Saint Louis University

Batyr Kochumov, M.D.
Batyr Kochumov, M.D. Submitted photo

Saint Louis University will host an international scholar during the 2012-13 academic year as part of the U.S. Department of State's Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program. Joining the SLU community is Batyr Kochumov, M.D., from Turkmenistan. Kochumov will be studying in the School of Public Health with an emphasis on epidemiology. During the academic year, he will participate in colloquia and is available to speak to classes about his work.

Kochumov has served with Project HOPE in Turkmenistan to strengthen projects aimed at TB control since 2002 and has been the program manager since 2004. Prior to his work with Project HOPE, he studied medicine at the State Medical Institute of Turkmenistan and the President Niyazov Central Clinic of Turkmenistan, served as a senior marketing specialist in a Turkmen-Indian pharmaceutical company and studied international relations at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow.

Established by Congress in 1992 to encourage economic and democratic growth in Eurasia, the Muskie Program is part of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State and is administered by IREX, an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally.

By selecting emerging leaders from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union, the Muskie program aims to promote mutual understanding, build democracy and foster the transition to market economies in Eurasia and Central Asia through intensive academic study and professional training. In addition to their academic programs, Muskie fellows gain exposure to American values through a community service experience and develop professional skills through a full-time internship in their field of student. The Muskie program is highly competitive with a four percent acceptance rate.

This year marks the program's 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, the program has identified, trained and supported talented practitioners who do the hard work needed to advance democracy and development. The program now boasts nearly 5,000 alumni who have returned to their home countries to lead institutional change and economic growth in the professional sectors where they work. Prominent alumni include Mikhail Saakashvili, president of Georgia, and others working in their country's government, business and nonprofit sectors. For more information, visit the Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program's website.