Welcome Note - USEFP Alumni Director, Mr. Mazhar Awan
On behalf of the Conference Organizing Committee, I am delighted to welcome you to the 13th Annual Fulbright and Humphrey Alumni Conference in Islamabad.
Held annually, this is amongst the largest gathering of U.S. graduates from across Pakistan where alumni of the prestigious Fulbright and Humphrey scholarship programs meet once a year to present and learn about the latest research in the areas related to Pakistan’s development. It also gives participants a platform to exchange ideas, discover novel opportunities for cooperation, reacquaint with colleagues, meet new friends, and broaden their knowledge and understanding on current and emerging socio-economic development challenges to Pakistan’s progress. This year the conference will be held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC), a key organization overlooking the promotion of higher education learning across Pakistan. We gratefully acknowledge the help and cooperation extended by the HEC for hosting the 13th Annual Fulbright and Humphrey Alumni Conference at its premises in Islamabad.
Agents of Change is the overarching theme of this year’s conference. Agents in the title is a direct reference to alumni of the Fulbright and Humphrey scholarship programs, who we consider agents of change for Pakistan’s progress. Each of our esteemed scholars serve as a reminder on how the Fulbright and Humphrey scholarship programs continue to support Pakistan’s best and brightest as they address the country’s socio-economic gaps through innovative solutions, which are key to the country’s development. The objective of the three-day conference is to showcase these contributions and achievements of alumni in their respective fields and to foster discussion and exchange on topics related to Pakistan’s development.
I am delighted to inform you that we received over 85 abstracts for review and consideration from Fulbright and Humphrey alumni. We regret that many interesting and well-written papers were not accepted due to limitations on time. Instead of holding concurrent sessions, this year we are holding panels consecutively to ensure alumni can attend all sessions. All papers are divided into 9 panels, on sub-themes which include Language, Higher Education, Art and & Culture, Environment, Governance & Public Policy, Law & Order, Health, Gender and Agriculture & Water.
I would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has in some capacity contributed and volunteered their time towards the preparation and organization of this year’s conference. While I am unable to do justice to everyone in this brief note, please join me in thanking my colleagues Ms. Merium Kazmi, Mr. Shahram Niazi, Mr. Zafarullah and Mr. Abdul Mateen who were responsible for all aspects of the technical organization, program and marketing of this conference. A special thanks to the USEFP staff in Islamabad for their steadfast support leading up to the event. Finally, to the Conference Program Committee, for reviewing the abstracts and providing strategic direction, and as always, to USEFP Executive Director, Ms. Rita Akhtar for her support and guidance on all aspects of planning and organizing this conference.
Finally, this year, we created a conference website (www.usefpakistan.org/alumniconference) where the program agenda along with speaker profiles and abstracts are easily accessible to our participants. We hope this year’s e-based conference proceedings are a useful contribution to discussions on Pakistan’s socio-economic progress.
I wish you a superb conference experience and a memorable stay in Islamabad.
Mr. Mazhar Awan
USEFP Alumni Director