Skip to main content

About Our Program

Humphrey Fellows

About the Humphrey Fellowship Program

HHH logo

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program was initiated in 1978 to honor the late Senator and Vice President and his lifelong commitment to international cooperation and public service. The program brings accomplished educational leaders from developing nations and emerging democracies to the United States for an academic year to study, gain related professional experience, build their leadership capacity, and foster mutual understanding. The program provides a basis for lasting ties between U.S. citizens and the Fellows while strengthening the global exchange of knowledge and expertise. Humphrey Fellows are selected based on their potential for leadership and their commitment to public service in either the public or the private sector.

Humphrey Fellowship at Vanderbilt

Humphrey Vision at Vanderbilt: To Inspire educational leaders to make positive changes with the youth, communities, and nations they serve while leaving a lasting impact on Nashville.

Humphrey Mission at Vanderbilt: To provide meaningful opportunities for professional development and leadership development, as well as mutual exchange through immersion in a localized, culturally rich environment. Through knowledge, application and self-reflection, Fellows will enhance their individual capacities while enriching the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

Vanderbilt's Humphrey Fellows

During the 2018-2019 school year, Vanderbilt University will host 11 leaders. All the Fellows are leaders in the field of education in their home countries. Humphrey Fellows for 2018-2019 are from the following countries: Argentina, Burundi, Chile, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, and South Africa.

The Humphrey Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt has many components and required activities. Fellows will complete and participate a variety of professional development activities and projects during their Fellowship year. Some of the activities include

  • Designing an Individual Program Plan that outlines their goals and objective for their Humphrey year and well as a plan for impact once they return home.
  • Participating in the Humphrey Seminar Series on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings to enhance professional and leadership skills.
  • Auditing Academic Courses at Peabody.
  • Engaging in Professional Affiliations (similar to a high level internship).
  • Contributing to the Nashville community through Service.
  • Taking part in Cultural Exchange.

Humphrey Fellowship Team at Vanderbilt

NancyNancy Dickson, Ed. D., Program Director
Dr. Nancy Dickson is currently the Program Director for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, a Fulbright exchange program for educational leaders from developing countries. Nancy also teaches in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations (LPO). She has served as the director of the Abu Dhabi Leadership Induction Program as well as the program manager for the Tennessee/Shanghai Leadership Collaborative here at Peabody. Additionally, she trains and endorses high school teachers throughout the state in the area of service learning for the Tennessee Department of Education.

Prior to working at Vanderbilt, she was the Director of Operations and a founding team member of LEAD Academy, a public charter school in Nashville. While teaching 4th grade in Washington, D.C. public schools, Nancy collaborated with National Geographic, Meridian International, and George Washington University to provide citywide professional development and teacher preparation programming.

As an active member in the community, Nancy serves as the board chair of Nashville International Center of Empowerment (NICE) and All About Women as well as the co-chair for Alignment Nashville’s Parent Engagement Team. She holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and a Master of Public Policy degree from Vanderbilt, and a Bachelor of Art degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University. Email:

Brittany Walker, M.Ed., Program Coordinator
Originally from North Carolina, Brittany obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Elementary Education and has earned a Master’s Degree in English Learning from Lipscomb University.  For the past seven years, Brittany served as an English Learning teacher, six of seven years took place in Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS).  During her tenure with MNPS, she was awarded teacher of the year in 2017 for her dedication to students’ success and community engagement.  With the Humphrey Fellowship program, Brittany is eager to help people from other nations learn about Nashville and the United State while getting to learn about their countries as well.  She is married to her husband, Trey of eight years and has two beagles with whom she enjoys camping and attending Auburn football games.

Graduate Assistants (GAs)

Jessica Howard

Jessica Howard is a graduate assistant for the HHH program and a second-year student in Peabody’s International Education Policy & Management program (IEPM). Jessica received her bachelor's degree in religious studies and political science from DePauw University. She served as a Youth Development Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, after which she stayed on in Central Asia to work with non-profit and corporate youth development initiatives. Jessica is passionate about community partnerships for education, out-of-school time learning opportunities, and experiential education.

Hannah Carlile

Hannah Carlile is a graduate assistant for the HHH program and a first year student of IEPM and has a passion for intentional amity. She completed an undergraduate degree in Linguistics from University of Alaska Fairbanks. She also finished a degree in Foreign Languages with a Focus on French from the same university while studying abroad at Université Laval in Quebec City. Hannah worked as a university French instructor and a school district cultural liaison over the last year. In her free time, she enjoys learning about different cultures and practicing her language skills.

Associate Campus Partnership

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt aims to facilitate a multi-faceted approach towards professional development, leadership development and mutual exchange. To diversify the professional and cultural collaborations between the Humphrey Fellows and their American counterparts, Vanderbilt has partnered with Volunteer State University and Lipscomb University. Through two Associate Campus Partnerships, Vol State and Lipscomb are able to broaden their international exposure, while exposing the Fellows to various perspectives of higher education in the U.S.

Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State

Volunteer State Community College is a Public Community College that includes a service area of urban, suburban and rural counties making it rather unique in community colleges. They are a Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) institution.

Vol State Students 2016-17 Vanderbilt Humphrey Fellows with Director of International Education, Dr. John Espey, Assistant Director, Anne-Marie Ruttenbur, Dean of Health Sciences at Vol State, Elvis Brandon.

Volunteer State is a two-year college offering associate degrees, certificates, continuing education, and service to northern Middle Tennessee. The main campus is located in Gallatin, Tennessee, 30 miles northeast of Nashville, with two additional campus’ in Springfield and Livingston, Tennessee. Popularly known as Vol State, the college is home to more than 70 programs in five grand divisions: Humanities, Social Science and Education, Allied Health, Business, and Math and Science.

Vol State is committed to providing quality innovative educational programs that strengthen community and workforce partnerships, promote diversity and cultural exchange, inspire lifelong learning, and prepare students for successful careers, university transfer, and meaningful civic participation.

Lipscomb University


Lipscomb University is a small private, four-year, faith-based institution in Nashville. They offer 8 bachelor’s degrees in 145 areas of undergraduate study, 25 master’s degrees, 4 education specialist degrees and 3 doctorate degrees in 58 fields of study. Lipscomb has 10 colleges and 2 schools with different specialties including College of Bible and Ministry, Business, Computing and Technology, Education, Engineering, Entertainment and the Arts, Leadership and Public Service, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Theology, and Nursing. Lipscomb’s campus is located in Nashville, Tennessee, just a few minutes away from Vanderbilt’s Peabody College.

Lipscomb Students 2016-17 Vanderbilt Humphrey Fellows with Lipscomb English for Academic Purpose Program Director Todd Beard, and Professor Roger Wiemers.

Lipscomb is committed to integrate Christian faith and practice with academic excellence. This mission is carried out not only in the classroom but also by involvement in numerous services to the church and the larger community.

Starting in the fall of 2016, Lipscomb became the second associate campus for the Humphrey Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt. Its involvement complements Volunteer State Community College and provides the fellows a more complete landscape of American higher education.

Funding & Support

The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity funded by the U.S. Department of State. Co-sponsors include other governmental agencies, multinational organizations, and private donors. The Humphrey Program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and is implemented at 15 U.S. host universities including Vanderbilt University.

Fulbright Dept. of State IIE logo