We’re proud to announce our very own Dr. Krista Sherman is a 2022 Distinguished Humphrey Fellow! Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship Program (DHFP) is a globally prestigious honour awarded to mid-career professionals with strong records of public service and leadership. Dr. Sherman is a marine scientist with more than a decade of research and conservation experience under her belt and leads our Fisheries Research & Conservation Program.
Designed to foster worldwide collaboration to “address local and global challenges and create change for the collective good”, the 3-week intensive fellowship took Dr. Sherman on an exchange program across three states in the USA – Indiana, Maine and Washington D.C. Fellows participated in special events, in-person and virtual activities focused on climate change issues, potential solutions and best practices. By participating in the Humphrey Distinguished Fellows Program (DHFP): Climate Change, she got to share her perspectives as a Bahamian and a marine scientist working to promote the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources.
“Climate change has emerged as one of the most significant threats to ecosystems on a global scale and navigating potential solutions is critically important for small island developing nations such as The Bahamas. This fellowship provided me with a unique professional development opportunity to learn from a range of global experts and grow my professional network. I'm hopeful that it will also help to expand and strengthen efforts to promote climate-resilient fisheries and coastal ecosystems for our Fisheries Research & Conservation Program”.
Dr. Sherman spent her first week of the fellowship at Indiana University, where she exchanged knowledge and ideas alongside 15 other fellows from 14 different countries: Bangladesh, Barbados, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Namibia, The Bahamas & Turkey. Through seminars, workshops, climate simulation negotiation activities and networking meetings, fellows expanded their perspectives on the climate crisis facing our world today. Topics ranged from climate modeling and geoengineering, to birds as sentinels of climate change, to environmental journalism!
Following her time in Indiana, Dr. Sherman’s next stop was The Climate Initiative in Maine, where she spent the second week of her fellowship. The Initiative is a grassroots movement to “empower youth voices for climate action,” encouraging youth to think globally while taking action locally. Dr. Sherman and a second fellow, Ms. Vicheratha Khlok from Cambodia, were graciously hosted by its Executive Director, Dr. Jono Azalone, a renowned expert in global disaster and crisis response. There, the two fellows provided an excellent community talk which was hosted by the Graves Memorial Library in Kennebunkport.
“Thank you x 1 million for the opportunity to host Dr. Sherman and Ms. Ratha,” Dr. Azalone shared with the program organizers. “The time with them will be a lifelong gift, seeding many perspectives and ideas.”
The DHFP culminated in a day of roundtable panel discussions and meetings at the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. to discuss climate change policy, implementation and collaboration. Each fellow was presented with a certificate from Maureen James (Academic Exchange Specialist, Humphrey Fellowship and Community College Programs, Office of Global Educational Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State) and Dr. Peter Moran (Director, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, Institute of International Education).
As an alumni of the DHFP, which is part of the Fulbright Exchange Program, fellows will gain access to additional resources to support efforts in their home countries. Dr. Sherman noted, “There’s so much that needs to be done to better prepare us for the realities of living in a rapidly changing world. It was an inspiring and rewarding experience and I’m grateful to the U.S. Embassy for this incredible opportunity”.
The DHFP is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and administered by the Institute of International Education, in collaboration with Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience, O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Office of International Affairs.
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