Professional Fellows Program: Building Connections between the Philippines and the U.S.

October 1, 2014

[On Screen] Since 2010, the Professional Fellows Programs has brought more than 1,700 emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for short-term professional development fellowships that focus on critical issues.

[Maria]I am Maria Hernandez-Belosa. 

I've been an elected city counselor since 2003, I am also a lawyer by profession, and this is like the first time that the Philippines participated in the Professional Fellows Program.

I was interest because it zoomed in on the topic of legislation and governance.

We were assigned specifically to a study about the process in the City of Alexandria, and that's where we stayed for about 3 weeks. But what I learned in Alexandria is how you put it internal mechanisms, just to make sure that this transparency and accountability.

The best practices that I've seen is inspiring in one way or another.  

[Powell]I am Powell Del Rosario,I am a city counselor in the Philippines. Professional Fellows Program, is a program by the State Department,which allows cultural exchanges from foreign countries and the United States. It change my perception of the American people, they were just very nice, very accommodating, and they shared so much of their knowledge,they gave me so much input that I can  implement when I get back home.

[Sean] My name is  Sean Garrick, and I am the Assistant to the City Manager, Rashad Young,here in the City of Alexandria, Virginia.

Our fellows are both attorneys and city counselors in their respective cities in the Philippines. So their goals in coming here were to learn about and observe our legislative process, our day-to-day government management,these are things that they're both very much involved in at home.

In teaching them about what we do here in our city, we just learned so much about their cities.And it gives you sense of perspective about what's going on, on the other side of the world. One of the most interesting things to me is that there are just has many similarities between our cultures our countries, and our cities as there are differences. And again I just cannot say enough, just how just  how invaluable this experience was, for that reason.