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Eight Vietnamese professionals study at Portland State for exchange program
Author: University Communications
Posted: October 22, 2013

Portland is expanding its professional and economic ties to Vietnam with a two-year Professional Fellows exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, and administered by Portland State University’s Center for Public Service.

A group of eight mid-level professionals from Vietnam are in Portland through November 2 to study economic empowerment at PSU and gain first-hand experience working American host organizations. Fellows will attend seminars at PSU, shadow counterparts on the job, and work on special projects designed to broaden their professional expertise. 

Brian Hoa Nguyen, marketing director at the Cai Lan International Container Terminal, is learning about the functions of a port authority by working at the Port of Portland. Profiles of all the fellows are at

“Ports in Vietnam and Oregon face similar challenges,” says Sebastian Degens, general manager of Marine Business Development at the Port of Portland. “We consider it a great opportunity to learn from Mr. Nguyen, while he is here”

Other local organizations hosting the participants include National Policy Consensus Center, Pacific Northwest College of Arts, OSU Extension Service, PSU Intensive English Language Program, PSU College of Engineering, V3 Group and Veritas.

This is the second delegation of emerging leaders from Vietnam to participate in the Professional Fellows Program, and in January a second delegation of Portland professionals will travel to Vietnam for a reciprocal exchange.  

The goal of the Professional Fellows Program is to promote mutual understanding and lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships between professionals in the U.S. and their counterparts around the world.  PSU is one of 16 grantee organizations competitively selected to administer a Professional Fellows Program in 2012-2014.  

About the Professional Fellows Program: 

The Professional Fellows Program embraces the power of individual citizens to find solutions to meet challenges that face their societies and promote shared global prosperity. The Fellows, along with approximately 400 U.S. participants traveling overseas to work on reciprocal programs, help internationalize their U.S. host business and organizations.

The program aims to equip participants with knowledge and skills on conditions that promote increased participation in the global economy, public-private partnerships, sustainable and inclusive economic development, linkages between entrepreneurial activity and free markets, and transparency and accountability in business and government. 

Portland State University is one of 16 U.S.-based non-profit organizations chosen to host foreign professionals in 2012-2013 from over 40 countries and territories worldwide. The program culminates in a three-day Professional Fellows Congress, November 5-7, 2013, in Washington, D.C., where the participants will design real-world solutions and projects they can implement in their home communities and institutions.