Jefferson Fellowships


Applications for the Spring 2008 Jefferson Fellowships program have closed. Application information for the Fall 2008 program will be posted in April 2008.

The Jefferson Fellowships program is..........

Congratulations to the following individuals selected for the Spring 2008 program:




Theme: The Other China
Dates: May 3-25, 2008
Travel Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.A.; Beijing, Chongqing, and Chengdu, China
Funding: All program and travel costs for participants funded by a grant from The Freeman Foundation, of Stowe, Vermont.

It has been almost three decades since China embarked on a transition towards an internationally open market economy, sparking enormous social, political and economic change. In this process, the People’s Republic of China lifted itself from the ruins of the Cultural Revolution to engender an economic boom with few parallels in modern history. China is now the world’s third largest economy and trading nation, encompassing a huge consumer market and production capacity.

Despite these impressive developments, China remains characterized by stark regional disparities. The eastern seaboard provinces have received the lion’s share of foreign investment and trade. Beyond the eastern seaboard, large swaths of China remain characterized by poverty, bad governance and a lack of sufficient economic opportunities for local residents.

The Chinese government has begun to address these regional and social inequalities by launching several development programs aimed at underprivileged areas in the country’s central and western regions. First and foremost is the campaign to “Open Up the West” launched at the turn of the century. More recent efforts encompass programs for new rural construction and the coordinated development of urban and rural areas. Environmental protection has also risen in prominence, since the ecological conditions in China’s west directly influence the sustainability of the economic boom along China’s seaboard.

In presentations to one another and in sessions with specialists at the East-West Center, Jefferson Fellows will discuss a wide range of issues focusing on the social, economic and political conditions of the “Other China” – those areas of China that have been only partially involved in China’s economic boom. In a 16-day study tour, Fellows will travel to regions at different stages of economic and political development in China. The first leg starts in Beijing, where Fellows will look at that city’s efforts to stage the world’s biggest sporting event – the 2008 Olympics. After Beijing Fellows travel to Chongqing, China’s newest provincial-level municipality established with the direct aim to help manage the Three Gorges Hydroelectric Project. In Chongqing, the world’s largest municipality, Fellows will not only visit the city proper but also travel to its eastern districts, areas challenged by a variety of economic, social and ecological problems, first of which is the relocation of thousands due to the rising waters of the Three Gorges Reservoir. In the final leg, Fellows will travel overland through the province of Sichuan to the provincial capital of Chengdu, another epicenter of China’s effort to develop the west. 

The Jefferson Fellowships program was launched in 1967 to enhance public understanding through the news media of cultures, issues and trends in the Asia Pacific region, broadly defined as Asia, the Pacific Islands and the United States. The long-range goal is to help news organizations build staff expertise about regional concerns and trends, so that their readers, viewers and listeners may be better informed.

The Fellowships provide the participating journalists with a wide range of perspectives through dialogue with professional colleagues, participation in seminars and meetings with business and government decision-makers, scholars and students, social activists, cultural analysts and others. These contacts, and a network of close to 500 former Jefferson Fellows, provide participants with resources on whom to call when they plan, assign, edit and produce news coverage involving or affecting the region.

The first week of the program consists of dialogue among the Fellows, including a short seminar led by each Fellow; lecture discussions with East-West Center researchers and other experts; and field visits. This will be followed by a study tour to cities in Asia and/or the United States.

Ann Hartman
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96848-1601
Phone: (808) 944-7619; Fax: (808) 944-7600