Fulbright NEXUS Program Announces Distinguished Leader for 2011-2012

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 5, 2010

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that Dr. Walter E. Baethgen, Director of the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Program at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) at Columbia University, has been selected as the Distinguished Leader for the 2011-2012 Fulbright NEXUS Program. Dr. Baethgen will provide leadership to a group of up to 20 Department of State-sponsored scholars from the Western Hemisphere, including the United States, who will spend one year addressing public policy challenges through international exchanges, seminars, and collaborative research. The scholars will focus on three primary areas: 1) Science, Technology and Innovation; 2) Entrepreneurship; and 3) Sustainable Energy.

Since 1990, Dr. Baethgen has worked with a variety of organizations to establish regional research programs in Latin America, first as a Senior Scientist with the International Soil Fertility and Agricultural Development Center and later with IRI. Dr. Baethgen has served as a consultant for several governmental and international organizations around the world, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Science. Dr. Baethgen earned his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and his B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Uruguay. He has over 100 publications to his credit and has served on several scientific advisory committees and as a reviewer for many international research programs and scientific journals.

Launched in August 2010, the Fulbright NEXUS Program, with its primary focus on creating greater mutual understanding, supports U.S. foreign policy priorities by sharing best practices to fight poverty and encourage innovation in creative, market-driven and socially responsible ways. As Western Hemisphere nations take steps to work more closely on shared challenges, the Fulbright NEXUS Program offers a collaborative model for regional scholarly exchange that moves beyond theory. Program participants will explore public-policy research questions and involve governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities in the implementation of their projects.

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants from over 155 countries with the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Media Contacts: James Lawrence, LawrenceJA@state.gov, 202-632-3241

PRN: 2010/1598