European Marshall Memorial Fellowship concludes in New York
From October 4 – October 27, 15 emerging European leaders traveled extensively throughout the United States for 24 days with the Marshall Memorial Fellowship program (MMF). Participants came from 12 countries, from Slovakia to Spain, and included members of the German Bundestag and National Parliament of Portugal, the director of the Asia Pacific Center at Sciences Po, the strategy and development manager at Gas Natural, and a news anchor from Bulgarian National Television.
The Fellows spent six days in Washington where they discussed the influence of demographic changes on the midterm elections at the Pew Center for Research for the People & the Press, toured the Smithsonian Museum of American Art with a senior curator, and met with a Supreme Court attorney. After their time in the nation’s capital, Fellows were divided into smaller groups for a home stay experience in Bismarck, ND; Durango, CO; and Memphis, TN. They then traveled to a diverse range of cities (Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA) followed by Lexington, KY; Pittsburgh, PA; and West Palm Beach, FL. After these visits all over the United States, the large group reunited in New York, NY.
Over the course of the three-week program, Fellows met with government officials, policymakers, academics, think tank leaders, business representatives, and civil society advocates to gain a better understanding of transatlantic and domestic issues through local, regional, and national perspectives. Subjects covered included religion, crime and justice, economic development, and volunteerism. Whenever possible, current Fellows connected with American alumni of the program to foster relationships and strengthen the network of young transatlantic leaders created by the program.
The Marshall Memorial Fellowship is a group program that delves into the inner workings of American society through briefings, site visits, and experiential learning opportunities. The fall program included activities such as a personal tour of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe’s reservation, a midnight visit to FedEx headquarters to see its operations at work, a dinner cruise on the Detroit River with prominent community members, a meeting with Mayor Annise D. Parker of Houston, a talk with author Dave Eggers, and a trip to the Keenland Race Course. In each city stop, individual appointments were arranged for Fellows according to their professional interests to facilitate the sharing of best practices across the Atlantic. GMF thanks its American city coordinators whose knowledge and dedication greatly contribute to the continued success of the MMF program. GMF, in particular, would like to acknowledge the partnership and support of the Kresge Foundation on this program.