaphor for moving water from a remote well to a village or town in need. It requires coordination, communication and inclusive leadership - all fundamental skills which will be required of the Fellows as Global Leaders in their home countries.

After lunch, a presentation on The Challenges of Re-Entry outlined how to manage expectations and resistance upon returning home, including challenges returning to the work place. There was an emphasis on finding a strong support system, or a personal "board of directors" as Professor Jack McCarthy aptly noted, in order to help throughout the re-entry process.

A Visit from Sujeev Shakya, BU HHH Alumnus (2001-2002)

Sujeev joined our Fellow for lunch in our new office's conference room.

On Friday, April 6th, the Fellows had the opportunity to meet for lunch with 2002- 2003 BU Humphrey Fellow from Nepal, Sujeev Shakya, at our new offices on Bay State Road. Sujeev is a distinguished global leader and is currently the CEO of Beed Global management consulting firm.

Sujeev completed his Certification in Coaching from Columbia University (US). He is Founder CEO of Beed Global management private limited, an international management consulting and advisory firm and also Chairman of Nepal Economic Forum. He writes and speaks extensively on business, economy, leadership and development. A popular columnist, he is also author of Unleashing Nepal (Penguin Revised 2013).

Sujeev met with our Fellows to share reflections from his year at BU and critically useful advice for this year’s Fellows as they come to the end of their Fellowship year. He spoke about how the Fellowship shaped his career. He went on to discuss the current geopolitical state of the world and how it relates to the work he does. It was a deep and meaningful discussion which our Fellows greatly enjoyed. 

Sujeev is here in Boston doing a college review trip with his teenage daughter, who was just one year old while Sujeev was a fellow here. Both his wife and daughter were able to join us for his visit and it was lovely to meet them both,

Sujeev remembers fondly living in 14 Buswell Street, a BU residence which is now home to many of our current fellows. He made a quick visit to to see his old home prior to the luncheon. We'd like to extend our thanks to Sujeev for taking the time to come visit and share his insights.

Sujeev with his family.

Fellows Visit Questrom MBA Leadership Seminar

IMG_9052On Monday, April 2nd, the Fellows attended Professor Michele Jurgen’s Questrom MBA Leadership
Seminar, where they acted both as guests and role models of global leaders in the modern age. 
As a result of the ongoing Global Leadership Symposium, Professor Jurgin invited the Fellows to attend her current MBA class.

Michele Jurgens is a lecturer in the organization behavior department and former assistant dean for non-degree executive education at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience in strategy, quality, and general management. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Harvard Extension School where she teaches two graduate courses: “managing yourself and others” and “ethics, economics, and organizations”.

Led by Professor Jack McCarthy, the session on April 2nd started with an introduction on global
leadership. The Fellows then had the opportunity to speak
in small groups with the MBA students about their personal career tracks and professional experiences as global leaders. The event was mutually beneficial for Fellows and students, allowing them to engage in important cross-cultural dialog about leadership

The event also allowed the Fellows to reflect on their own leadership development. These types of interactions are always a highlight for our Fellows as it allows for the oppourtunity to collaborate with students in a professional manner.


HHHP 2018 Professional and Cultural Trip to NYC!

From March 25h - March 27th, the BU Humphrey Fellows and coordinators travelled to New York City for our annual Professional and Cultural Trip as part of the program’s field seminars and professional site visits. Our agenda was packed with meetings at influential financial, educational and global policy institutions. Each day of the trip was full of insightful and mutually beneficial conversations with our incredible host organizations.

Download our 2018 NYC Brochure with full agenda here!

Our group standing in front of One World Trade Center, the main building of the World Trade Center complex.

Day 1

To kick off the week, we began with a tour of the New York Historical Society and Museum on our way into the city. We watched two short films - “New York Story” about the fascinating history of New York, and “We Rise” about female political thought leaders throughout the 20th century. We then had a guided tour of their “Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.” exhibition, which documented the parallel paths of the two civil rights leaders, as well as “Hotbed”, an exhibition on the political and cultural movements of Greenwich Village in the early 20th century.

On Sunday evening, we checked into the New Yorker Hotel, a historic art-deco landmark which has hosted previous guests such as John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Nikola Tesla and Fidel Castro. After a bit of down time, we walked to Times Square for dinner and live music at Havana Central, a 1950’s style Cuban restaurant.

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  • Touring the New York Historical Society

    Fellows taking a guided tour of the New York Historical Society.

  • Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

    Rebel Spirits showcases photographs and artifacts honoring these two visionary leaders.

  • Times Square

    Stopping for a quick photo in Times Square on our way to dinner at Havana Central.

Day 2

We were up bright and early for a packed schedule on Monday. We began the morning with a fantastic meeting at S&P Global, an American financial information and analytics corporation which provides independent ratings, benchmarks and data to the capital and commodity markets worldwide. At S&P we met with many of their executives for a wide-reaching and engaging discussion. We heard from Satyam Panday, Senior Executive at S&P who spoke about macro outlooks and importance of women in finance. David Tesher, Managing Director of S&P Global Ratings then spoke about credit conditions. To conclude, Josh Green, founder of Panjiva, spoke to emergence of AI and Machine Learning. Special thanks to Jackson Griffith, CEO for Public Affairs, S&P Global (London) and our dear friend and colleague Professor Mark Williams for helping coordinate this wonderful experience.

Our next stop was the Federal Bank of New York, the largest and most influential of all twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks in the U.S. Heather Daly, Director of Operations for Education & Outreach, took us on an extended tour of  the facilities and the NY Fed’s gold vault, the largest depository of gold reserve in the world (7,000 tons), located five stories below street level. We then had a chance to meet with Elizabeth Mahoney, Head of International Training for the Fed, who further discussed the role of the Fed and central banking in the United States.

We then stopped by the UN Financing for Development Office, where Senior Economic Affairs Officer Oliver Schwank spoke to us about their global policy work. The Office works in close collaboration with the secretariats of the major institutional stakeholders of the Financing for Development process and actively engages with other stakeholders, including civil society and the business sector. The Fellows shared their personal experience and projects regarding global policy, and we discussed potential for collaboration in the future.

That evening, Vicki Brooks, an executive coach for senior leaders, a former banker, trader, and senior executive at JP Morgan—and longtime colleague of HHHP Director Jack McCarthy—hosted us for dinner at the University Club of New York. Vicki was among the first women on Wall Street, and she was instrumental in developing and leading leadership development at JP Morgan, one of the world’s largest and most prominent investment banks. She and her husband, David Lawrence, gave us a tour of the beautiful University Club building, and afterwards we enjoyed a delicious dinner and lively discussion. Thank you to our wonderful hosts.

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  • S&P Global

    Jackson Griffith, CEO for Public Affairs, S&P Global (London) introducing the Humphrey Fellowship Program.

  • Networking at S&P Global

    Fellows speak with Jackson Griffith after an insightful conversation on macro finance.

  • The New York Fed

    Our cohort had the oppourtunity to tour the NY Fed, including their gold vault with the largest depository of gold reserve in the world!

  • UN Financing for Development Office

    Our group with Oliver Schwank, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at the UN Financing for Development Department.

Day 3

We began our third day in New York at the Young Women’s Leadership Network of Astoria, which belongs to a network of public schools for girls in NYC with affiliates in six states. Its concept is to provide economically disadvantaged girls with a high-quality college preparatory education. We heard from their students and staff about their incredible outcome based curriculum, CollegeBound Initiative, and the girls’ experiences with empowerment. We then enjoyed a tour where the Fellows and coordinators marvelled about the independence and confidence of these young women. The girls shared a beautiful self-produced video with us about about self-confidence, which can be viewed here.

We then travelled back into the city from Astoria to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. Led by human rights activist and lawyer Kerry Kennedy, the RFK Center has advocated for a more just and peaceful world since 1968. We spoke to many of their team members about the human rights advocacy work they do around the globe. One of these initiatives include the RFKennedy Compass program, which works with institutional investors to discuss new approaches to investing that consider human rights, the environment, and good governance.

We concluded the day with a visit to UN Women - which was created in 2010 to become the global champion for gender equality. UN Women has a special tie to this year’s cohort as one of our fellows, Thabsile Princess Ntshalintshali, is currently completing her professional affiliation at the organization. We met with multiple members of their Policy and Programme divisions for an engaging conversation covered many topics spanning from economic development to violence against women.

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  • Young Women’s Leadership Network of Astoria

    We were inspired by the incredible educators and students at the YWLN of Astoria.

  • RFK Center for Human Rights

    Our next stop of the day was at the RFK Center for Human Rights where we learned about their advocacy work at home and abroad.

  • UN Women

    We capped off our trip with a visit to UN Women where we spoke with members of their Policy and Programme Division.

  • A Great Final Stop!

    Thank you to our hosts at UN Women, and all our other host organizations for an incredible trip!

We boarded the bus and headed back to Boston, arriving just after midnight. Overall, it was a wonderful trip filled with stimulating discussions and meaningful connections. We look forward to continuing to build our relationships with our host organizations and would like to thank all of them for making our trip so successful.

Fellows pose inside the historic Daily News Building, which is also home to UN Women.

We’ve Moved!


After many wonderful years of calling 704 Commonwealth our home, the Humphrey Fellowship Program has officially moved our offices to Bay State Road. We have a beautiful, newly renovated office space in one of the iconic BU brownstones. Our conference room overlooks the Charles River and there are many workspaces for Fellows and Coordinators to utilize.


The new office is conveniently across the street from the Questrom School of Business. Bay State Road is home to many other University institutions, including the GDP Center whom many of our Fellows work with regularly. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with these offices.


ImageWe moved over Spring Break and it was a seamless experience thanks to many individuals and groups who helped us moved. It was truly a University-wide effort, from the Dean’s Office to IT services, we are very grateful for all the support we received during this transition.