Tulsa Selected for Fellows Program
By DEWEY F. BARTLETT JR.
Mayor, City of Tulsa
During the month of April, two international fellows from China and Thailand spent two weeks in Tulsa, as they participated in the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Professional Fellows Program.
I had the great pleasure of meeting the fellows who traveled to Tulsa – Yunfeng Deng, the general director of City Administration and Law Enforcement for Qingdao, China, and Trinnawat Suwanprik, engineer, sanitary researcher and project coordinator for Sustainable Urban Tourism with Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Through this program, professionals received hands-on experience in public and private organizations that helps expand networks of international cooperation on critical issues.
While in Tulsa, both fellows shadowed city department representatives in their same job fields, toured numerous city facilities, participated in a police ride-along and saw first-hand how the city handles a variety of services to the citizens of Tulsa. The fellows also completed a Communications Service Review project, which was provided to the communications dept. to help increase community awareness and engagement in various city programs and services.
The international exchange program was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and in 2013, more than 400 foreign fellows, including legislators, journalists, entrepreneurs, community activists and government officials traveled to the United States under the Professional Fellows Program.
In return, more than 300 American participants will take part in the reciprocal fellowship program overseas this year. The Professional Fellows Program will be providing professional development opportunities to up-and-coming leaders in the fields of legislative process and governance, media and economic empowerment.
Selected from the city of Tulsa is Michelle Allen, senior marketing & media relations officer with the communications dept., who is planning to travel to Thailand in July. The trip is being paid for by the U.S. Dept. of State and the International City Managers Association ().
The city of Tulsa is extremely proud to have been chosen as a sponsor city for this program that provided tremendous insight from our Chinese and Thai fellows. We look forward to working with both gentlemen in the future as we continue to build international relationships that strengthen our city.