USEF/Fulbright Nepal Grantee Profiles

Fulbright Master’s Program Grantees 2020-2021

Ms. Anita Khebang

Public Health

Anita has a Bachelor's degree in Public Health from Nobel College and has been working with Karuna Foundation on a disability prevention and rehabilitation project since 2016. She has two years of firsthand experience in the area of maternal and reproductive health in rural communities of Eastern Nepal. She aims to work for the improvement of maternal and child health in Nepal, focusing on better prevention and management of birth defects.

Mr. Pravin Kumar

Civil Engineering

Pravin has been working as a Civil Engineer under Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal and is currently posted in Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project. He has a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, India. Pravin's research interests include Hydrology and Hydraulics, Energy, Watershed management and Water policy. He wants to pursue a Master's degree in water resources engineering and management.



Ms. Smita Poudel

Public Policy

Smita is currently working as a Section Officer at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Kathmandu. She has been at the Ministry for more than three years, and also served as Assistant Chief District Officer of Rasuwa district. Smita graduated in English from Tribhuvan University and now wants to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Policy to gain insights into public policy dynamics. She aims to make contributions in shaping inclusive public policies in Nepal.

Mr. Ashesh Shrestha


Ashesh works as a Research officer at Samriddhi Foundation, an economic policy think tank based in Kathmandu. His focus areas are micro-enterprises, industrial law, public education, federalism, and tax policies. He has authored several research papers and written dozens of newspaper articles based on the findings of this research. Ashesh manages and moderates ‘Liberty Discussion Series’, a monthly discussion program where young individual sit and deliberate over contemporary political-economic issues. He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from Tribhuvan University.


Ms. Priyasha Maharjan

Public Health

Priyasha is a graduate in Pharmacy from Kathmandu University. Inclined towards community based programs in health, she currently leads a health campaign, Janata Clinic, in the capacity of Co-founder and Director of a non-profit called Samartha Nepal. Her passion to explore has taken her to more than 40 districts in Nepal, allowing her to observe the health behavior of people in different parts of the country. With further education in the Public Health, she aims to garner new knowledge and skills, and contribute to the Nepalese health sector.


Humphrey Fellows 2020-2021

Resham Kandel, Under Secretary

Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Government of Nepal

Mr. Resham Kandel is currently working in the capacity of Under Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration and has been leading the Development Cooperation Coordination Section. Mr. Kandel has been serving the Government of Nepal for more than 14 years. His previous engagements mainly remained as National Program Manager (Local Governance and Community Development Program-LGCDP), Local Development Officer, and Director in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

Mr. Resham Kandel holds a Master’s Degree in Population Studies from Tribhuvan University of Nepal. He was awarded the MEXT scholarship of the Government of Japan to pursue Master's Degree in Public Policy from GRIPS, Japan in 2015.

As Humphrey fellow in the United States, Mr. Kandel is keen to expand his knowledge in public policy and governance. His focused areas of study include development planning, project management, inclusive and sustainable development.

Resham can be reached at

Manoj Kaphle, Senior Credit Officer

Agricultural Development Bank, Nepal

Manoj Kaple is currently working with the state-owned Agricultural Development Bank of Nepal, in the capacity of Senior Credit Officer, where his primary responsibility is, but not limited to, designing agricultural credit/loan policies and norms. Manoj Kaphle holds a Masters of Agriculture Science in Horticulture and has devoted himself in supporting the poor and marginalized people of Nepal with his expertise in agricultural enterprise, food security and livelihoods for the past nine years.

Manoj has been applying innovative ideas like Farmer Business School to develop markets for the poor farmers, from the field of research and development.

Prior to joining the current position, he had a successful career at the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) - an international non-governmental organization, from 2011 to 2015 as a Livelihoods Advisor. His genuine efforts and accomplishments at the UMN were acknowledged through the Innovation and Creation Award in 2014.

As Humphrey Fellow, he looks forward to learning practical models of small agricultural businesses and agricultural enterprise financing systems in the United States, which would equip him to address the need for the growth of a robust agricultural market system in Nepal.

Manoj can be reached at:

Sonam Lama, Architect
Founder/Director, Tsum Nubri Relief

Sonam Lama is a trained architect born in Tsum, a remote Himalayan region in Gorkha district, Nepal bordering Tibet Autonomous Region of China and spent hours walking to school everyday to attain his basic education. He received a meritorious scholarship to study Diploma and Bachelors of Architecture in Kathmandu and Masters in International Cooperation and Urban Development, Sustainable Emergency Architecture in Germany and Spain under the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. Sonam has worked at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and developed a chapter on The Great Himalayan Trail Preparatory Study. He also worked with the United Nations Human Settlement Program in Mongolia, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Kathmandu. He is an adviser of Tsum Welfare Committee, a non-profit organization working in Tsum. He promoted and helped develop sustainable tourism in Tsum through homestay initiatives. He is the owner of Tsum Valley HomeStay. One of Sonam’s major contributions during the 2015 Earthquake and recovery was in rebuilding through use of vernacular architecture and local building materials to make earthquake resilient structures and promote sustainable architecture.

Sonam has led teams that advocate cultural preservation of Himalayan communities and worked to produce several documentaries like Mani; The Hidden Valley of Happiness at a Crossroads; A Journey Home During Earthquake; Rebuilding Tsum Nubri and Post-earthquake Rebuilding in the Himalayas, all of which have been well received at the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival, the Domjale International Mountain Film Festival Slovenia and colleges and universities in Nepal and the United States of America.

As a Humphrey Fellow, Sonam wants to learn about community involvement  in town planning to impact regional planning and policies and he wants to study geographical modelling, use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and-use planning and to develop knowledge about how architects and planner can be good managers and team builders.

Sonam can be reached at:

Fulbright Master’s Program Grantees 2019-2020

For more information on the Fulbright Master’s Program, click here.

Ms. Chandni Jaishwal

Health Management and Policy
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Chandni works in National Academy of Medical Science, Bir Hospital, Kathmandu and her aim has been and still is to strengthen Nepali health system in order to ensure health for everyone. She graduated from Kathmandu University with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and recently completed a Diploma of Advance Studies in Health Care and Management from University of Basel, Switzerland. Working in the Ministry of Health for more than 3 years, she served as Dental Surgeon in Sagarmatha Zonal Hospital, Saptari district as well as the District Health Officer and Medical Superintendent in Jajarkot district.

Mr. Suyog Prajapati

Art History and Heritage Conservation
Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Suyog has a master’s degrees in chemistry and Buddhist studies. He started working in the field of cultural studies and art history in 2007 by documenting Hindu and Buddhist archival materials. Alongside that, he has been a lecturer on indigenous technology to undergraduates at SANN International College, Kathmandu for the last three years. He aspires to learn and write about art and architecture and issues related to the use of native resources for uplifting the local economy.

Ms. Trishna Rayamajhi

Wildlife Conservation- Wildlife Genetics
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Trishna is a graduate of Kathmandu Forestry College. Her professional career started in 2014 as a researcher in the Federation of Community Forestry User Groups of Nepal (FECOFUN). Since 2016, she has been working as a Natural resource Conservation Assistant in the National Trust for Nature Conservation-Biodiversity Conservation Center (NTNC-BCC) in Chitwan.  Her vision is to support conservation through the application of genetics.

Ms. Sachina Sunuwar

Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Sachina is currently working as Food Security and Livelihood Officer at CARE Nepal. Previously she worked as Agriculture and Livestock Officer at LI-BIRD. She has firsthand experience working with resiliency and humanitarian projects in eastern and central Nepal: dealing with detrimental effect of climate change in Nepalese agriculture and people’s livelihood. She is interested to study the global effects of climate change on agriculture and learn the best international practices of mitigation.


Opportunity Funds Grantees 2019

For more information, click here.

Bikram Bhandari

Hometown: Ghorahi, Dang

SLC: Janajyoti Vidyamandir, Ghorahi

Plus Two: St. Xavier's College, Maitighar, Kathmandu

Though Bikram’s parents wanted him to join Nepal’s Institute of Engineering in 2018, he had other plans. After being selected for the OF program, he convinced his parents that he would take a gap year and apply to the United States to explore his interests and major in Mathematics and Economics. Global education, many opportunities, and learning from world renowned professors inspire him to go to the US. He thanks USEF-Nepal for the financial assistance and especially the motivation and hope that this program gave him.

Aarohee Bhattarai

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: The Skylark English School

Plus Two: Southwestern State College, Kathmandu

For Aarohee, OF was a goal she aspired toward since her initial years in high school. She is extremely happy to have met this diverse circle of friends. Exploring is something she is most passionate about, be it the adventurous pathways or her ambition. She wants to graduate as a person who has the caliber and strength to start social projects. Aarohee wants to major in International Studies or Economics.

Laxman Bist

Hometown: Madhuwan, Bardiya

SLC: Araniko English Medium School, Madhuwan, Bardiya

Plus Two: Capital College and Research Centre (CCRC), Balkumari, Kathmandu

After passing SLC, Laxman came to Kathmandu to pursue his higher education.  The lack of effective experimental courses in his high school years motivated him to look for an inclusive educational career where he could hone his understanding of nature through theoretically and experimentally balanced teaching. The OF program is helping him reach closer to this dream.

Laxman was selected as one of the top five delegates to the International Physics Olympiad 2018. He has also published an independent research article about relativity.

In his free time, he loves to write poetry, draw and paint, and solve puzzles.

In the future, he wants to study physics and contribute in the development of experimental physics in Nepal.

Rahul Ratna Das

Hometown: Biratnagar

SLC: Koshi Vidya Mandir

A-Levels: Bridgewater International Academy/ Orient College of Science & Management, Kathmandu

Rahul loves the use of binary numbers in almost all of the electronic devices, and notes that no matter what, it comes down to 0s and 1s. He loves establishing relationships among things, such as predicting the outcomes of a task using resonating curves and using Hess' Law to balance input and output of a task. He believes that knowledge is everywhere, and answers to the toughest questions are often hidden in the simplest of things.

Kushal Gautam

Hometown: Pokhara

SLC: Motherland Secondary School, Gandaki

Plus Two: SOS Hermann Gmeiner Secondary School, Gandaki

Kushal is the only student in OF19 to have completed his Plus Two level education outside of Kathmandu Valley. He wants to travel, explore, and live life to its fullest. Kushal works as a MOOC mentor in Nepal, helping young learners to experience a virtual-university-level education. Though undecided on major, he wants to continue making efforts to foster young, digital, and academic stars in the country.

Prabin Khadka

Hometown: Lalitpur

SLC: Vidyapunja English Secondary School

Plus Two: Caspian Valley Secondary School, Kathmandu

Having thought since childhood of full scholarship to pursue further education, Prabin viewed Nepal’s Institute of Engineering entrance exam as his only option. Selection in the Opportunity Funds Program 2019, however, broadened his vision towards the world class education in the United States. Now, he is interested in pursuing STEM degrees at a U.S. institution. He looks forward to contributing towards conservation of environment and sustainable development in Nepal.

Sagun Pandit

Hometown : Belchautara, Tanahun

SLC: Shree Panchamuni Dev Ucchha Madhyamik Vidhyalaya

Plus Two: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Sagun was born in Tanahun. He came to Kathmandu for high school when he won a scholarship as the first prize of a quiz competition and became involved with the math club and community service. He was the treasurer for his club and helped to organize math competitions in his school. He also volunteered to teach young, disadvantaged students in Kathmandu valley.

Growing up in hardship, Sagun wants to study Economics to understand the causes of poverty in Nepal. He also wants to learn about Computer Science because of his love of mathematics. He plans to use his knowledge in finance and technology to bring economic reforms to Nepal and start initiatives to educate the Nepalese population about the importance of saving and making investments. He looks forward to working in Nepal’s finance sector.

Bibek Panthi

Hometown: Bhanbhane, Gulmi

SLC: New Horizon English Boarding Higher Secondary school.

Plus Two: St. Xavier's College, Maitighar, Kathmandu

Numbers and geometric figures amaze Bibek. His passion took him to the International Mathematics Olympiad, in which he represented Nepal for two consecutive years. By pursuing mathematics as a career, he wants to improve the conventional mathematics practiced in Nepal.

Susmita Poudel

Hometown: Dhankuta

SLC: Deep English Secondary Boarding School

A-Levels: Orient College of Science and Management, Kathmandu

Susmita came to the capital from a small town in Eastern Nepal to complete her high school. While growing up in Dhankuta, she always felt the lack of opportunities. In the capital, she came across the biggest opportunity in her life-- The Opportunity Funds Program 2019, which is helping her to fulfill her dream of studying in the U.S.

She plans to study Neuroscience and Economics at the undergraduate level. With the knowledge and experiences she will gain, Susmita wants to work for the improvement of education in Nepal.

Chandani Rana

Hometown: Gulmi

SLC: Siddhartha Vanasthali Institute

Plus Two: Trinity International College, Kathmandu

Chandani always thought education in the US was for the people who could pay large sums of money, until she learned about USEF Nepal. On further research and a visit to USEF, she discovered the OF program for students from disadvantaged background who want to study in the US. She applied for the program and her life changed.

Chandani wants to construct a more sustainable world. She is planning to major in Civil and Environmental Engineering. In high school, she participated in several science exhibitions. One of her notable projects is Green Electricity: Electricity from Plants. She envisions being part of research work at college in the US.

Ang Sonam Sherpa

Sangam Tole, Jorpati

SLC : Shree Gokarneshwor Mahadev Awasiya Secondary School

A-Levels: Saipal Academy, Kathmandu

Ang is always open for debate, discussion and change. Public speaking in a local youth oriented club called Smart Club and debating under the guidance of Debate Network Nepal have changed his perception of life.

Having completed his A-levels from Saipal Academy, he wants to study Economics, Philosophy, and Political Science. With a US education, he wants to return to Nepal and join a think tank to contribute to the country’s intellectual growth. He also wants to be an economic analyst working for the government or any other independent organization. He also wants to become a professor one day.

He likes to play Table Tennis, Sudoku, and have discussions over a cup of tea.

Aashish Sunar

Hometown: Butwal, Rupandehi

SLC: Butwal Glory Boarding English School, Butwal, Rupandehi

Plus Two: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Aashish recently volunteered in a program called PiE (Partnership in Education), teaching poor students. He hopes to study International Relations so that he can make a difference in the lives of poor people all over the world.

Pratima Thami

Hometown: Sunkhani, Dolakha

SLC: Lyceum Paradise Academy

Plus Two: New Summit Higher Secondary School, Kathmandu

Pratima loves to travel and dance. She likes to spend time with children and animals. Visiting new places and hearing stories of people is something she is passionate about. She always says ‘yes’ to try out new adventures.

Pratima wants to go to a liberal arts college and take classes in mathematics, psychology, and film studies.

Fulbright Nepali Post-Doctoral Program Grantees 2019-2020

Dr. Shyam Narayan Labh

Professor & Head (RMC), Department of Zoology, Amrit Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu
Project: Expression Analysis of some Immune related Genes in Rainbow Trout (O.  mykiss   Walbaum) fed Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) Larvae.

Location of Research in US: University of Idaho

Dr. Shyam Narayan Labh is a permanent faculty and Head of Research Management Cell (RMC), at Amrit Science Campus, Institute of Science and Technology, Tribhuvan University.  He has been teaching Zoology/fisheries/Aquaculture for over three decades.

Prof. Labh obtained his Master Degree in Zoology (Fisheries) from Tribhuvan University, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Aquaculture Nutrition from the University of Delhi, and Post-Doc from FNBPD, ICAR-CIFE, Versova, Mumbai. He is the Founder and President of the Nepal Aquaculture Society. He is a Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London (FLS) and Fellow of the Zoological Society India (FZSI).

His current research interest is in applied animal nutrition, particularly fish nutrition and health. He will do post-doctoral research in “Nutrigenomics” at the University of Idaho, USA. This research is important because it may solve the food security problem of both US and Nepal by developing a technology to produce disease-free healthy fish.

Dr. Tek Prasad Gotame

Senior Scientist, Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), Regional Agricultural Research Station, Parwanipur, Bara District
Project: Molecular Breeding for Heat Stress Tolerance in Tomato.

Location of Research in US: North Carolina State University

Dr. Tek Gotame is a Senior Scientist of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). He received a Master’s of Science in Agriculture (M.Sc. Ag.) from Tribhuvan University in 2003 and International Masters in Horticulture Science (IMaHS) jointly from University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy), Technical University of Munich (Munich, Germany), and University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Science (Vienna, Austria) in 2010. He received his PhD from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark in 2014 with a dissertation thesis entitled ''Understanding the effects of temperature on raspberry physiology and gene expression profiles.'' He has been working in Nepal Agricultural Research Council since 2004.

His current research interest is enhancing abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in solanaceous vegetables through conventional and molecular breeding. He will do postdoctoral research in molecular breeding in heat stress tolerance for tomatoes at North Carolina State University, USA.

Humphrey Fellows 2019-2020

For more information on the Humphrey Fellowship Program, click here.

Ms. Chandra Laxmi Hada

Urban Planning/Disaster Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ms. Chandra Laxmi Hada is an Architect, Urban Planner and Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist. She has 17 years experience working with government, UN agencies, I/NGOs and private sector in architecture, housing development, urban planning, green recovery and reconstruction, including disaster risk reduction and management. She is designated “Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Young Scientist” by 19th IRDR Scientific Committee in April 2018 (by International Science Council and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction).

Currently, she works as a team leader for urban development projects executed by the Nepali Government. She helped establishing emergency operation centers in more than 50 districts and municipalities for improved and better coordinated disaster response. She has authored guidelines and published various articles and lectured at several training sessions.

She is keen on studying how US local governments mainstream disaster risk reduction in urban and regional planning to increase resiliency. She will learn gender sensitive planning, innovative technologies, and green recovery principles for urban development.

She has a Master of Science in Urban Planning and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. She is a proud mother of 9-year-old daughter named Adrika. She loves travelling, watching movies, and swimming.


Badal Pradhan

Educational Leadership
Pennsylvania State University

Badal Pradhan is an educationist directly involved in the education sector for three decades in different capacities as a teacher, school head, teacher trainer, curriculum developer, school book writer and editor and as a member of the National Examination Committee.

For his long contribution in the education field, the Government of Nepal awarded him with the ShikshaPadak. In 2017, the Education Minister gave him its Best Principal Award for being a school leader among Nepal's private schools.

He has worked with the Nepal Government in two different offices: the Curriculum Development Center (CDC) and the National Examination Board (two terms). He helped the CDC to design the national curriculum of Computer Science. Currently, he is helping Kathmandu University's School of Education design Master’s and M. Phil. curriculum in educational leadership.

While on the Humphrey Fellowship program, Badal would like to focus on the practical aspects of educational leadership, how the curriculum for school leadership training is designed and delivered, and policy related to educational leadership and school reform. He hopes to visit and learn from US institutions known for training school leaders. Interacting with educational leaders of the USA and exchanging with the Humphrey fellows from different parts of the world, he would like to learn about leadership styles and how they can be contextualized in Nepal. In addition, he would also like to shadow effective principals at their work.

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2020

For more information, click here.

Bal Krishna Acharya

Hometown: Chitwan 
SEE: Narayani Model Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: The Times Secondary School

Bal Krishna believes in research rather than assumption and general hypothesis. He wants to learn about aircraft and spacecraft mechanism. Furthermore, he loves playing cricket, watching movies, scouting, and solving new problems. He aims for a world-class education in the field of Aeronautical Engineering in the USA.



Nischal Bhandari

Hometown: Tulsipur, Dang
SLC: Tulsi Boarding Higher Secondary School, Tulsipur, Dang
A-Levels: Orient College of Science and Management

Nischal advocates for environmental conservation, mental health, and youth empowerment. He likes movies, literature, artificial intelligence, and neural networks. The human brain and its anatomy intrigue him the most, and he will pursue Neuroscience in college.



Pratik Bhandari

Hometown: Butwal
SEE: New Horizon English Boarding Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: The Times Secondary School

Pratik is most passionate about data analysis and numbers, which helped him crack the National Olympiads in Mathematics and Astronomy. Apart from this, he loves writing, astrophysics and watching psychological thriller movies. He wants to follow his passion and explore the fields of Mathematics and Engineering.



Arjun Bhattarai

Hometown: Nawalparasi 
SLC: Nawalpur Higher Secondary School, Nawalparasi 
Grade 11 and 12: Caspian Valley College, Lalitpur

Arjun’s major interests are debating, public speaking, writing and social service. He loves exploration, adventures, traveling, football, cycling and meaningful conversation. Having completed his schooling from Nawalparasi, he wants to pursue education in the US to push himself to the brim and to contribute something to humankind's legacy.



Krishna Narayan Chaudhary

Hometown: Saptari 
SLC: Lumbini Academy Higher Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: Reliance International Academy

Since childhood, Krishna learned to face adversity which helped him explore new possibilities in life. As he grew up, he was astonished by the laws of physics and mathematics. He loves watching celestial space-related movies and reading fiction novels. He aspires to study Aeronautical Engineering to initiate aircraft development in Nepal. He is thankful to USEF-Nepal for providing this life-changing opportunity.



Ramkrishna Gurung

Hometown: Laprak, Gorkha
SEE: Eternal Light Public Higher Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: Brihaspati Vidyasadan

Ramkrishna believes in miracles brought by education, which he has been working toward in the midst of life’s difficulties. He loves coding, reading novels, teaching, and volunteering. He would like to pursue Computer Science as his major in the USA, as well as explore other fields of study.



Samin Gurung

Hometown: Pokhara
SEE: Rainbow Academic Homes Higher Secondary School
Grade 11 & 12: SOS Hermann Gmeiner School Gandaki

Samin is the only OF20 grantee to have completed high school outside Kathmandu, the nation's capital.  He is thankful his parents taught him early that poverty isn't an absence of wealth, but the absence of ideas. Samin will pursue Mechanical Engineering.



Asmod Khakurel

Hometown: Panchakanya-1, Nuwakot
SEE: Shanti Kunja Academy, Likhu-4, Nuwakot
Grade 11 and 12: DAV Sushil Kedia Vishwa Bharati Secondary School

Since childhood, Asmod believed that he is born to make a powerful impact on his society. He wants to be a role model for the coming generation. At six feet tall, he loves playing volleyball and other sporting activities. He likes talking with people and making new friends. He is also a Nexgen Youth 2019 and IYS member. He is interested in Computer science and Economics.



Subrat Prasad Pandey

Hometown: Parasi, Nawalparasi
SLC: Little Angels’ Higher Secondary School, Nawalparasi
Grade 11 and 12: Trinity International College, Kathmandu

Subrat loves observing people—their lifestyle, culture, behavior—and blogs his observations. He likes cricket, quiz books, writing, AI, political affairs, business and tech startups, and sustainable economy, and enjoys discussing the existence of extraterrestrial beings. Subrat believes that the Opportunity Funds Program will realize his childhood aspiration of studying in the USA with full scholarship. He intends to major in Economics/ Engineering.



Dikshya Pathak

Hometown: Nuwakot
SLC: Fluorescent Higher Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: Rehdon Higher Secondary School

Dikshya always wished for a quality education and started learning about US education from her early teenage years. Since then, she has longed to be a part of the system although she knew she could not afford it. She is grateful towards USEF-Nepal’s Opportunity Funds Program for being her ray of hope. She likes writing spoken word poetry and loves reading fantasy novels. She wants to major in Psychology and Literature.



Shreemad Pradhan

Hometown: Kathmandu
SLC: GEMS School
A Levels: GEMS Institute of Higher Education

Shreemad wants to challenge the norm, experiment, and dare take more risks. Raised by his bajai, his mum, and his didi—three women of three generations—Shreemad came of age in a woman’s world. Shreemad keeps a flexible, open mindset while exploring his options for #StudyInTheUSA.



Sriyans Rauniyar

Hometown: Kathmandu
SEE: Martyrs’ Memorial HSEB School, Gyaneshwor, Kathmandu
Grade 11 and 12: Kathmandu Model Secondary School, Bagbazar, Kathmandu

Though Sriyans was enrolled in Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, his dream of getting into a US university led him to apply for the Opportunity Funds Program. He finds OF as a huge opportunity to develop himself as a global competitor and a conscientious learner. Sriyans enjoys playing basketball, watching documentaries, and traveling. He is a youth activist and a trainer at the US Embassy’s Book Bus Program. He is interested in tech entrepreneurship. His major field of interest is Engineering/Economics.



Deepshikha Shrestha

Hometown: Kathmandu
SLC: Shuvatara School
A Levels: Trinity International College

Deepshikha loves exploring new ideas and destinations. An avid reader, she spends most of her free time reading. History fascinates her: she is intrigued by the events of the pasts and its mysteries. She plans to major in Economics and History.



Abhishek Soni

Hometown: Parsa
SEE: Bharat Baba Secondary Boarding School, Kalaiya
Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College Maitighar, Kathmandu

Abhishek plays the harmonica and drums. He likes football, cricket, painting, and technology. Nature and its magic fascinate him. He wishes to pursue Computer Engineering in the encouraging pedagogic environment of the USA.



Sumina Suwal

Hometown: Kavrepalanchok 
SEE: KMC School 
Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College 

Astronomy has never failed to amaze Sumina. She loves books and philosophy. She wants to pursue a career in Astrophysics and thereby, make a change.



Bibatshu Thapa Chhetri

Hometown: Mangalpur, Chitwan
SLC: Whitefield Higher Secondary School
Grade 11 and 12: National School of Sciences (NIST), Lainchaur

From Chitwan, Bibatshu  has always had  keen interest in computers. He spends most of his free time either programming or in sports activities. He looks forward to pursuing his bachelor's degree in Computer Science.

Humphrey Fellows 2018-2019

For more information on the Humphrey Fellowship Program, click here.

Mr. Phanindra Prasad Dahal  

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University

Mr. Phanindra Prasad Dahal is a bilingual journalist with the BBC’s Nepali Service. He covers political and social affairs. Recently, he investigated post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, exposing inefficiencies in international aid and highlighting the need for disaster-resilient infrastructure. Last year, he was one of the fifteen journalists selected by the United Nations to cover its General Assembly.

While pursuing the Humphrey Fellowship, he plans to study data and digital journalism. Through the program, he hopes to gain knowledge of cutting edge technology that will enable him to make innovations in news media and journalism. 

Mr. Dahal grew up in southern Nepal, publishing school newsletters, dreaming of becoming a real journalist. While pursuing higher education in Kathmandu, he worked in local FM stations and then moved to one of Nepal’s leading dailies, The Kathmandu Post. Over the past decade, he has produced stories on Nepal’s peace process, national security, and Nepal’s UN peacekeepers abroad, among others.

He has a master’s degree in political science and is fond of sports and travelling.

Mr. Dev Datta Joshi

Law and Human Rights
American University, Washington DC

Mr. Joshi is a leading expert in the area of disability rights, and has published extensively in the area. His particular areas of interest are inclusive education, legal capacity, access to justice, and de-institutionalization of persons with disabilities. He has been working for the National Human Rights Protection Forum for Disabled-Nepal (NHRPFDN) for over a decade as a Senior Disability Rights Lawyer. 

While on the Humphrey Fellowship, he is interested in studying inclusive education and disability law (especially mental disabilities law), the Americans with Disabilities Act, legal representation of clients with mental disabilities, the interaction between people with disability and criminal justice system, and the relationship between disability and international human rights.

Mr. Joshi has obtained five post-secondary degrees, including two post-graduate degrees, one of which is an LLM from the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland (Galway). His LLM dissertation focused on inclusive education for children with disabilities, drawing on field research he undertook in rural and remote far western Nepal.

As a disability rights lawyer, he has conducted relevant work in favor of persons with disabilities, such as combating involuntary sterilization of women with disabilities, establishing the first audio library in Nepal for visually impaired students, and removing discriminatory terms from Nepalese legislation, especially those concerned with women with intellectual disabilities. In addition, Mr. Joshi has practiced law in Nepal, taking cases to the Nepalese Supreme Court and helping make landmark jurisprudence regarding disability rights.

Mr. Lal Bahadur Kunwar        

Public Health Policy and Management
Virginia Commonwealth University

Mr. Lal Bahadur Kunwar is the Deputy Director of the Community Health Care Program at Possible (formerly Nyaya Health) in Accham, where he designs, oversees, and implements household-based health care programs through a network of Community Health Workers (CHWs) to increase health care access at the household level for patients with chronic diseases and patients who need maternal, neonatal, and child health care.

During the Humphrey program Mr. Kunwar hopes to better understand global health with an international perspective and hone both his qualitative and quantitative research skills in public health.

Mr. Bimal Poudel

Law and Human Rights  
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, U of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Mr. Bimal Poudel is a Registrar of High Court Patan in Province No. 3 of Nepal. He has previously worked at the Supreme Court of Nepal, National Judicial Academy, various Courts of Appeal and the Office of the Attorney General in various capacities for more than thirteen years.

Mr. Poudel completed his master’s degree in law from Tribhuvan University Nepal in 2002. In 2006-07, he was awarded the NUFFIC Scholarship to pursue master’s degree in international business and trade law from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As a Chevening scholar, he earned an LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex in United Kingdom in 2011-12.

He is keen to study the American legal system, judicial reforms, access to justice by needy people, and strengthening the rule of law. 

Fulbright Master’s Program Grantees 2018-2019

For more information on the Fulbright Master’s Program, click  here.

Ms. Sanjana Chantyal

Business Administration
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Sanjana Chhantyal (Business Administration, Remittances). Sanjana has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in banking and insurance from Ace Institute of Management. She worked as a Marketing Officer in a trading firm and then moved on to working as a Research Officer in an investment firm. She is interested in examining the migration issues in Nepal and design financial products to direct remittance to productive sectors. She will be doing her Master in Business Administration with a focus on consulting and microfinancing.

Ms. Shristi Mishra

International Education Development 
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Shristi Mishra (International Education Development). Shristi is currently teaching at Ace School and is working on writing a book on the subject of “Occupation, Business and Technology” for grades 6,7 and 8. She is also the co- founder of an organization called “The Storytellers” which brings accomplished individuals from various fields to talk about their life story. Shristi wants to pursue her Master’s in International Education Development.

Ms. Sahina Shrestha

Journalism-Digital Media
New York University, New York

Sahina Shrestha (Journalism, Digital Media). Sahina is the online editor of Himalmedia and was working as a reporter prior to it.  Sahina is the recipient of the Center for Investigative Journalism Fellowship and was also awarded the Nepal Bidya Bhusan 'GA' (2014) by the Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal. Sahina wants to study digital journalism.

Ms. Seema Subedi

Public Health
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Seema Subedi (Public Health). Seema has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and is working toward her Master’s degree in Gender Studies. She has 3 years of working experiences in different public health organizations and has worked in the far-western region of Nepal. Seema wants   to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health focusing on sexual, reproductive and maternal health.

Ms. Medha Joshi

Public Administration-Education
George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Medha Joshi (Public Administration, Education). Medha was a fellow for Teach for Nepal and taught English to under priveledged students at a public school in Lalitpur.   While teaching, she also managed to secure funding grant to build a science lab for her school. Medha has a Bachelors’ degree in Business Administration and is completing her Masters in Rural Development. She wants to pursue a Masters’ in Public Administration.

Global Undergraduate Exchange Grantees 2018 - 2019

For more information, click here.

Ms. Dibina Rijal

Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Georgia

Dibina Rijal is currently studying Bachelor of Business Studies (BBS) in Shankerdev Campus.

She is interested in going to the U.S. to explore the diverse courses available in the Universities. She wants to study social entrepreneurship and believes that the U.S. Universities can provide her the best idea in that field.

Her interests are public speaking, volunteerism and leadership exploration. She wants to know different people, cultures, creeds and the way of living. She wants to explore the leadership practices in the U.S. and get acquainted with leadership skills/practices and different cultures.

Ms. Jyoti Karki

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah    

Jyoti Karki completed her secondary and high schooling from Pokhara and is currently studying law in Pokhara.

She wants to learn about the education system in the U.S. and explore how the federal and national laws are regulated in the U.S.

She believes in advocating for people and wants to be a criminal lawyer in the future. Her motto is “not to be afraid to advocate for things that one feels is right.” She believes that one has to believe in themselves first before others believe in them.

Mr. Bhim Tamang

New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico    

Bhim Tamang is a young, dedicated and result oriented person. He belongs to one of the indigenous groups of Nepal. Currently he is in his final year of undergraduate studies and is majoring in English and Social Work at St. Xavier’s College.

He wants to sharpen his rational faculty and hone his skills and technique through exposure to international practices. In the future he wants to build his future in Social work.

His interest in Music and songs helps him connect with people of different age groups.

Fulbright Nepali Post-Doctoral Program Grantees 2018-2019

For more information, click here.

This program sends senior Nepali scholars/artists to spend up to nine months in the U.S. either conducting post-doctoral research at an American university or other research institutions, or undertaking an artistic project at a U.S. university, museum or cultural institution.

Dr. Ajaya Bhattarai

Assistant Professor, Chemistry, M.M.A.M.C., Tribhuvan University, Biratnagar, Nepal
Project: Theoretical Studies on Glass-Forming Liquids” at Boston College

Dr. Ajaya Bhattarai is an assistant Professor of Chemistry of M.M.A.M.C., Tribhuvan University, Biratnagar, Nepal. He has received his M.Sc. degree in Physical Chemistry from Tribhuvan University in 1998 and Ph.D. degree in Polymer Chemistry from North Bengal University, India in 2010. He has been working in Tribhuvan University since 2002. Dr. Bhattarai has visited University of Warsaw, Poland for Post doctorate research in Nanomaterials as well as Surface Chemistry in 2013.

His current research interest is in theoretical work, particularly computer simulations. He will do post-doctoral research work in “Theoretical Studies on Glass-Forming Liquids” at Boston College. The research in US is important for him because of the availability of computer facilities and opportunity to meet the various scientists in the academic institutions in the Boston area who are working in the theoretical field.

Dr. Susmita Talukdar

Professor of English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, and a Program Coordinator, M.A. English, Padmakanya Campus
Project: 'Diversity and Women, California State University, Fresno

Dr. Susmita Talukdar has been a teacher since 1993. Presently she is a Professor of English at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, and a Program Coordinator of M.A. in English at Padmakanya Campus, TU. She completed her Ph.D. from University of North Bengal with a grant from UGC, Nepal.

Her research interest focuses on broad issues connected with women, minorities, culture, and diversity, through an interactive and participatory pedagogical strategy of looking through literature into the immediate and beyond. For her forthcoming project on ''Diversity and Women'' she will go to California State University, Fresno, to explore how comparative literary analysis of women's narratives can initiate a cross-cultural dialogue through participatory lectures, and interaction between.

Fulbright Global Scholar 2018-2019

Dr. Barbara J. Engebretsen, Teaching/Research Grant, 5 months (Physiology)

Professor, Department of Health, Human Performance and Sport, School of Natural and Social Sciences, Wayne State College,  Wayne, Nebraska
Project: "The HEARTS Initiative: Engaging Student Health Clubs to Address Hypertension in Ethiopia, Nepal and Nebraska."
Host: Children's Hospital for Eyes, Ears and Rehabilitation Services (CHEERS) in Bhaktapur.

Engebretsen has a BA in Liberal Studies from the University of California, Riverside, a PhD in Physiology from Colorado State University, and is a teaching physiologist at Wayne State College in Nebraska. Past-President of the Nebraska Physiological Society, she received the WSC Teaching Excellence Award in 2015. Born of a growing interest in health disparities and the paradoxical prevalence of non-communicable diseases in developing countries, she first traveled to Ethiopia and Nepal in 2015. This three-country collaboration seeks to bridge the combined cultural, social, and biological wisdom of colleagues in each country, to understand and address the problem of increasing rates of hypertension and NCDs at its root. Engaging capable secondary school students with multiple partners, we aim to educate, equip and empower students and communities to increase understanding of the prevalence, consequences, pathophysiology and risk factors of hypertension and non-communicable diseases. Together, we hope to promote grass roots healthy behaviors, and generate a sustainable global pro-health movement.

If interested, the development and progress of this project beginning in 2015 has been blogged on the Facebook Page: Wayne State College in Ethiopia and Nepal:

Fulbright Researchers (Senior Scholars and Students) 2018-19

For information on Seior Scholar Program, click here.
For information on Student Research Program, click here.

Ms. Tenzin Dickyi (Writing)

MFA, Fiction and Literary Translation, Columbia University, New York 
Project: “Unsettled: A Tibetan Family Memoir of Exile and Diaspora”
Tenzin Dickyi is a writer and literary translator. She is editor of Old Demons, New Deities: 21 Short Stories from Tibet, the first English language anthology of contemporary Tibetan fiction published in the west. She is also an editor at The Treasury of Lives, a biographical encyclopedia of Tibet, Inner Asia and the Himalayan Region. She received her MFA from Columbia university and her BA from Harvard university. A former ALTA fellow of the American Literary Translators' Association, she translates contemporary Tibetan fiction and poetry into English. 
She was born and grew up in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India. As a Fulbright fellow, Dickyi will gather research material and work on a family memoir that seeks to humanize and personalize the Tibetan exile experience through the struggles of one family. This story will trace the journey of an ordinary Tibetan family through three generations, during which they find themselves uprooted from Tibet, exiled to Nepal, transplanted to India, and finally unsettled in America.

Ms. Jasmine Anna Kaduthodil (Neuroscience)

BA, Neuroscience and Anthropology, Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts
Project: “Redefining the Trauma Narrative: Understanding Resiliency in Nepal”

I am interested in the biological and social aspects of physical and mental resiliency, especially in relation to trauma. Current research shows that genetic predisposition shapes reaction towards trauma; however this information is based primarily off of samples of the European diaspora in the United States. This highlights a main problem in trauma research: trauma has not been entirely understood, and thus fails to be completely representative. My primary goal in undertaking research in Nepal  is to conduct pilot and feasibility research to add a neurocognitive dimension to the world’s first study looking at genetic predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in South Asia. It is an existing large scale, long-term project in Nepal, entitled "Understanding the Connections among Genes, Environment, Family Processes and Mental Health", which integrates the Chitwan Valley Family Study, a measure of social environment, and will focus on psychiatric phenotypes, demographic information, and genetics in the Nepali population. My research will additionally focus on the intergenerational and social support structures in the forms of schools, families, and communities that are crucial for recovery post-trauma. 

I received my BA in neuroscience from Wellesley, and when not conducting research I enjoy cooking, painting, and working with children. 

Dr. Brook G. Milligan (Senior Scholar, Conservation Biology)

Dr. Brook Milligan is a population geneticist with strong interests in conservation biology and modeling.  He obtained his B.A. in Physics from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.  He received a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Plant Biology, and has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and New Mexico State University.  Dr. Milligan is known for his careful development of better ways of transforming our hard-won data into new knowledge.  This has resulted in important advances of science as well as contributions to combating the $150 billion illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and fish.  As the first Jefferson Science Fellow from New Mexico, a prestigious position in the U.S. Department of State, he advises not only the State Department, but also USAID, other agencies, and NGOs on the interplay between genetics, international policy, and environmental issues.  Dr. Milligan is committed to international collaboration, has led college courses to Nepal and Mexico, and has led a workshop in Peru.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Milligan looks forward to applying his quantitative skills and international experience to enhancing science in Nepal.  Although the focus of his research will be on the status of the Bengal tiger population, he is eager to develop new collaborations and create new educational opportunities for Nepali colleagues.  Bridging as he does conservation science and international policy, Dr. Milligan is eager to motivate science-based solutions to practical challenges.

Ms. Hilary Brady Morris (Musicology)

PhD candidate, Musicology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
Project: “Belonging in Boudhanath: The Material and Social Life of the Himalayan Lute in Kathmandu.”

Hilary Brady Morris, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Navan, County Meath, Ireland, is a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (USA), specializing in ethnomusicology.  She earned a B.A. degree (in music and French) from the University of Arkansas (2004) and a master’s of music, specializing in musicology, from Illinois (2012). 

As a Fulbright student scholar, Hilary will conduct her dissertation research on Himalayan lutes in Nepal. Her ethnographic study focuses on the intersections of music and belonging through investigating these musical instruments (e.g., Sherpa dongmen, Tamang tungna, and Tibetan dranyen) in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Boudhanath, Kathmandu. Through studying how they are made, played, performed, seen, and heard, Hilary aims to understand how music plays a role in creating lived experiences of “home” for highland Himalayan Tibeto-Burman peoples in new urban, migratory environments. Her dissertation project, entitled “Belonging in Boudhanath: The Material and Social Life of the Himalayan Lute in Kathmandu,” was developed while studying intensive Intermediate and Advanced Tibetan language at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Boudhanath (summers of 2012 and 2013).

While in Boudha, Hilary hopes to provide English-language tutoring and translation in local schools or monasteries and volunteer with local organizations, facilitating cultural exchange through community outreach. Her long-term goals include an academic career in ethnomusicology and Himalayan studies, directing a music ensemble partnering with Himalayan guest artists and cultivating a student-exchange program.

Outside of academia, Hilary is an avid woodworker and artist, creating miniature dioramas inside of chicken and duck eggs.

Ms. Beth Prosnitz (Sociology)

PhD candidate, Sociology, The University of Texas, Austin, Texas
Project: “Gender and Land Ownership in Post-Conflict Nations: A Case Study in Nepal.”

Beth Prosnitz is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interests are in the relationships between land, markets, and citizenship in post-conflict countries. Her dissertation looks at the gendered dimensions of land ownership in an emergent remittance economy in post-conflict Nepal. As a Fulbright Student Scholar, Beth will conduct ethnographic research on the social and symbolic meanings of women’s land ownership within this shifting landscape of land markets in Nepal.

Prior to graduate school, Beth worked in international peacebuilding and development, including with the Carter Center and UNDP in Nepal. Beth earned her BA in Religion from Smith College and MA in International Affairs from the New School. 

Outside of graduate school, Beth enjoys running, hiking, reading, and watching the X-Files.

Ms. Haley K. Sanner (Economic Development)

BS, Mathematics, Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina.
Project:  “Redefining Living Spaces: A Market Analysis of Intergenerational Homesharing.”

Haley Sanner will use her Fulbright Study/Research grant to conduct a market analysis of intergenerational homesharing to address the emerging population aging and caregiving crisis in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Supported by her affiliate partner, Bihani Social Venture, she aims to understand the cultural trends, lifestyle factors and social contexts that could potentially impact the feasibility and effectiveness of homesharing initiatives. She envisions her research could lead to a social entrepreneurial venture.

Beginning by studying abroad in Nepal with School for International Training (SIT) in the Fall of 2013, she has become captivated by Nepal’s unique culture and language leading her to pursue a two year post-graduate experience as a 2015/16 Davidson College Impact Fellow working on aging issues in the non-profit sector and a 2016/17 position as Academic Coordinator with SIT. During her time at Davidson College, she received scholarships to pursue research relating to social isolation among older adults and people with multiple sclerosis, nationally and internationally. These experiences led her to be invited as a presenter at the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform’s 2014 Conference and secure her current position with the AARP Foundation’s Social Connectedness Team working on innovative solutions to mitigating social isolation among low income older adults.

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Haley is a competitive Ultimate Frisbee player and avid outdoors enthusiast. She is excited to continue to share these extracurricular interests through mountain biking and camping with Kathmandu’s Ladies Mountain League and building cross-cultural ties with the Indian Ultimate Frisbee community.

Dr. Anna M. Stirr (Senior Scholar, Ethnomusicology)

Associate Professor, Asian Studies, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Anna Stirr is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She holds a BA in music and religious studies from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and an MA, MPhil, and PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. She has also taught at Oxford University, Leiden University, and the New School. Her research focuses on music, dance, language, intimacy, and politics in South Asia, particularly in Nepal and the Himalayan region. She performs Nepali folk music as a singer, flutist, and percussionist.Anna’s research focuses on South Asia, particularly on Nepal and the Himalayan region. Her current projects deal with music, love, intimacy, and politics in Nepal. Her first book, Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal (Oxford, 2017) looks at improvised dohori question-answer songs as culturally intimate, gendered expressions of ideas of nation, belonging, and heritage, within a cycle of migration and media circulation that spans the globe.

Her Fulbright project chronicles the history of Nepal’s politically oppositional “progressive song” from the 1960s to the present, with a focus on ideas of love, development, and communist thought as interrelated ways of imagining a better future. Articles from these projects have appeared in various journals and edited volumes. Anna also maintains active research interests in the relationship between music, religion, politics and public culture in South Asia and the Himalayas. She is working on compiling and translating the Nepali folk music teaching materials created by her teachers as well as the late musicologist Subi Shah.

Dr. Marc Veletzos (Senior Scholar, Civil Engineer)

Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Merrimack College

Dr. Veletzos is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Merrimack College.  He is a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of California and earned his Ph.D. from UC San Diego in 2007.  Dr. Veletzos has over twenty-five years of engineering experience from both an industry and academic perspective.  He has worked in the field inspecting bridge pipelines and as a resident engineer on a construction site.  He was an integral team member in the design and construction of numerous bridges, including the award winning Otay River Bridge in California, the Rama VIII bridge in Thailand, and the Sundial Bridge at the Turtle Bay Museum in Reading, CA.  He has developed multiple manuals and training programs for the assessment of highway structures after an emergency event for both the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program.  In addition, he has authored guidelines for the seismic design of segmental bridges for Caltrans.  His work on the seismic design and analysis of bridge systems and on innovative methods to resist seismic demands has been presented at many conferences and workshops throughout the world.  Dr. Veletzos has led numerous service-learning trips to Haiti and Nepal to help small communities rebuild after critical infrastructure has been damaged by earthquakes.  In 2008 he received the Federal Highway Administration James Cooper Best Paper Award.  In 2017 he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Merrimack College McKniff Honor Society. 

Ms. Sameen Yusuf (Medical Sciences)

BS, Bioengineering, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Project: “Tuberculosis Screening Diagnostics Study in Nepal.”

After my family moved to the U.S. from Karachi, Pakistan, I grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. I attended George Mason University and studied bioengineering and chemistry. 

I believe it is important for those designing healthcare technologies (engineers) to have a holistic exposure of global health. During college, I participated in campus initiatives to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and deeper understanding of the realities of global health policy today. Although these organizations were the foundation of my global health activism, I felt that I still had a gap in my exposure: I needed to witness healthcare gaps as an element within the hospital system. I interned as a biomedical technician repairing broken medical equipment in Nicaragua and Nepal through Engineering World Health. Through those international experiences, I recognized the shortcomings of medical technologies for low-resource settings first hand. 
To bring my passions for global health and bioengineering together, I have worked on research and design of low-cost technologies. Recently, I have been working at the GMU Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine. I work with a team of on design and implementation of low-cost technologies for communicable disease diagnostics. My Fulbright study in Nepal will assess the potential impact of a novel urine sample collection kit that is compressible and mailable to a clinical lab for TB screening, obviating the need for shipping liquid specimen samples and possibly reducing patient delays in diagnosis and treatment for infectious diseases. I aim to understand the cultural, systemic, and technical barriers that prevent implementation of a patient-centered, rapid screening system in the Nepali healthcare system. 

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2018

For more information, click here.

Aakriti Adhikari

Hometown: Godawori
University: Soka University of America

Aakriti is part of  a family of five with an elder sister and a younger brother. She completed her schooling from St. Xavier's School, Godawori. She did her +2 from St. Xavier's School, Jawalakhel.

Having dreamed of continuing her higher education in the United States, she applied to the Opportunity Funds (OF) program 2018. The financial assistance and educational assistance provided by the OF program is the main reason she is able to pursue her dreams.

Aakriti plans on majoring in liberal arts and science with a concentration in international studies as she has a deep passion for participating and organizing Model United Nations (MUN) conferences.

Aakriti loves re-reading the Harry Potter series. She loves reading novels. Nicholas Sparks, J.K. Rowling, Robin Sharma are a few of her favorite writers.

Kritib Bhattarai

Hometown: Itahari

Kritib completed his high school from Trinity International College, Kathmandu. He is interested in studying computer science and economics. He loves coding and working with circuits.

Growing up outside the valley, he felt the lack of opportunities for high school students to work in technological sectors. “One day, I searched the whole city and still could not find 9v battery for my Bluetooth controlled car,” he once said.

In the future, he wishes to establish a workplace for technology enthusiasts and make necessary instruments easily available.

Keshav Jha

Hometown: Janakpur

University: University of Richmond

Sabina Khanal

Hometown: Lamjung
University: Texas Christian University

Sabina lost a year after her high school preparing for medical studies when she saw the announcement of the Opportunity Funds Program 2018. Although she thought she had no chance of getting in, she applied. Eventually, she made it!

She currently lives in Kirtipur, Kathmandu. She gave her SLC examination from Pushpasadan Boarding High School, Kirtipur, and studied science in her high school at Nepal Mega College, Babarmahal.

She loves to study subjects like physics, computer science (she plans to focus on this in college), math, and so on. She also likes to read novels.

Robert Koirala B.K.

Hometown: Jhapa
University: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert loves numbers and patterns. He is passionate to use them to explore more about the universe. He has conducted independent research about random walk.

Robert is excited to explore mathematics under the supervision of world-class professors, participating in research programs like UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) and experiencing the American culture.

Robert’s hometown is Padajungi, Jhapa. He passed his School Leaving Certificate examination from Siddhartha Boarding Secondary School, Damak, Jhapa. In 2015, Robert joined Golden Gate International College, Battisputali, Kathmandu. There, he studied +2 science and graduated in 2017.

Amish Kushwaha

Hometown: Birgunj

Amish passed his SLC examination from Alpine Secondary School and CBSE from Delhi Public School in his hometown. He topped both examinations in his district.

His school director suggested he applied for the program. Once in, he got to know about the vibrant education system in the US.

He was unable to apply to the US this year but hopes to study B. Tech. in computer science in India. He  plans to go to the US for his Masters.

Malika Lawaju

Hometown: Bhaktapur
University: Fisk University

“Thinking globally, acting locally” excites Malika.

She completed her high school from Capital College and Research Center (CCRC) in the management stream. She is planning to study business administration in the US.

Her interest lies in establishing a small scale industry for producing local goods and promoting economic growth in Nepal.

Nirakar Sapkota

Hometown: Kathmandu

University: Princeton University

Yogesh Sapkota

Hometown: Chitwan

University: Youngstown State University

Larisa Shrestha

Hometown: Ramechhap
University: Harvard University

A spoken word poetry enthusiast and a self-proclaimed expert at escaping, Larisa has a name with Greek roots but nothing remotely Greek about herself.

Once tired of people misspelling and mispronouncing her name, she now happily embraces the different versions of a single name she gets to live. She loves walking because her legs do all the thinking for her.

A spoken word poet and instructor for the Word Warriors, a Kathmandu-based spoken word collective in Nepal, she loves the feeling of being on stage although her knees buckle with nervousness each time.

She is highly excited to start her new journey in the US.

Her special talents include spilling her coffee, tripping over her own legs, and running into bus-stop signs.

“She completed her +2 Science from here. She was a good student.” –Trinity International College

 “A compulsive procrastinator. A blob of laziness.” – Her mother

“A rude weirdo. Talks to herself when alone. Sings random songs while walking. A figure of humiliation.”  – Her sister

Uttam Shrestha

Hometown: Dhankuta

University: Stanford University

Praful Prasad Sigdel

Hometown: Itahari
University: Fisk University

Praful comes from the southern low-lands (terai region) of Nepal. He has completed his SLC from Kuleshwor Awash Secondary School, Kuleshwor and +2 sciences from Capital College and Research Center (CCRC), Kathmandu.

He is passionate to study engines and structures of flying objects (rockets, airplanes, helicopters, and more) and aims to be a mechanical engineer. 

His interest lies in building prototype robots, and working on arduino-based electronics projects. Once in the US, he hopes to join the Fisk University Altitude Achievement Missile Team (F.A.A.M.T.) , which works to build a rocket and compete in the NASA sponsored University Student Launch Initiative (USLI).

Being a music enthusiast, he finds Nashville a perfect place to study and live.

Sagar Subedi

Hometown: Chitwan

University: Walsh University

Bijesh Thapa

Hometown: Kathmandu
University: Soka University of America

Bijesh loves playing soccer. He plays for hours with his ten-year-old sister. He also enjoys playing cricket, sprinting, and playing snooker. More regularly, he hits the gym and reads non-fiction. He has recently discovered his love for travelling.

Bijesh did his schooling at Pinnacle Scholar’s Academy located at Kalanki, Kathmandu and +2 from St. Xavier’s College, Maitighar.

Interested in social sciences, he looks forward to exploring the field in the US.

Coming from a disadvantaged background, he credits the Opportunity Funds program to be a life-changing opportunity, and thanks the OF advisers, along with fellow participants, for having a profound influence on him.

Subina Thapaliya

Hometown: Chitwan
University: Soka University of America

Subina is from a small and beautiful village, Piple, located in eastern Chitwan. She completed her SLC in her own village from Iris English Academy, school. Then, she studied +2 (science) in New Capital Secondary School, Tandi, Chitwan.

With a dream of pursuing abroad study, applied to the OF program.

For a better understanding of the global society, she wants to concentrate her study in the international studies with bachelor degree in liberal arts and science. She is excited to meet wonderful young minds from around the globe in a diverse multicultural environment.

Tarun Timalsina

Hometown: Pokhara
University: Harvard University

Tarun completed his SLC and +2 science from Gandaki Boarding School, Pokhara. After graduating from high school, he took a gap year to explore his interests and better understand his community.

He loves playing cricket and stargazing and cucumbers. He is also an avid reader of non-fiction books and enjoys debating geopolitical issues.

A physics and astronomy enthusiast in high school, he is looking forward to exploring the social sciences and humanities in the US.

He says he hasn't thought too far into the future yet and has no fanciful ambitions.

Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistants Grantees 2019

For more information, click here.

Anna Cadwell

Washington, D.C.
B.A., anthropology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

In the Fall of 2016, Anna studied abroad in Nepal with the School for International Training. With a specific interest in animal welfare and ecological anthropology, she conducted a month-long independent study on the relationship between humans and canines in Dharamsala, India. Her other interests include hiking, camping, cooking, running, volunteering at the animal shelter and creating art. In Nepal, she is eager to teach, learn, and give back to a region that has taught her so much.

Julia Conley

New Canaan, CT
B.A., Math and Sociology, Bowdoin College

Julia has enjoyed working with students in many capacities: teaching fractions to elementary students, leadership skills to high school students, and conflict management to college students. She studied in Nepal for one semester with SIT, and is now looking forward to reuniting with her Nepali friends and developing ESL teaching skills.

Hannah Rodgers

B.A., Biology and neuroscience
Oberlin College

At Oberlin, Hannah worked with the Outings Club and Rock-Climbing Club, and tutored students through the Ninde Scholars and Peer Tutors programs. She also developed an interest in sustainable agriculture, and how it relates to conservation and community. More recently, she has worked at The Land Institute, a nonprofit research center that studies sustainable cropping.

Hannah studied abroad in Panama, Thailand, and Patagonia. She values living abroad in smaller villages because of the opportunity it presents to deeply engage in a local community. She looks forwards to living in a community where agriculture is a larger part of daily life.

She hopes to employ her passion for outdoor education by incorporating English instruction outside of the classroom. Following the assistantship, she hopes to pursue a career in promoting sustainable agriculture development and obtain a graduate degree in agricultural ecology with a focus on community and youth engagement.

Taylor Smith

Rochester, New York
B.A., Education and Human Development, University of Colorado in Denver

Taylor obtained a B.A. in Education and Human Development, with an emphasis on Special Education and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education. She spent 3 years student teaching in bilingual classrooms across the Denver area, where she developed her passion for working in multi-cultural school districts. She also helped with the development of an English education program in West Papua, which focused on creating opportunities for sustainable English education in rural areas.

Taylor is eager to continue researching methods of sustainable development within education, while also immersing herself in cross-cultural exchange during her time in Nepal.

When she returns to the United States, Taylor hopes to pursue her Master’s degree in Race & Social Inequality in Urban Education.

Sachi Watase

Albuquerque, New Mexico.
B.A., Pitzer College

At Pitzer College in California, Sachiwas involved in establishing and running Pitzer Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Mixed Identity Exchange affinity group, and the collegiate roller derby team. Sachi also spent one semester in Nepal on a cultural immersion program. Her upbringing and life experiences have contributed to her passion for cross-cultural exchange and language learning, and led her to spend this past year teaching English at Tra Vinh University in southern Vietnam. She is excited to return to Nepal to continue to practice these skills!

When she returns to the United States, Sachi hopes to get her masters in multi-subject education.

Elizabeth Long

Appleton, Wisconsin
B.A., Political Science and Women’s Studies, Gustavus Adolphus College

Liza studied Political Science and Women’s Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College with a focus on women in politics and grassroots

activism. In college, she led the Feminist Action Group and organized a student-run conference about the necessity of activism to bring about political change. She spent her last semester in school interning at a policy organization in Washington, DC, which worked to bring women policymakers together across partisan lines. 

Liza studied sustainable development and human rights abroad in Bangalore, India, which sparked her interest in teaching in Nepal. Before coming to Nepal, Liza worked as a field organizer in Wisconsin, organizing rural counties for the 2018 midterms. She is passionate about increasing civic engagement among minority groups and women. 

Liza is excited to introduce new teaching methods to Nepali classrooms and help students learn to think critically. She feels passionately about learning Nepali to interact with her host community and learning more about rural life in Nepal. In the future, she wants to attend law school and practice civil rights and immigration law.

Fulbright Specialist Program Grantees 2018

For more information, click here.

Dr. Keshav Bhattarai

Professor/Geography Coordinator, School of Environmental Physical & Applied Sciences, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri

Project: Enhancing the Capacity of Tribhuvan University Faculties in Urban Planning
Field: Urban Planning
Host Institution: Center for International Relations, Tribhuvan University and Tribhuvan University Central Department of Geography

Dr. Keshav Bhattarai, Professor/Geography Coordinator in the School of Environmental Physical & Applied Sciences at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri, is currently in Nepal on a Fulbright Specialist grant from June 21-July 30, 2018.  He is Nepal at the invitation of the Centre for International Relations at Tribhuvan University.  Welcome Dr. Bhattarai!

Here is a brief overview of his work in his own words:

I feel good working in Nepal.  Between June 20 and July 30, 2018, I plan to advance my ongoing urban planning studies in Nepal. I am especially interested in helping to develop the concept of “smart cities” as inspired by many elected representatives of various municipalities of the Federal Republic of Nepal.  I plan to discuss the concept of “smart city” with academicians, urban planners, elected representatives, and other stakeholders involved in urban planning. According to various government sources, Nepal has planned to create new 40 modern cities along the corridors of Mid Hill Highways and Tarai Postal Highway, and in the Inner Tarai region, and promoting at least ten cities into smart cities while accommodating around 100,000 people in each city with all the ingredients of “smart city”. During my stay in Nepal, I aim to develop guidelines how to gather real time information and assist the Central Department of Geography (CDG) at Tribhuvan University. During my two days of discussion with faculty colleagues at CDG, I found strong interest in developing a manual how to build real time database by involving various stakeholders, and include such concept in the curriculum. Despite various shortcomings of many logistic facilities needed to develop real time data, the enthusiasm seen among faculty members and students at CDG is very encouraging. I look forward working with such an encouraging body of faculty members and students. Many of the students are engaged in urban planning and have real world knowledge. Their insights will be very helpful in documenting steps needed to develop real time database in the midst of various logistic hurdles. As the proverb goes “where there is will there is a way,” innovative faculty colleagues and students are the great sources of inspiration to overcome hurdles and achieve the goals.  Look forward in actively engaging in the urban planning initiatives of CDG which aims to provide a leading role in urban planning initiatives in Nepal both from philosophical and technical aspects.

Steven Folmar 

Project Title: “Strengthening Capacity of Nepali Researchers on Research”
Field: Sociology
Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies Kathmandu Center

Dr. Steve Folmar is in Nepal conducting Academic Research Workshops through the Fulbright Specialist Program.  He is here by invitation from the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies Kathmandu Research Center and the Dignity Initiative.  Dr. Folmar has been conducting ethnographic research in Nepal since 1979.  His most recent project investigated the effects of the 2015 Earthquake on the mental health of adolescents in Lamjung.  He is currently chair of the Department of Anthropology at Wake Forest University and a member of the Executive Council of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies.  His Fulbright Specialist grant is from June 6-July 29, 2018.  Welcome Dr. Folmar!

Robert William Malloy

Project: “Undergraduate and Graduate Dental Curricula Development”
Field: Education
Host: Kathmandu University

Dr. Malloy is an American Board of Orthodontics Board-Certified Orthodontist from the United States with 24 years of experience.  He is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Dentistry and the orthodontic residency program at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester. 

Prior to attending dental school, Dr. Malloy was a high school biology teacher in Louisville, Kentucky. He then served as a volunteer in the United States Peace Corps in Western Samoa. After graduating dental school, Dr. Malloy worked as a Dental Officer in the U. S. Public Health Service on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.  He practiced orthodontics in Bozeman, Montana for 15 years. Currently, he is the Clinical Director of the Orthodontic Program at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester. Dr. Malloy is married to Denise and has two sons, Max and Sam, who are currently students at the University of Montana.

Dr. Robert Malloy, is currently in Nepal as a Fulbright Specialist to do trainings and build capacity on dental education at Dhulikhel Hospital (Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences).  He will be in Dhulikhel from August 3-24, 2018.  His Fulbright Specialist project title is: “Undergraduate and Graduate Dental Curricula Development.”

Humphrey Fellows 2017-2018

For more information, click here.

Ms. Bindu Shrestha

Urban and Regional Planning (HHH-LTE), Associate Professor at Kathmandu Engineering College in Kalimati, Kathmandu

US Placement: Her pre-academic program was at the University of California, Davis; and her Humphrey placement is at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.


Ms. Nilima Thapa Shrestha

Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Planner at Kathmandu Valley Development Authority in Anamnagar, Kathmandu.

US Placement: Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Fulbright U.S. Student Grantees 2017-2018

For more information, click here.

Through this grant, selected U.S. students spend 10 months conducting research in their areas of interest in Nepal.  All five selected candidates are currently in Nepal, working on architecture, ecology, painting, environmental studies, and performance art.

Mr. Dane Graham Carlson (Architecture)

M.A., Landscape Architecture, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Project: "Landscape Past, Landscape Future: Cultural Landscape on the Himalayan Frontier."

Trained as a landscape architect, Dane Carlson is engaged in landscape design, mapping, and research.  His recent work includes a mapping methodology for humanitarian responders and resiliency-building landscape design proposals in Syangja and Sindhupalchok districts.  He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honors from Ball State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture II with Distinction from Harvard University. 

His practice REALMS explores the capacity of place-based knowledge and practice to inform resiliency building in the physical environment. REALMS operates in hinterlands where place-based practices remain, utilizing anthropological field methods to inform design practice.  It is built through collaborative processes founded in the agency of people and place, using local resources and working within existing systems of worship, transhumance, and beyond.  It also recognizes the importance of cultural memory and sacred meaning in the function and continued viability of hinterland landscapes.

As a Fulbright scholar, Dane will continue to develop this model of research and design practice in Upper Mustang, including study of field methodologies from anthropology and ethnography.  Through immersive site study over the course of 7 months, his research will document the practices, forms, and beliefs that define this landscape.  It will also explore the emergence of conflicts between place-based practices and contemporary infrastructures with the ultimate intention of building design proposals which emphasize the necessary role of the ancient within the contemporary landscape.

Ms. Michele Diane Clark (Ecology)

Ph.D. candidate, Environmental Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Project: "Evaluating the Social and Ecological Consequences of an Invading Vine Species in Nepal."

Forests are an integral part of rural livelihoods, especially in Nepal. I am a plant ecologist interested in the biology, management and perceptions of these invasive species. I am passionate about understanding the local and global drivers of plant invasion and its influence on rural livelihoods, resource availability and biodiversity.

Primarily, I study rapidly growing invading vines and dense toxic shrubs in the Chitwan Valley of Nepal. I plan to conduct social research to understand perceptions and attitudes towards invasive species and ecological research to understand their environmental effects. I aim to coordinate ecologically and culturally appropriate management techniques to help land managers find solutions towards controlling the spread of invading plants.

I am currently pursuing my PhD in Environmental Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Though I have lived in several places across the U.S., I call Reno, Nevada my home. 

I love being outdoors, hiking, camping and spending time with my family. I enjoy listening to new music and going to concerts. I am a novice ukulele player and an awful singer. I have travelled extensively throughout South America and am proficient in Spanish and working hard to learn Nepali. I would like to become a children’s book author to teach kids and parents about plants, conservation, and the environment.

Mr. Michael Gordon (Painting)

M.F.A., Studio Practice, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California.
Project: "Between the Sacred and the Sold: Thangka Painting in the Contemporary Market."

Michael Gordon grew up in Denver, Colorado. When he turned eight, a family friend gave him a copy of Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain and Simple, and he was hooked. Meditation and art remain the two constants in his life, and he is thrilled to pursue them both in Nepal.

During his undergraduate studies, Michael double majored in English Literature and Studio Art at Dartmouth College. He played lacrosse, rugby, and ran two student organizations working to provide educational access to under-resourced students around the country. During his junior year, he took a term off to study buddhism and teach English in Nepal. After graduating, Michael taught English in Bogotá, Colombia and Denver, Colorado.

Over the past two years, Michael completed his Master of Fine Arts at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Through his program, he refined both his craft and concept. His work examines the interdependence of consumerism, productivity, and commodity fetishism. Thanks to the Fulbright Scholarship, Michael will spend the next year studying the complex socio economic, cultural, and philosophical landscape of traditional Buddhist Thangka paintings as a microcosm of art’s role as both sacred and sold.

Ms. Jocelyn Ann Powelson (Environmental Studies)

B.A., Chemistry and Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Project: "Examining Climate Change Adaptation Solutions For Implementation By Women In Nepal."

Jocelyn grew up in Richmond, Virginia with her older brother and sister. She attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and graduated in June, 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Studies. Jocelyn has always had curiosity to explore the world; during her time in college, she seized opportunities to study, work, and travel in 8 foreign countries. After graduating, Jocelyn spent 9 months in Nepal, interning with Helen Keller International and Save the Children, conducting a qualitative research study on gender and nutrition. She returned to the US for the summer of 2016 and spent 4 months backpacking from Canada to Mexico along the Pacific Crest Trail (4300km!).

Jocelyn has been back in Nepal since February 2017 and is currently working at the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a mountain and environment research institute based in Kathmandu and working throughout the Hindu Kush Himalaya. From a very young age, Jocelyn has always been a passionate environmentalist, but through her experiences abroad, she has developed a much more nuanced view of human-environment interactions and now desires to further explore the field of sustainable development.

For her Fulbright project, Jocelyn will be based in a community in the mountain region studying climate change adaptation and gender. Jocelyn is a passionate outdoorswoman, and in her free time, she can be found mountain biking, trekking, climbing, or trail running. She also enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with others, and is particularly excited to introduce more Nepali women to outdoors sports.

Please click here to see Jocelyn’s article “Life and Livelihood in Remote Nepal” in Nepali Times of September 28, 2018.

Mr. Peter Duncan Seifarth (Performance Art)

B.F.A., Theater Arts, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Caroline.
Project: "Nepali Theatre: Sociopolitical Progress Through Movement and Gesture."

Peter Seifarth is an actor, director, and theatre maker from the South Eastern United States. He began his theatre studies at an early age with his high-school’s circus program. He received his B.F.A in physical theatre from Coastal Carolina University, and graduated from the year long physical theatre program at Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. During his year in Italy, he met Nepali theatre artist, Roshan Mehta, another year long student of the program. They lived together, trained, and created five shows, performing for a variety of Italian audiences. Peter is also a co-founder of Panda Head Theatre, a company that aims to transcend lingual and cultural barriers through physically focused theatre.

As a 2017-2018 Fulbright recipient, Peter will spend a year in Nepal working alongside Roshan Mehta to research contemporary Nepali physical theatre.

He will observe, train with, and direct Nepali theatre artists to understand how they successfully use physicality and non-verbal communication in theatre to express complex issues.

Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar Grantees 2017-2018

For more information, click here.

Dr. Betsy Lynn Fine

Teaching/Research Grant, 5 months (Adolescent Medicine)

Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Project: "Adolescent Health Curriculum for a Pediatric Post-Graduate Medical Education Program in Nepal."

Host: Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Lagankhel, Lalitpur.

My Fulbright project is to collaborate with the faculty of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) to develop an Adolescent Medicine curriculum for a Pediatric post-graduate program. PAHS is a new medical school with the mission of recruiting and training physicians for rural practice in Nepal and the curriculum will specifically address the medical needs of teens in rural communities.

My medical training was at George Washington University School of Medicine where I received my MD.  During my senior year I worked in Pediatrics in the Ivory Coast which kindled my interest in global health. Following a Family Practice Residency at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington I spent two years fulfilling my National Health Service commitment at a Community Health Center giving me the opportunity to work in a clinic for rural and underserved patients.  Subsequently I taught for 18 years at the Tacoma Family Medicine (TFM) Residency, an affiliate of the University of Washington. TFM’s mission is to train family physicians for practice in rural and underserved locations. Having developed an interest in adolescent health, I obtained additional certification in Adolescent Medicine and joined the faculty of the Pediatric Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center where I worked until my retirement in January, 2016.

I continue to teach in a volunteer capacity at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Department of Adolescent Medicine and am active in our national organization, the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine. Since 2005, I have participated in a disaster relief organization, nycmedics, with whom I have deployed to multiple disaster areas including Haiti, Pakistan and most recently Nepal.

Dr. Randall Bluffstone,

Research Grant, 6 months (Land Economics)

Professor, Department of Economics, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon.

Project: "Research on The Nepal Community Forestry Program in Light of Climate Change Initiatives."

Host: School of Arts at Kathmandu University in Hattiban, Lalitpur

Randall Bluffstone is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Economics and the Environment at Portland State University. From 2008 – 2011 he served as chair of the Department of Economics.  His research and teaching interests focus on environmental and resource economics, including climate change, energy, pollution control and deforestation in low-income countries.  He is the author of several papers, book chapters and three edited books, most recently Forest Tenure Reform in Asia and Africa: Local Control for Improved Livelihoods, Forest Management, and Carbon Sequestration with Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson, which was published in 2015.  He has received research funding from a variety of sources, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID and Sida.

Professor Bluffstone is associate editor of the journal Forest Economics, a research associate of the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, which supports environmental and natural resource economics research in 9 countries and cocoordinates the EfD Forest Collaborative. In 2006/2007 Bluffstone lived in Ethiopia and conducted research on land use and forestry. Prior to coming to Portland State, he taught at the University of Redlands and until September 1999 was deputy director of the International Environment Program at the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) at Harvard University. While at Harvard, Bluffstone directed HIID’s environmental policy program in Central Asia and from 1994 to 1997 served as senior environmental policy advisor to the Government of Lithuania. Bluffstone received his Ph.D. in economics from Boston University in 1993 and from 1983 to 1985 was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal.

Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistants Grantees 2017-2018

For more information, click here.

Ms. Bhabika Joshi

B.A., English, University of Texas, Austin

She will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Special Education and Speech Language Pathology. She hopes to do her Master’s in non-profit management and work for non-profit organizations.

Bhabika Joshi is a graduate student at Vanderbilt University studying Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education. Her research focus is neurodevelopmental disorders, specifically autism.  She graduated from the University of Texas with two degrees in English and Communication Sciences and Disorders. She will complete her Master's degree in 2020. Her hobbies include hiking, dogs, and eating Nutella out of the jar.

Ms. Chanelle Campbell

B.A., Applied Linguistics and Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Georgia State University

Growing up in Jamaica, Chanelle Campbell developed an early interest in cultures and languages and gravitated towards opportunities that allowed her to uncover her curiosities. After migrating to the United States, she enrolled in Georgia State University’s Applied Linguistics Program. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in a course that required volunteering to teach community ESL. There she found her passion for working with refugees. She received a B.A. in Applied Linguistics with a TEFL Certification from Georgia State University with the highest honors. She was later nominated and awarded Most Outstanding Undergraduate for the Applied Linguistics Department.

Ms. Ellen Zempel

B.S., Communication Disorders and Environmental Studies, Truman State University

She hopes to pursue her Master’s degree in communication disorders with an emphasis on bilingualism.

Ellie Zempel is from St. Louis, Missouri, and studied Communication Disorders and Environmental Sciences at Truman State University. She currently attends graduate school in St. Louis and studies Speech-Language Pathology.  She hopes to one day work with children in either a hospital or school as a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, and help kids communicate successfully in whatever language they speak! 

Mr. Andrew Weller

B.S., Chemistry, The College of Holy Cross, Ohio.

He plans to pursue a degree in medicine upon his return to the U.S.

Drew Weller is from Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he received his degree in Chemistry in the health advising program. He was the Co-Chair of the Spring Break Immersion Program, a fall orientation leader, a chemistry lab research assistant, and a volunteer tutor for all four years. In Nepal, he looks forward to understanding a new people and place.

Ms. Grace Wright

B.S., Mathematics with a concentration South Asian Studies, Bates College

She plans to pursue a Master’s in Education after she returns to the U.S.

Grace Wright is from Amherst, MA and is a 2016 graduate of Bates College with a B.S. in Mathematics. She studied in Nepal for one semester with SIT. Grace has tutored high schoolers in math, instructed in Nordic skiing and youth lacrosse, worked with Peruvian English language learners, and became certified in TEFL. She has led hiking trips in the Rocky Mountains for kids and also directed an afterschool program in Williston, VT. She is very much looking forward to the opportunity to return to Nepal and teach in a meaningful capacity.

Fulbright Master’s Program Grantees 2017-2018

For more information on the Fulbright Master’s Program, click here.

Five Nepali students are currently studying at the graduate level in various universities in the U.S. 

Mr. Roshan Khatri

Public Health, Acting Medical Superintendent and Medical Officer at Dolakha District Hospital in Jiri, Dolakha.
US Placement:  The University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

Mr. Sanjaya Mijar

Veterinary Epidemiology, Veterinary Officer in the District Livestock Services Office in Bardiya.
US Placement:  The University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri with a full tuition waiver. 

Ms. Bhrikuti Rai

Digital Journalism, Reporter at Panos South Asia in Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.
US Placement: 10-month program in digital journalism, Columbia University, New York.

Ms. Dipti Sherchan

Anthropology, Researcher at Democracy Resource Center – Nepal in Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur.
US Placement: The PhD program at University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois (with Fulbright funding for the first two years).

Ms. Sujana Timilsina

Civil Engineering, Hydropower Engineer in the Department of Electricity Development, Ministry of Energy, Kathmandu.
US Placement:  Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Fulbright Nepali Post-Doctoral Program Grantee 2017-2018

For more information, click here.

Dr. Purna Bhadur Nepali

Associate Professor, Master of Public Policy and Governance (MPG), Kathmandu University School of Management (KU SOM), Kathmandu.
Agrarian and Rural Studies: Public and Social Policy
Research Project:  “Reorienting Political Economy of Agrarian Transformation in Nepal with special focus on Marginalized Community.”
US Placement: Heller School Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Dr. Nepali is Research Fellow (non-resident), Harvard Kennedy School and Hutchins Center, Harvard University, US where he Is undertaking his research on Political Economy of Inclusive Agrarian Transformation: Comparative Analysis of Race-Caste of US and Nepal/South-Asia. He has recently completed his Fulbright Visiting Research Fellow in Global Development and Sustainability at Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, USA. His research was on Reorienting Political Economy of Agrarian Transformations, focusing on marginalized communities in Nepal. Previously he was the Regional Project Coordinator, Regional Food Security Governance Project in South Asia and East Asia (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar) at DanChurchAid (DCA), funded by the European Union. For the past decade he has researched land rights and food rights, and advocates for evidence-based policy and reform in South Asia from a civil society perspective. In addition, he teaches graduate courses for masters and PhD students as an adjunct professor at the Kathmandu University and the Agriculture and Forestry University in Nepal. As a lead editor of the Journal- New Angle, he recently edited a special issue of the peer reviewed article called Agrarian and Land Issues that can be found here:

Fulbright Specialist Program Grantees 2017

For more information, click here.

Karen S. Barton

Professor, Department of Geography & GIS, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado

Field: Geography & G.I.S.
Host Institution:  Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS), Dhumbarahi Marg, Kathmandu

Karen S. Barton, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Geography & GIS at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado in the U.S.  She is currently in Nepal on a Fulbright Specialist grant from December 7, 2018-January 11, 2019, at the invitation of the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) in Dhumbarahi Marg, Kathmandu.  

Karen Barton is a Professor of Geography & G.I.S. at the University of Northern Colorado. Her teaching and research focuses on community resilience and adaptation in marine and agricultural communities, global environmental change, and experiential learning. With support from the Council for American Overseas Research-National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Research Fellow program, she is completing book manuscript that explores the geographical dimensions of Africa’s greatest shipwreck, the Joola (pronounced Joo-la) ferry disaster of 2002. She is also collaborating with the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) on a comprehensive municipality mapping project in Kathmandu beginning December 2018. Dr. Barton’s has led five undergraduate study abroad courses during her time at UNC, and with support from the Hewit Institute, she has assembled a team of 10 university students to assist ICMS with surveys for the G.I.S. hazards project.

Mohan B. Dangi

Associate Professor, Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning, California State University (CSU), Fresno

Project: Teaching Solid Waste Engineering and Capacity Building at TU
Field: Environmental Science
Host Institution: Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu


Mohan B. Dangi, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and City & Regional Planning at California State University (CSU), Fresno. Currently a Fulbright Specialist at the Central Department of Environmental Science in Tribhuvan University, Nepal and Kathmandu Institute of Applied Sciences, Dr. Dangi is a Coleman Fellow at his home institution. Dr. Dangi, also a former Francois Fiessinger Fellow of Environmental Research and Education Foundation, was a Research Member at the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, the Johns Hopkins University from 2004 to 2009. He received AS in Physical Sciences with the highest honor of valedictorian from Central Wyoming College, BSc in Chemical and Petroleum Refining Engineering with a minor in Asian Studies and International Politics and MSc in Environmental Science and Engineering with high honors from the Colorado School of Mines, and MS and PhD in Geography and Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He is also a registered Professional (Environmental) Engineer (PE) in the state of Colorado. Among other recognitions, Dr. Dangi was awarded DISCOVERe fellowship and eScholar awards by CSU, Fresno, Phi Beta Delta National Student of the Year Award, American Meteorological Society Fellowship, and Trio Award in the US and Mahendra Vidhya Bhushan Gold Medal in Nepal. He has extensively studied and published work related to solid waste and environmental policy analysis covering Nepal. Dr. Dangi, a frequent visitor to the University of Wyoming and a Visiting Professor at the Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, has spent much of his career promoting educational exchanges and training programs in his native country of Nepal.  

Research Interests: Municipal Solid Waste, Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries, Environmental Policy Analysis, Environmental Change in the Himalayas, Surveying and Field-based Studies.

Mary Hubbard 

Project: Improving Teaching and Research Methodology in Geosciences
Field: Geology
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University

Melanie Diane McCauley        

Project: “Technology in Biology Education”
Field: Biology Eduation
Tribhuvan University Central Department of Biotechnology

Era Patrice Moulton     

Project title: “Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MCP)”
Field: Mental Health
Institute of Crisis Management Studies

James Harry Nye         

Project Title: “Survey of Nepali Archival resources in Kathmandu Palpa”
Field: Library Science
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2017

Abhisesh Acharya

Hometown: Balkot, Bhaktapur, Nepal

SLC: South Point Boarding High School, Buddhanagar, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

The OF program allowed me the possibility to seek my undergraduate education in the USA. It also introduced me to an excellent network of people who empowered me with their familiarities. In retrospect, I think the program was a remarkable opportunity for growth and I feel blessed and accomplished to have gotten the chance to partake in it. To new students, I would advise that you understand the timelines you are in, make realistic promises with yourselves based on your timelines, and stay congruent with those promises. Let the strengths of your applications and the results you achieve be a consequence of the promises you keep.


Aman Pandey

Hometown: Kamchanpur, Nepal

SLC: International Public School, Mahendranagar, Kanchanpur

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College Maitighar, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE



Sagar Ghimire

Hometown: Sankhuwasabha, Nepal

SLC: Arun Jyoti Vidhya Mandir, Jorpati, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Jaya Multiple Campus, Makalbari, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Claflin University, Orangeburg, USA

I consider OF program as a life changing opportunity.



Samit Basnet

Hometown: Tahachal, Kathmandu

SLC: Holy Vision Higher Secondary School, Tahachal, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, USA

Providing accurate, reliable and unbiased information to students applying to the US, USEF Nepal has been a huge part of me and my friends' US application journey. The OF program played a tremendous role educational career. It didn't only help us through every bits of the application process but also helped us make life-long connections.


Saroj Bhatta

Hometown: Dadeldhura, Nepal

SLC: Mountain English Boarding School, Dadeldhura

Grade 11 and 12: Trinity International Higher Secondary School, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC



Shiksha Pandey

Hometown: Chitwan, Nepal

SLC: Laxmi Higher Secondary School, Bharatpur, Chitwan

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, United States

The OF Program not only assisted me financially but also strengthened me personally. It was through the program that I got to meet a bunch of amazing people whom I am lucky to call my friends. And our ever welcoming advisors helped turn USEF-Nepal into my second home.
Future batches, I want to let you know that this program/this place will go beyond the college application process, so make the most out of it.

Sweta Shrestha

Hometown: Damak, Jhapa

SLC: Siddhartha Boarding Higher Secondary School, Damak, Jhapa

Grade 11 and 12: Orient College of Science and Management, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

I am going to the school in the United States, all thanks to the OF program. Without which I could have never met people that I have, never would have even learned about the opportunities either. USEF Nepal has been guiding students to successfully complete their application process and college researches since a long time. For this constant and unbiased support to all of us, I would like to thank our advisors.

Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistants Grantees 2016 - 2017

For more information, click here.

2016 - 2017 U.S. Fulbright English Teaching Assistants Grantees

Six grantees from the U.S. worked as English Teaching Assistants in government schools in Dhading and Nuwakot districts from April 2017 to January 2018.

Mr. Henry Ashworth

B.A. in Biochemistry and philosophy from Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Host: Shree Secondary School, Dhadhing.

I was lucky to be born and raised in Ventura, California, where I found a love for any activities that involve the wilderness or water. An early memory is sliding down a wave on my dad’s back, boogie boarding.  I recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, were I majored in biochemistry and philosophy. I worked there as an RA, CrossFit trainer, and chemistry tutor and volunteered on campus as an Emergency Medical Technician. Academically I have an interest in public health and medicine which was sparked by two uncles passing away from AIDS when I was a kid. Besides anything related to dihydrogen monoxide, I enjoy talking about food, Calvin & Hobbes, surreal and Russian literature, geology, and philosophy. Jokes, good or bad, are always of interest.

I took my first trip to Nepal this last January to see if I would like to pursue a Fulbright experience there. After my first few days of helping out in a school I knew I would love to immerse myself for another ten months.  Besides teaching English I will be working to implement a small-scale public health program, ideally working with NELTA.

Ms. Julia Broach

B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Visual Arts from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Host: Shree Chawdre Public School, Nuwakot.

I grew up in Wilton, Connecticut. I graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2015 with a major in anthropology and a minor in visual arts. I conducted my honors thesis on children’s notions of self and moral development. I led the JHU Amnesty International chapter, volunteered with the Healthy Community Initiative teaching nutrition classes to elementary school children in Baltimore, and participated in the JHU track and field and cross country teams. During my junior year, I studied abroad in Nepal through the Cornell Nepal Study Program. I worked for a month with an arts organization in Marpha Village and became very interested in the recent reforms made to the Nepali education system. After graduating, I worked at a high school in rural Japan for one year through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. I taught English Expression classes and led the high school English Speaking Society. I continued studying visual arts through printmaking and painting courses at a Shimane University affiliated program. I am interested in engaging students through creative arts. I plan to pursue my PhD in cultural anthropology.

Ms. Anna Cantrell

B.S. in Mathematics Education from the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho.
Host: Shree Bageshwori School, Nuwakot.

Hi all! My name is Anna Cantrell. I grew up on a ranch near a small Idaho town called Bruneau along the Snake River. My parents were, and still are, extremely hard workers. My brother, sister, and I had many freedoms and responsibilities as kids. Our weekends and summers were often full of long, chore-filled days, but we also had many unforgettable adventures both at home and in remote and beautiful locations within southern Idaho’s deserts and mountains. Along with my siblings, I was very involved with sports and extracurricular activities while in high school. I then attended the University of Idaho where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a math and English endorsement. After graduating, I moved to McCall, Idaho, a ski town located on Payette Lake, and taught for two years at Meadows Valley K-12 School in New Meadows, a neighboring town. The average grade size at Meadows Valley is only 10 students, so I taught a variety of grades and subjects and also coached volleyball and track. Most students are defined by a low socioeconomic status and have broken, unstable home-lives. I faced many challenging situations in those two years and, thus, was able to learn and grow professionally and personally. I also formed many unforgettable bonds with students and other staff members. I said goodbye to Meadows Valley with a heavy heart, but I am welcoming this new adventure with joy.

Ms. Catherine Klapheke

B.S. in Industrial and Labor relations and minor in Inequality Studies and Music from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Host: Bhairavi School, Nuwakot.

I am a native of Syracuse, NY, and currently reside in Washington, DC. I attended Cornell University where I studied Industrial and Labor Relations with minors in Inequality Studies and Music and concentrations in Labor Statistics and Disability Studies. My interests in teaching English, Nepali language and culture, the global disability rights movement, women’s rights come from my experiences during college. I interned as a Global Service Learning Scholar with the Government of India’s Society for the Elimination of Rural Poverty in Andhra Pradesh. I also researched barriers to employment for women and people with disabilities around the world through Cornell’s Employment and Disability Institute. Currently, I am the lead teacher of beginner and literacy English classes to refugees at Hogar Immigrant Services and also help manage the center’s weekend operations. I also have worked in HR Analytics in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the double bass in the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, hiking, and rock climbing. 

Mr. Max Silverman

B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Sociology, Politics, and Education) from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.
Host: Ranabhubaneswori Secondary School, Nuwakot.

Max Silverman graduated from Bates College with Interdisciplinary Studies major in Sociology, Politics and Education. His community work has centered around issues of educational injustice and mental health activism. He developed and coordinated the Auburn College Access Mentor Program for two semesters, and has worked as educational support for marginalized students in aspirations programs, academic support programs, and classrooms throughout Maine and New York. He founded and led Bates’ chapter of mental health organizing and advocacy group Active Minds, delivering a TEDx talk on mental health and public perception. He wrote a community-based education senior thesis on masculinity, depression, and access to mental health supports among boys in high school and, in tandem with this work, he taught 11th grade English as a year-long student teacher at Lewiston High School. This coming spring, he will embark on a Fulbright ETA grant to Nepal. In the interim, he is currently interning with the Youth Mental Health Project and working as a part-time teacher in Maine.

Ms. Lucia Zerner

B.A. in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Pitzer College, California. 
Host: Satyawati school, Dhadhing.

Although I was born in China, I grew up in New York City and think of it as home. After finishing high school I moved to Southern California and studied Anthropology and Asian Studies. Following undergraduate school I returned to the East coast to pursue my interests in education and youth programing. I look forward to coming to Nepal in the Spring as a Fulbright ETA!

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2016

Bikash Thapa Magar

Hometown: Arghakhanchi, Nepal

SLC: Vidhya Vinod Secondary School, Arghakhanchi

Grade 11 and 12: Xavier Academy HSS, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Youngstown State University, Youngstown-Ohio, USA

OF program opened a gateway for me to the expensive US college application system and provided with all the supports and services. Being professional, time management, and valuing own work are some things I learned from the program. Advices: Explore a lot of colleges & communicate with them as much as you can-don't hesitate to tell your stories; don't focus only on top colleges.

Nisha Gupta


SLC: Shree Sublal Bhagwat Higher Secondary School, Rautahat

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Nobel College, Pokhara University, Sinamangal, Kathmandu

OF program was the only thing that helped me to step for what I had dreamed of. I would like to thank USEF-Nepal for assisting me to believe that anyone can dream big and achieve more as the financial assistance, sessions and guidance is just as awesome as the USEF-Nepal Family. To the students applying to the USA, do not hesitate to ask for any help and stay connected to USEF-Nepal. Good Luck!!

Rajiv Basnet


SLC: Aankura English Secondary Boarding School, Dolakha

Grade 11 and 12: Orient College of Science and Management, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Caldwell University, New Jersey, USA

I could benefit from the program not only because it funded my standardized tests and application fees, but also because it exposed me to a multitude of talented people from different backgrounds, different places, exactly like what one would expect at college. My transition from high school to college happened to be super easy because of trouble-free, extended access to specially prepared OF Group Sessions as well as to other advising and Get-Inspired Sessions that the USEF-Nepal offers. Also, the Writing Course, of course, helped me understand different formats and concepts of writing long before I even attended college. I feel blessed and honored to be a part of the OF Family and I am extremely thankful to the USEF and our advisers for their efforts, guidance and affection towards me, including thousands of other students, who were and are in eager anticipation for a bright future. My suggestion to new OF students would be to make the best use of all the resources available at USEF, be in contact with ex-OF students and advisers, get involved and, of course, start everything early. The OF Program is where the wonderful journey of our career starts.

Fulbright U.S. English Teaching Assistants Grantees 2015

Ms. Megan E. McCarroll

During my Fulbright placement, I taught in Chapagaun, Lalitpur. Having studied teacher education at my university, I was excited to put training into practice. I focused on whole-class management strategies, routine and stability, and arts and movement. I also taught a couple of sessions for teachers on classroom management.

The most exciting part of my work was with my co-teacher. She returned from maternity leave five months into my grant, and we worked together to adapt our teaching strategies and learn from each other’s strengths. It meant a lot to visit two years later and see how she’d incorporated teaching strategies I’d brought in and adapted them to make them her own.

In addition, my host family was integral to my experience. Several of my favorite memories involve making masala tea during rainy monsoon afternoons and learning how to sing Nepali songs. They taught me lessons in patience, humility, and vulnerability. I’m grateful to have a strong relationship with them that will last for a very long time. 

After Fulbright, I taught third and then fourth grade at a local school in Portland, Oregon. I returned to Nepal in the summer of 2018 to work with the Marpha Foundation as a Teaching Fellow in Lower Mustang. Afterwards, I flew from Nepal to England to start Master’s in Comparative and International Education at Oxford, where I am currently a student. My dissertation examines the role of schools and teachers in supporting trauma-impacted students.

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2015

Aashwin Basnet

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: Alpine Academy, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Trinity International College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Trinity College, Hartford, CT, USA

PhD: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Major benefit: Wonderful advising sessions on US college applications and equally helpful writing sessions with Mr. Smart.
Things I learned: How to make myself a resourceful member and an active OF alum. The importance of co-operation among OF students.
What I feel for USEF-Nepal and the OF program: Life changing experience. Met fantastic people.
Comments: Make the best use of available resources. Getting admission into top US colleges/universities is no longer a distant/impossible dream.

Febin Thapa Magar

Grade 11 and 12: Xavier International College,Kathmandu

Bachelor's: New York University, Abu dhabi, UAE



Manita Rana Magar

Hometown: Solukhumbu, Nepal

SLC: Manjari Secondary school, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Orient college of Science and Management, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Soka University of America, Aliso Vijeo, CA, USA

Sanju Koirala

Hometown: Pokhara, Kaski

SLC: Motherland Higher Secondary School, Pokhara, Kaski

Grade 11 and 12: SOS Hermann Gmeiner School, Pokhara, Kaski

Bachelor's: Hamilton College, Clinton, NY USA

OF program effectively helped me navigate the college application process and provided a big financial help while doing so. Through this program, I learned to be independent in every aspect of my life. I will always be grateful towards the program and the USEF family. Make the best out of this opportunity, it is one of those that changes lives.

Opportunity Funds Grantees 2014

Mahesh Kushwaha

Hometown: Bara, Nepal

SLC: Marvelos English Boarding School, Maitidevi, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Xavier International College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, California, USA

As a financially disadvantage student coming from a small village, I got the opportunity to take the standardized tests and apply for colleges as an OF member. Apart from the financial assistance, our kind and hardworking mentors helped me not only prepare a strong application but also a smoother transition to a completely new country and new academic environment. I shall forever be grateful for my fellow OF mates and the advisors for always being so supportive throughout the program and even now.


Opportunity Funds Grantees 2013

Ashish Gauli

ChangeHealthcare/ Cloud Operation Engineer

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: EPES, Lamjung

Grade 11 and 12: AJW, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Fisk University, Nashville, USA

Deepika Joshi

Business Oxygen Pvt. Ltd./ Investment Officer

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: Stepping Stone English School,Dhangadhi, Kailali

Grade 11 and 12: Pentagon International College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu

OF program helped me to come out of my comfort zone and be more inclusive. The advice, guidance and support that I received from the advisors during the program period and afterwards were genuine and apt. It feels great to be a part of OF network where I get an opportunity to interact with brilliant individuals.

Kabita Karki

Zenith Technologies/ Automation Engineer

Hometown: Birgunj

SLC: Miniland Secondary School, Birgunj, Parsa

Grade 11 and 12: Saipal Academy, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Lehigh University, Bethlehem, USA

The OF Program helped me to pave the path to pursue my education at a world class university. Other than valuable college application information, I very much cherish the tremendous amount of support that I received from the USEF advisors during the OF program. My suggestion to current OF Students would be to focus on application essay and college research.

Shree Raj Shrestha

Amazon/ Software Development Engineer

Hometoen: Kathmandu

SLC: Everest Higher Secondary Boarding School, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Orient College of Science and Management, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, USA

OF Program provided me the necessary finances and guidance, and a community, for my applications to the United States. I feel grateful toward USEF-Nepal, and am here to help in any ways possible in the past, the present and the future.


Sujil Maharjan

Accenture/ Data Engineer

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: Adarsha Vidya Mandir, Lalitpur

Grade 11 and 12: Adarsha Vidya Mandir, Lalitpur

Bachelor's: Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ. USA

It was a great opportunity to be a part of OF program as it helped me through the entire college application process. I learned a lot about studying abroad, built some great friendship and a family. I fee very positive and grateful towards the program.


Opportunity Funds Grantees 2012

Asmod Karki

Hometown: Ramechhap

SLC: Bagmat Boarding School, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: St. Xavier's college, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Princeton University, Princeton, USA

Master's: Peking University, Beijing, China

First, the program helped me apply to US colleges. Later, I've been relying on the network for both professional and personal help. Advice: There's a lot of potential in the group. Tap into it!

Rijan Karkee

Hometown:  Gathaghar, Bhaktapur

SLC: Budhanilakantha Sec School, Biratnagar and Morange

Grade 11 and 12: Nobel Academy, Kathmandu

Bachelor's: Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal

Master's: Missouri State University, Springfield, MO,USA

PhD: University of California, Merced, Merced ,CA ,USA

Helped me to get my degree and I am very thankful to USEF

Sarjan Shrestha

Facebook/ Software Engineer

Hometown: Kathmandu

SLC: Valley View School, Kathmandu

Grade 11 and 12: Kings College, Kathmandu

Bachelor's : Clark University, Worcester, USA



Humphrey Fellows, 1988-2016

Humphrey Alumni (A partial list)

For more information, click here.

Humphrey Fellows 2019-2020

Humphrey Fellows 2018-2019

Humphrey Fellows 2017-2018

Sharada Jnawali

Health and Nutrition
Cornell University, 1988-1989

Sharada Jnawali with over 30 years of experience on development field, served as Asian Development Bank's Peace Building Advisor in Nepal from 2010 to 2017, under ADB's technical assistance projects on fragile and conflict-affected situations. Prior to this, she worked with USAID/Nepal as a Development Program Specialist for over 10 years with program planning, monitoring and project management roles. Her other social engagements remain Institutional Advisor to Shruti, a non-profit working for people with hard of hearing. She has also been mentoring young graduates on development works and career goals. She is actively engaged in promoting preventive health though traditional foods and spices. Ms. Jnawali has Masters’ Degree in Economics from Nepal and development related training on gender and social inclusion, institution building, women in management, women leadership. Currently, she is working as an independent consultant in Nepal. She has been serving as an Executive

Member and Treasurer of Nepal Association of Humphrey Fellows (NAHF)

between 2014 to 2019. She has been granted the professional development award twice to date--(1) to visit NGOs in Thailand to network for work related to reproductive health in 1999 (2) to attend a seminar on 'peace and security' in Geneva in 2011.

Usha Nepal

Planning and Resource Management
Cornell University, 1989-1990

After gaining ample knowledge on human resource through the humphrey fellowship,my return to my country helped me serve the same purpose as the first lady CDO of Nepal. From running east to west in the  welcoming Himalayas to the rural terai, my 12 years of dedicated service,did carve the path for future women to work for the same afterwhich I worked at the Ministry of Home Affairs for two fruitful years, as a Joint Secretary to safeguard the lives of refugees and disaster victims.Then,being retired as the civil servant from Nepal government, the title of the first lady election commissioner lay in store for me wherein after conducting a successful election, my tenure ended  after 2 and a half years of service due to age factor; but the experiences I acquired by impementing the knowledge I got to learn as the Humphrey Fellow ever inspires and motivates me.

Bina Pradhan

Planning and Resource Management
Cornell University, 1990-1991

Bina Pradhan holds a Ph.D. in Population and Development (PDP) from Cornell University with a multidisciplinary background in rural sociology, economics, gender studies, anthropology and international development. She is an independent researcher, Socio-economist and Gender Specialist, affiliated to Federation of Business and Professional Women, Nepal (FBPWN), a non-profit organization working for gender equality and women's empowerment. As Adviser to the Federation, her work focuses on promotion of women in enterprise development and trade, post earthquake community reconstruction, and rebuilding people’s lives and livelihood with sustainability.

She also serves in the Executive Board of SEN (Sustainable Energy Nepal), a private organization committed to promotion of alternative energy for sustainable development. 

As independent researcher, she is currently pursuing research on gender and macroeconomics and gender accounting for women’s care work and their contributions to the economy, proactively promoting reproductive health and rights of women, and post conflict and post earthquake transformation for gender and social equality and women’s economic empowerment.

Kiran Paudel Kshetri

Rutgers State University of New Jersey, 1995-1996
Technology Policy and Management

Kiran is the first female Electronics and Communication Engineer of Nepal. She has a Masters degree in Public administration and a PhD degree in Economics.

She has received Mahendra Bidya Bhushan “Ka” (Gold Medal) from his late Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, a certificate of appreciation from Mr. William J. Clinton, the then President of United States and Nepal Airline’s Dirga Sewa Padak (Gold Medal) from Mr. Sharad Singh Bhandari, the then Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. She had a distinguished career at Nepal Airline where she attained the highest possible position of Deputy Managing Director Technical.

Sheelu Giri

Economic Development/ Finance and Banking
Boston University, 1997-1998

Sheelu has fifteen years of experience in Project Accounting & Project Administration. She had worked as Project Accountant at Jacobs Engineering Groups Inc. She managed financial, contractual and compliance aspects of commercial and public projects for large fast paced global professional Engineering & Architectural Company.

Kavita Sherchan

Communications/ Journalism
University of Maryland, College Park, 2000-2001

Kavita Sherchan is a Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist at Manila, Philippines. She has more than 15 years of experience working in South East and South Asia in internal and external communications, strategies and action plans, knowledge management, event coordination, media partnerships, managing publications process, secretariat management and project management.

Mr. Kishore Thapa

Urban and Regional Planning,
Rutgers University, 2002

Mr. Kishore Thapa joined the civil service in Nepal in 1983, and served the nation as a technical personnel for 32 years before retiring in 2014.  He served as the Secretary for the Government of Nepal in various ministries, including the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism and Civil aviation, Election Commission and Water and Energy Commission.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Master’s degree in Urban Planning with specialization in Housing.  He studied urban redevelopment and affordable housing in the United States as a Humphrey Fellow.

Immediately after the devastating earthquake on April 25, 2015, he was appointed as the Senior Adviser to the National Planning Commission for preparing the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and drafting the Post-Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Policy.  The Government of Nepal also appointed him as an Expert Member in the Steering Committee of National Reconstruction Authority, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Currently he is the Chairman of SAARC Association of Architects (SAARCH), and  the Immediate Past President of Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA).  He has taken part in the civil movement for cleaning the Bagmati and its tributaries in Kathmandu Valley since the first day of the movement.  He is affiliated to Kathmandu University and Purbanchal University as a member of Academic Council.

He was a candidate for the post of Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan city in the last local election.  Currently he is a Central Committee Member of Bibeksheel Sajha Party.

Rojee Kattel

Communications/ Journalism
University of Missouri-Columbia, 2002-2003

Rojee works as a Political Specialist at US Embassy, Kathmandu. She was in the supervisory board in BachiAmaa Foundation.

Nabina Pradhan Shrestha

Economic Development/ Finance and Banking
Michigan State University, 2003-2004

Ms. Nabina Shrestha is a dedicated professional in the field of development which is reflected in her work with the UN. She has worked as a programme analyst in the Poverty and Inclusion unit in Nepal under the direct supervision of the Assistant Country Director.  As National Programme Analyst in Aarogya Foundation she is responsible for managing two full-fledged programmes, Micro-enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP), Public-Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE).

Nabina is also responsible for another programme –Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment which aims at improving basic services to the urban poor by promoting partnerships between public and private sectors. She has been closely working with the Government, Private sector and other NGOs to implement this programme since 2006. She is working to increase the visibility of these, by sending inputs about the projects achievements to Nepal Newsletter and Regional and HQ publications and by presenting in national, regional and international seminars/conferences.

Bindra Hada

Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2005-2006

Bindra is the first ever female director general of the Department of Commerce. Currently, she is working as a permanent secretary and Hon'ble member of Public Service Commission Nepal.

Sharada Jnawali

Health and Nutrition
Cornell University, 1988-1989

Sharada Jnawali with over 30 years of experience on development field, served as Asian Development Bank's Peace Building Advisor in Nepal from 2010 to 2017, under ADB's technical assistance projects on fragile and conflict-affected situations. Prior to this, she worked with USAID/Nepal as a Development Program Specialist for over 10 years with program planning, monitoring and project management roles. Her other social engagements remain Institutional Advisor to Shruti, a non-profit working for people with hard of hearing. She has also been mentoring young graduates on development works and career goals. She is actively engaged in promoting preventive health though traditional foods and spices. Ms. Jnawali has Masters’ Degree in Economics from Nepal and development related training on gender and social inclusion, institution building, women in management, women leadership. Currently, she is working as an independent consultant in Nepal. She has been serving as an Executive Member and Treasurer of Nepal Association of Humphrey Fellows (NAHF) between 2014 to 2019. She has been granted the professional development award twice to date--(1) to visit NGOs in Thailand to network for work related to reproductive health in 1999 (2) to attend a seminar on 'peace and security' in Geneva in 2011.

Kiran Paudel Kshetri

Technology Policy and Management
Rutgers State University of New Jersey, 1995-1996

Kiran is the first female Electronics and Communication Engineer of Nepal. She has a Masters degree in Public administration and a PhD degree in Economics. She has received Mahendra Bidya Bhushan “Ka” (Gold Medal) from his late Majesty King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah, a certificate of appreciation from Mr. William J. Clinton, the then President of United States and Nepal Airline’s Dirga Sewa Padak (Gold Medal) from Mr. Sharad Singh Bhandari, the then Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation. She had a distinguished career at Nepal Airline where she attained the highest possible position of Deputy Managing Director Technical.

Kavita Sherchan

Communications/ Journalism
University of Maryland, College Park, 2000-2001

Kavita Sherchan is a Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist at Manila, Philippines. She has more than 15 years of experience working in South East and South Asia in internal and external communications, strategies and action plans, knowledge management, event coordination, media partnerships, managing publications process, secretariat management and project management.

Dyuti Baral

Human Resource Management
University of Washington, 2008-2009

Dyuti Baral has been associated with the development sector for over a decade and has held leadership posts in international development organizations such as WORLD EDUCATION as a coordinator for a Nepal based US AID project on Girls & Women's Education for 2 years and as a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist for a Nepal based US Department of Labor project on Child Labor Elimination for more than 3 years. Baral also worked as an Organizational Development and Human Resource Manager for more than 7 years for the Nepal Country Program at ACTIONAID.

Meena Kunwar Adhikari

Natural Resources, Environmental Policy and Climate Change
University of California, Davis, 2008-2009

Ms. Kunwar graduated in Forestry from Tribhuvan University and holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Australian National University. She has ten years of experience working with different forestry, watershed and community development programs. She is currently the Terai Program Coordinator of the Livelihoods and Forestry Program. Ms. Kunwar has designed and initiated many projects such as decentralized forest sector planning, public land management, enterprise development and social mobilization for Terai. As a Humphrey Fellow, Ms. Kunwar wanted to enhance her knowledge in natural resource management policy and planning, focusing on economic development.

Mandip Rai

Agricultural and Rural Development
University of California, Davis, 2009-2010

Mr. Rai received his M.S. in Agricultural Development Economics in 2001 from Reading University, UK. He is currently serving the government of Nepal as an Agricultural Economist, with over a decade of experience working in the field of agriculture and rural development. He has implemented programs in very remote districts of his country with local farmers and has also worked in central offices managing projects and drafting agricultural policies. As a Humphrey Fellow, Mr. Rai wants to brush up his knowledge in the areas of economic agricultural development in developing nations, project management and public policy.

Bikash Rai

Int'l Agricultural and Rural Development
Cornell University, 2009-2010

For many years, Mr. Rai was executive director of the Jana Sawa Samaj/Nepal (Public Welfare Society/Nepal) in Jalpa, Khotang. He was elected ward chairmen.

Sarmila Shrestha

HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention
Emory University, 2009-2010

Ms. Shrestha is a Program Manager for Women Acting Together for Change in Kathmandu, Nepal. She manages primary health care programs, comprehensive HIV/AIDS services, and women’s empowerment programs. In 2006 she was awarded the “Woman of the Year” award by Soroptimist International for her dedication to the poor and marginalized.

She will focus her Humphrey Program on developing her skills in behavioral change communication and in the development, management, and implementation of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention and care programs.

Manju Thapa Magar

Human Resource Management
Michigan State University, 2009-2010

Ms. Thapa Magar is gender equality and social inclusion specialist for the Local Governance and Community Development Program in the Ministry of Local Development in Nepal. She develops gender equality and social inclusion curriculum and policies to identify suitable, cost-effective institutional mechanisms for democratic human resource management. She is a chairperson of a nongovernmental organization. During her Humphrey year, Magar will study different human resource approaches to create policy that reflects and respects the diversity of Nepal, along with gaining knowledge to develop manuals and guidelines to reorient Nepal’s human resource approach.

Ganga Ram Gautam

Teaching of English as a Foreign Language
Boston University, 2010-2011

Mr. Ganga Ram Gautam, an Associate Professor at Tribhuvan University in Nepal, trains English teachers at all levels. His main responsibilities include teaching, supervising research and evaluating student work. As a Member of the Subject Committee, he contributes to the revision and dissemination of B. Ed. and M. Ed. curricula in English Education throughout Nepal. Ganga is the President of the Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association, which he co-founded in 1992. He organizes national and international conferences and capacity building workshops for the NELTA trainers. In this role, he often collaborates with the Ministry of Education, the US Embassy, the British Council and other national and international ELT associations. Ganga holds a M.Ed. in English Education from Tribhuvan University in Nepal and an MA in ELT from Lancaster University in the UK. He has presented and participated in a number of workshops, seminars and conferences in Nepal and abroad.

Ramhari Lamichhane

Educational Administration, Planning and Policy
Vanderbilt University, 2010-2011

Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane is the first Nepali and the 11th Director General of CPSC. Currently, he is the President of Asia Pacific Accreditation and Certification Commission (APACC). He was appointed by the Governing Board on June 23, 2016. He is a certified project assessor, experienced project manager, TVET Expert, and a seasoned manager at a policy level.

Dr. Ramhari has served as Member Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT) in Kathmandu, Nepal (2013-2016) prior to his appointment as CPSC Director General. He was involved in the development of a National TVET Policy in Nepal, as well as the development and implementation of TVET programs. Experiences of 25 years in TVET sector in different positions, as an Instructor, Principal, Program Coordinator, Project Manager and Director, contributed to make him CEO of CTEVT. In addition to TVET work, he taught MBA student for 15 years as a part time Faculty of White House College, Purwanchal University, Nepal.

Aashish Sinha

Substance Abuse Education, Treatment and Prevention
Johns Hopkins University, 2010-2011

Kriti Thapa

Trafficking in Persons, Policy and Prevention
University of Minnesota, 2010-2011

Mina Aryal

Economic Development/ Finance and Banking
Michigan State University, 2011-2012

Sanjaya Neupane

Communications/ Journalism
University of Maryland, College Park, 2011- 2012

Mr. Neupane is the chief of the business and economics bureau for Kantipur, Nepal’s national daily. During more than a decade-long journalism career, he has published more than 500 articles on politics, business, corruption and economic reform. Many of his stories have forced the government to initiate reforms and many people involved in corruptions have been exposed and penalized. He is a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at the University of Maryland, Phillip Merrill College of Journalism.

Brahamanand Thakur

Technology Policy and Management
Syracuse University, 2011-2012

Pooja Sharma

Technology Policy and Management
University of Washington, 2011-2012

Maina Dhital

Agricultural and Rural Development
Cornell University, 2012-2013

Maina Dhital is a journalist for the Kathmandu Post, and continues to provide great media coverage for the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat/BGRI.

Kalpana Shrestha

Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration
University of Minnesota, 2012-2013

Ms. Kalpana Shrestha is the Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies for the Government of Nepal. She is responsible for dealing with trade related issues, especially in regards to India and China in order to facilitate trade promotion and policy formation. Previously she worked in the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and in the Ministry of General Administration. Her main goal is to include the concerns of citizens in public policy and to lessen the gap between policy and implementation. She earned her master degrees in international studies (development cooperation) from Ewha Womans University (Seoul, Korea), and in public administration from Public Administration Campus and in sociology from Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, both part of Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu, Nepal). During her fellowship year, Ms. Shrestha will focus on public policy analysis and policy formulation using the perspective of women’s empowerment, gender equality, and social inclusion. She also will focus on human resource management.

Hari Paudel

Trafficking in Persons Policy and Prevention
University of Minnesota, 2012-2013

Dr. Hari Paudel is the Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in the Government of Nepal. He is responsible for initiating and coordinating the formulation of policies and plans to combat human trafficking as well as the formulation and implementation of policies related to women and children. He has a total of 25 years of experience in the government sector and has worked in diverse areas from public sector reform to development strategies. He earned a doctorate in development studies from University of Bonn (Germany) and a master degree in public administration from the University of Bergen (Norway). Additionally, he has master degrees in political science and public administration and a bachelor degree in law and education from Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu, Nepal). During his fellowship year Dr. Paudel will focus on trafficking in persons, policy and prevention.

Tika Ram Thapa

Agricultural and Rural Development
University of California, Davis, 2012-2013

Mr. Thapa received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Master’s degree in Training in Rural Agriculture and Teaching. He has 20 years of experience as an Agriculture Extension Officer, Senior Agriculture Development Officer and Chief Agriculture Training Officer in various districts of the Far-western Development Region of Nepal. Mr. Thapa has worked with farmer groups to disseminate appropriate agricultural technologies and has hands-on practical experience in planning, organizing and implementing training programs for frontline agriculture extension workers and leader farmers. He is responsible for coordinating agricultural extension projects at the district level and also for running programs in partnership with other related governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Brijesh Sharma

Technology Policy and Management
University of Washington, 2012-2013

Padma Prasad Pandey

Law and Human Rights
American University, 2013-2014

Padma Prasad Pandey is a joint government attorney for the Office of the Attorney General in Nepal. In this capacity he represents the government in court cases. Before that he worked as a legal officer for two government corporations. Pandey has a rich education with a bachelor’s degree in law and a master’s degree in public administration, both from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He also holds a Masters of Law from University of Pune, India. Pandey is interested in policymaking and problem-solving in the field of law and human rights. He is passionate about restructuring legal frameworks and rebuilding institutions so that constitutionalism, rule of law and human rights succeed in his home of Nepal.

Sandhya Basini Sitaula

Trafficking in Persons Policy and Prevention
University of Minnesota, 2013-2014

Ms. Sitoula is a Program Coordinator at the Center for Legal Research and Resource Development, a national level NGO in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her responsibilities include providing capacity building training to human trafficking protection actors and encouraging stakeholders to adopt a victim-centered approach to trafficking cases. She conducts research on trafficking issues, trains organizational field staff and other concerned stakeholders, and supervises Trafficking in Person (TIP) cases. Ms. Sitoula received her LL.B in Jurisprudence and Human Rights Law from the Kathmandu School of Law and went on to receive a Master of Laws in Human Rights and Gender Justice from the same institution. She is an Executive Member of the Human Rights Committee of the Kathmandu District Court Bar Association. As a Humphrey Fellow, Ms. Sitoula hopes to explore best practices for combatting human trafficking with particular attention to the areas of advocacy, law enforcement, and prosecution, as well as strategies and mechanisms for victim and witness protection.

Sami Lama

HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention
Emory University, 2014-2015

Ms. Lama works in a faculty role for the College of Nursing at B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) in Dharan, Nepal where she supervises nursing students in their hospital and community nursing practicum. She has several years of nursing and teaching experience in both general and psychiatric nursing. She has been is involved in the development of nursing programs for the College of Nursing at BPKIHS University and took responsibility for initiating the Centre for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) and the Anti-Retroviral Clinic at BPKIHS. Ms. Lama’s leadership skills include management positions in nursing education and nursing service at BPKIHS. During her Fellowship, Mrs. Lama will focus on HIV/AIDS policy and prevention. Her specific interest is to design effective and holistic community-oriented HIV prevention programs focused on stigma reduction and peer education.

Lila Devi Ojha

Communications/ Journalism
Arizona State University, 2014-2015

Lila Devi Ojha Dhakal is editor-in-chief and publisher for the Byapar (Business) Weekly newspaper. She has been editing and publishing contemporary business, economic and market product news in Nepal since 2010. She also has led various programs on economic issues in her country. Dhakal earned her master’s degree in management and also studied journalism in college. During her Humphrey year, she wants to develop technological skills and learn best practices in reporting, writing and editing as well as public relations and media management strategies.

Kamal Pokhrel Sharma

Educational Administration, Planning and Policy
Pennsylvania State University, 2014-2015

Krishna Hari Puskar

Human Resource Management
Michigan State University, 2014-2015

Krishna Hari Pushkar is a Joint Secretary of the Nepal Government. Mr. Pushkar has special expertise in areas such as good governance, public administration, international labor migration, immigration, trafficking control, conflict management, security affairs, disaster management and international relations. He is pursuing his Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship in the United Sates and is now associated with Michigan State University.

Rajneesh Bhandari

Arizona State University, 2015-2016

Rajneesh Bhandari is an independent multimedia journalist, investigative reporter, and filmmaker currently based in Kathmandu and South Asia.

His multimedia work on different issues have appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic, Aljazeera, AJ+, BBC Reel, Contrast VR, NPR, Fusion, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times and other outlets as well. He has worked as the Multimedia Editor of European Journalism Center supported news website and data/multimedia editor for the Journalists for Transparency’s investigative reporting website Rajneesh worked at Nepal’s top Kantipur Television Network (KTV) for seven years before moving to independent journalism. His best-known investigative story that was aired on KTV showed how some of the lawmakers were misusing their diplomatic passports. That story won him an award the KTV. He studied investigative reporting, data journalism and documentary filmmaking at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He graduated in Multimedia Journalism from Ateneo De Manila University and has earned a Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism and Political Science from Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

Buddhi Ram Chaudhary Tharu

Agricultural and Rural Development
University of California, Davis, 2015-2016

Mr. Chaudhary began his professional development work in 2000. He has worked for more than 10 years in various positions in national and international organizations in Nepal such as ANSAB, HELVETAS and FIAN Nepal. Most recently, he worked for Local Governance and Community Development Program (LGCDP) in UNDP Nepal as a Livelihood and Local Economic Development Expert. He has managed externally funded projects by the European Union (EU) and Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation (Norad), Bread for the World and Misereor/Germany. He has combined experience of socio-economic and right based approaches of development. Mr. Chaudhary has a Master’s degree in Agriculture from Nepal and has diversified his academic field by pursuing an M.A. in Rural Development from Japan with a scholarship from the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP). He has published three journal articles and one book as principal author in addition to a training manual of riverbed vegetable farming as co-author and a couple of popular articles in local and national newspapers. He is the founding member of People Centered Development Forum and Sarbodaya Nepal – NGOs working in the field of education and empowerment of farmers and poor people in Nepal.

Khim Prasad Ghale

University of Maryland - College Park, 2015-2016

Sanjeeb Baral

Natural Resources, Environmental Policy and Climate Change
University of California, Davis, 2016-2017

Shristi Raj Bhandari

University of Maryland - College Park, 2016-2017

Shristi Rajbhandari is a fellow with the prestigious Hubert Humphrey Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Association.  Shristi’s fellowship placement is at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and she recently accepted the NESA Center’s invitation to the Silk Road Future Leaders one week seminar ‘Leadership in Times of Transition.’

Shristi is a perfect fit for quasi-governmental Hubert Humphrey Program. The 10 month program allows mid-career professionals with 5+ years of experience, including 160 fellows from 93 countries this year, an opportunity to excel and develop their professional skills as well as continue their higher-level education.  Shristi has dedicated her coursework at the University of Maryland to study the integration of digital media and multimedia data-driven journalism. Shristi’s work incorporates infographics and videos with other platforms in order to improve the way stories are told.

Shristi hopes to become a role-model for the under-privileged and marginalized youth in Nepal who otherwise would not aspire to positions of leadership in their communities.

USEF - Nepal
PO Box: 380
Gyaneswor, Kathmandu

Phone: +977 1 4444779, 4444780
Fax: +977 1 4410881