Architect Michael Mitscher will travel to Bangladesh and Nepal in June as part of the exchange.
“I’m very fortunate,” Mitscher said. “I appreciate Rick (McKinney) and everybody letting me go to represent the firm. There’s a lot of opportunity to learn from each other.”
Benson said seeing Zabed’s perspective of the McKinney Partnership has acted like a mirror.
“It helps remind us of what we’re doing, and the importance of what we’re doing,” she said.
The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, in collaboration with the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, hosted Zabed and the other participants.
The U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise.
OU is one of about 20 U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and universities chosen to host foreign professionals in 2014-2015 from more than 50 countries and territories worldwide.
Participants will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to take part in the Professional Fellows Congress.
The Congress provides a forum for participants to discuss best practices with other young leaders in their profession and to develop concrete projects and networks that they can implement upon their return home.
OU Journalism Dean Joe Foote was instrumental in starting the exchange with Bangladesh — a county where he once resided as part of his professional career.
Benson, Mitscher and McKinney said the whole firm has benefited from the exchange.
“It’s been a privilege to be an ambassador for Norman, for Oklahoma and for America,” McKinney said.
Zabed said seeing teamwork among the McKinney Partnership was valuable for creating a vision for designing sustainable companies. He said the cultural values of Oklahoma are congruent with the spirit of Bangladesh.
“I just feel at home here,” he said.
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