PSU exchange program expands professional ties with Vietnam
Author: University Communications
Posted: April 24, 2013


Portland is expanding its professional and economic ties to Vietnam with a two-year professional exchange program through Portland State University’s Center for Public Service and the U.S. State Department. 

The first group of eight mid-level professionals from Vietnam is in Portland through May 6 to study economic empowerment at PSU and work in host organizations. A group of Portland professionals will travel to Vietnam in August. 

The U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. The goal of the exchange program is to promote mutual understanding and lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships between key professionals and organizations in Portland and Vietnam. Fellows will attend seminars at PSU, shadow counterparts on the job in Portland and work on special projects.

(Pictured, left to right: Weronika Budak of the Portland State Vikings and Nguyen Thi Van, Tran Thi Ngoc Ha and Vu Chi Thanh work on a cross-cultural team building exercise.)

Nguyen Thi Van, head of the tourism and hospitality department at Hoa Sen University in Ho Chi Minh City, is learning about Oregon’s tourism industry by working at the Oregon Tourism Commission. Profiles of all the fellows are at

“We are very much looking forward to having Ms. Van here,” says Greg Eckhart, manager of the Commission’s Global Sales for Asia. “We have a very good set of programming established for her that covers a broad spectrum of topics in the tourism industry including meeting our representatives from China during the Oregon Governor’s Conference on tourism.”

Other local organizations hosting the participants include the Portland Business Alliance, Oregon Health Authority, Portland Community College, Portland State University, and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

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 received a two-year $400,000 grant from the State Department to be one of 16 U.S.-based non-profit organizations hosting foreign professionals from over 40 countries and territories worldwide. The program culminates in a three-day Professional Fellows Congress, May 8-11, 2013 in Washington, D.C., where the participants will design real-world solutions and projects they can implement in their home communities and institutions. 

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