Fulbright University Vietnam has received a five-year grant of US$800,000 from the U.S. Department of State to launch Mekong-US Partnership – Master in Public Policy (MUSP-MPP) program. From now to 2026, MUSP-MPP brings 20 rising young public officials from Mekong countries, starting with Laos, to attend Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Fulbright University Vietnam for a Master degree in Public Policy – Policy Analysis. The program will provide skills to increase local capacity while enhancing trust and building cooperative relationships among the participating countries and young public sector professionals.

The MUSP-MPP will be open to three cohorts from Laos with six (06) fellows in the first year, and seven (07) fellows in subsequent year. A wide range of carefully curated activities will occur over a 15-month period commencing on October 2022. At the end of the 5 years, 20 participants will have obtained the Master Degree in Public Policy.

Participants will be trained as leaders for their countries in areas of Mekong interest using the same pedagogical tools used in American universities. In addition to language skill proficiency, participants will be prioritized for selection based on future leadership potential, including potential to lead on key cross-cutting Mekong sub-regional policy issues.

The U. S. Department of State through participating country Embassies will be actively engaged in selecting the most promising public officials . Through classes, seminars, and cultural activities, these candidates will be exposed to modern policy frameworks and approaches inspired by top institutions in the US. This program is a part of efforts to reinforce trust between Lower Mekong countries and the United States to ensure regional unity and stability.

The Fulbright School of Public Policy & Management (FSPPM) is one of only eleven schools outside the United States, and the only one in South East Asia that have been fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). This is considered as the “gold standard” in public services education.

Recently, Fulbright University Vietnam has received a five-year programmatic grant of US$1 million from two companies, Galaxy Studio and Dragon Capital to launch “Natural Capital Management” Program (NCMP) . For the first annual topic of the 5-year plan, the gift will propel FSPPM to address critical issues and policy responses in the Mekong River Delta region. Specifically, Fulbright and FSPPM will advance their teaching, and research on the following key priorities: agriculture transformation, energy, air pollution and public health, climate change, flooding, regional infrastructure, and transboundary cooperation. The MUSP-MPP blends perfectly with the NCMP and will create synergy to overcome the challenge of transboundary cooperation.

Few of the world’s transboundary river systems are managed well, or sustainably, and the Greater Mekong Basin (GMB) is an example. Cooperation among the six countries that are home to the Mekong River—China (Yunnan province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam—is dampened by long histories of colonialism, conquest and distrust.

Structural upstream-downstream effects, and nonoverlapping development trajectories result from wide differences in national policies and per capita incomes.

On the invitation of Emerging Market Institute, Normal University Beijing, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh attended the workshop “China’s role in promoting trans-boundary resource management in the Greater Mekong Basin”.

The workshop focused on connectivity, water governance and environment sustainability, which are critical to the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation framework – a new mechanism for sub-region cooperation.

As a recognized expert in economics development and institutional economics and regular contributor to national and regional debate on development, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh shared his insights on processes and procedures to ensure inter-country cooperation to maintain the environment throughout the Greater Mekong Basin.