The Fulbright Program is the flagship international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Since its inception in 1946, over 400,000 Fulbrighters from the United States and 165 countries have studied, taught, and conducted research in each other’s countries while promoting international understanding and collaboration as participants and alumni. During their grants, Fulbrighters meet, work, live with, and learn from the host country’s people. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.
Fulbright alumni from the United States and around the world have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, and education. Among the ranks of Fulbright alumni are 61 Nobel Prize recipients, 75 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 40 current or former heads of state or government. This year, USF and its ESM program are proud to host two Fulbrighters from Pakistan and Kosovo.
Naveed Unar hails from the city of Hyderabad, Pakistan. He holds an MBA in Executive Management from Virtual University and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering (Power)from Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, both in Pakistan. Before his graduate studies, he had 5 years of professional experience in the local power sector via roles at National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), and the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) within the Government of Pakistan, where he worked on groundbreaking projects for HV transmission line towers and the performance analysis of line insulators in highly polluted southern coastal areas of Pakistan, as well as research in academia with a focus on leadership and skills development.
During the early COVID-19 pandemic days, the Govt. of Pakistan announced a stringent lockdown in March 2020. At the time, Naveed was on leaves and could not return to work, and it was during this time he decided to explore an opportunity with the Fulbright program, of which he is a proud recipient. Naveed believes the Fulbright program plays an instrumental role in providing an excellent platform to international students through the outstanding academic exchange and provides opportunities to connect with like-minded international academics and professionals working in the electrical power and energy industry.
Naveed chooses the ESM program at the University of San Francisco. He believes it will be instrumental in learning about the fundamental aspects of the sustainable energy transition, as power systems are rapidly transforming with the emergence of technology and intelligent monitoring. This offers tremendous challenges to energy sector professionals to either adapt or perish, and a MS in ESM from USFCA offers Naveed all it takes to become a future energy industry leader and successful energy development professional.
Naveed envisions to develop a public policy and reforms think tank for extending expert support to public and private sectors through research findings on prospects of renewable energy development and integration to state grid, electric vehicle deployment and its impact on the grid, micro-grid technology deployment, performance analysis of high-voltage transmission systems, and reforming engineering service structure.
Shend Boshnjaku is from the city of Prishtina in Kosovo. He holds a Bachelors in Energy Management from College ESLG, and is a Master Professional in Energy Efficiency from the University of Prishtina. Before his graduate studies, Shend has 4.5 years of professional experience in various capacities with the Ministry of Economic Development, in the Division of Renewable Energy Sources, Efficiency, and Cogeneration, as an energy efficiency consultant for the AEK group, a researcher for the European Union Office in Kosovo, and as the project lead with PROTECH AL for a wastewater treatment plant for a NATO military camp. He was responsible for drafting reports on standards, policy guidelines, and strategic documentation, implementation of such policies for the renewable energy sector, energy efficiency analysis and performance, and electrical systems integration.
After his undergraduate studies, he established a NGO Green Energy Kosovo (GEK), and was instrumental in conducting research and analysis, lobbying, advocating, and raising public awareness on energy and environmental policies and laws that aimed to address the challenges facing Kosovo. GEK also provided training on energy efficiency and renewable energy, participated in policy planning, performed environmental impact assessments, and helped the Municipality of Prishtina with the European Bank of Reconstruction Development (EBRD) project, Green Cities, which was meant to help identify priorities of the city to achieve sustainable development and increase well-being of its citizens.
Shend believes that applying for the Fulbright program was one of the best decisions he has ever made. Upon his return to Kosovo, he wishes to further strengthen the role of his NGO by advising towards more efficient and green policies, engaging in entrepreneurship, and making a positive impact in his community. Shend also relishes the opportunity of meeting and working with people from all over the world through the Fulbright program as it will allow him to build long-lasting cultural ties.
Living in one of the most polluted cities in Europe where coal is the country’s main natural resource, Shend was conscious of the serious health problems posed and wanted to find a graduate program which would enhance his knowledge about the environment and renewable energy systems and in doing so choose USFCA’s ESM program. He believes that this program will guide him towards achieving goals and help support the future development of Kosovo.
Ultimately, Shend wishes to raise awareness about and increase the usage of renewable energy sources as the main source for power plants in Kosovo, thereby reaping positive benefits for the health of its citizens and increasing awareness about the role of environmental protection and climate change among the youth generation.