Consul General Koenig and the Bermuda exchange group welcomes Ms. Valerie Palamountain to Bermuda.
From top left – Tawana Flood, Pandora Glasford, Jason Hayward, Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig, Valerie Palamountain, Dr. Radell Tankard, Judy Teart, George Outerbridge.
For the first time in the 72-year history of the Fulbright Program, a U.S. academic has received a grant to carry out research in Bermuda. Valerie Palamountain, Dean of Workforce Services at Piedmont Virginia Community College, arrived this week to analyze Bermuda’s work force development strategy, planning, and implementation. She was invited to Bermuda through the Fulbright Program — the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange program — by a group of Bermudians who participated in an earlier professional exchange program that was sponsored by the U.S. Consulate.
Palamountain will be in Bermuda from January 9 to February 17 meeting with a range of individuals and entities that are focused on Bermuda’s national workforce development plan. Her research project in Bermuda was jointly organized by the U.S. Consulate and a group of Bermuda leaders in workforce development. Those Bermudians – Judy Teart, Jason Hayward, Tawana Flood, Pandora Glasford, Levar Bassett – had participated in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program last February and traveled to the United States to meet their American professional peers to discuss issues of common interest in the broad area of work force development. As a result of that initial exchange program, the group formulated a proposal to invite an American expert for a follow-up exchange program through the Fulbright Program.
With over 20 years of experience in project management, Ms. Palamountain has implemented workforce development systems associated with economic development and educational programming standards and has experience in career path development and business systems analysis for private, non-profit and public sector organizations. She has consulted Fortune 1000 clients, providing training services for their associated firms, and traveled to India and China teaching students about business development and entrepreneurship.
The Fulbright Specialist Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and pairs qualified U.S. academics and professionals with host institutions worldwide to work on diverse, short-term collaborative projects in a range of areas including education, business, law, environmental science, journalism and public health.
“I am delighted that Valerie Palamountain is here as the first American Fulbrighter in Bermuda,” said U.S. Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig. “The fact that her project grew out of an earlier professional exchange demonstrates real innovation and drive on the part of Bermuda exchange participants. The Consulate is pleased to support their efforts. She will focus on issues that are of critical interest to both Bermuda and the United States, and I look forward to hearing her thoughts on work force development in Bermuda after she has explored the issue with all those working in this field here.”
Ms. Palamountain is the second Fulbright grantee in Bermuda in the Fulbright Program’s history. Former Bermuda Ombudsman Arelene Brock was the first Bermudian to receive one of the prestigious Fulbright awards; she was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant in 2014 to conduct research at Northeastern Law School.
For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit www.worldlearning.org/fulbright-specialist