Meet Our New Humphrey Fellows


  • WHAT: UC Davis' Humphrey Fellows will introduce themselves and give presentations on agriculture, rural development, natural resource management and climate change.
  • WHEN: 1:30-3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
  • WHERE: Multipurpose room, UC Davis International Center (new building on California Avenue, just off Russell Boulevard)
  • ADMISSION: Free and open to the public
  • MORE INFORMATION: Contact Nikki Grey Rutamu by email.

Our new Humphrey Fellows, 11 midcareer professionals from around the world, will formally introduce themselves to the campus community from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. this Friday (Sept. 30).

During this public forum, the fellows will talk about how they will use their time at UC Davis to help them in their work back home in the fields of natural resources, agriculture and environmental science.

The fellows arrived in August, welcomed by the Office of Global Affairs in coordination with International House Davis.

President Jimmy Carter established the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in 1978 in honor of the late vice president and senator who had been a longtime advocate of international cooperation and understanding.


Our new fellows and their home countries:

  • Khush Bakht Aalia, Pakistan
  • Navid Ghajarnia, Iran
  • Adnane Labbaci, Morocco
  • Itzel Morales Lagunes, Mexico
  • Wilde Rosny Ngalekassaga, Gabon
  • Seraphin Niyonsenga, Rwanda
  • Pavarot Noranarttragoon, Thailand
  • Tarek Rabai, Tunisia
  • Samaneh Seifollahi Aghmiuni, Iran
  • Alla Sushko, Belarus
  • Jing Xiao, China

The program draws its participants — midcareer professionals — from designated countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Eurasia. The fellows spend 10 months at universities across the U.S.

UC Davis has been hosting fellows since 1986 — a total of more than 250 from nearly 100 countries to date.

This year's fellows are from Belarus, China, Gabon, Iran, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, Thailand and Tunisia. Among the fellows, Adnane Labacciof plans to return home, temporarily, in November for a U.N. climate change conference — the 22nd meeting of the Conference of the Parties — hosted by his country, Morocco.

Other fellows include two from Iran who work in water management; an environmental jurist from the coastal Central African country of Gabon, who, as a Humphrey Fellow, aims to assess U.S. wildlife and forest management systems to replicate relevant outcomes in his country; and a biochemical engineer from Mexico, whose interests as a Humphrey Fellow extend to projects related to waste management, natural resources conservation and community empowerment to mitigate climate change. See all the fellows’ biographies.

Getting acquainted

The fellows have been getting acquainted with the university and the Davis community, attending the Davis Farmers Market, for example, and helping with the annual Putah Creek cleanup and a GRID Alternatives solar installation. They also have been attending professional skills training in business writing and presentations, at UC Davis Extension’s Center for International Education.

You can see the fellows at International Festival Davis, Oct. 2, in the fashion show and flag parade. Organizers said the fellows look forward to additional cultural, social, professional and community service opportunities, say, as speakers or volunteers, throughout the year. See contact information in the "At a Glance" box above.

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