Freeman Foundation International Fellowship Grant

The Freeman Foundation was established in 1994 through the bequest and in memory of the businessman and benefactor Mansfield Freeman, a co-founder of the international insurance and financial conglomerate American International Group, Inc., better known as AIG.  This private and philanthropic foundation is dedicated to augmenting international understanding between the United States and the nations of East Asia.

The Elliott School strongly encourages students to integrate their course of study with practical international internship experiences. Accordingly, the School’s Office of Graduate Student Services offers a limited number of competitive fellowship grants for currently enrolled Elliott School graduate students participating in international internships in Asia and around the world.

For online application questions, please e-mail Senior Career Coach Tara Sonenshine (tsonenshin@gwu.edu) or esiagss@gwu.edu​.

Past Grant Projects

Development in Pakistan through Women’s Empowerment (2014 – 2016)

The Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs (GEIA), formerly known as the Global Gender Program (GGP), received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of State to support a three-year (2014 – 2016) partnership between GEIA and the Lahore College Women’s University (LCWU) in Pakistan. At GW, faculty that led the project were Barbara Miller, former director of GGP and Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, as well as Shaista Khilji, Professor of Human and Organizational Learning in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development and faculty member of the Elliott School.

The partnership at LCWU was led by Sarah Shahed, Chair of the Department of Gender and Development Studies. The two groups worked together to share knowledge and understanding about women’s status and empowerment in both Pakistan and the U.S. Another goal of the project was to build the capacity of faculty and students at LCWU. During the first year, the partnership focused on the curriculum of LCWU’s M.A. degree program. Each year, GW hosted video conferences and provided webinars to facilitate intellectual exchange and cross-cultural understanding of shared challenges and solutions. Faculty and student exchanges further contributed to the goals of the partnership. Each year, several LCWU M.A. students attended classes at GW in the second summer session. LCWU faculty also visited GW to offer lectures and develop collaborative research projects, and GW faculty spent time at LCWU delivering courses.


Women & Water in South & Central Asia: Building Int’l Social Capital for Sustainable Peace & Development (2013 – 2015)

This project, funded by the U.S. Department of State supported Track II diplomacy (people-to-people relations) and enhanced capacity on water resource management as a key element in enhancing stability and prosperity in Central and South Asia. It brought together young women social entrepreneurs and activists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, to discuss their experiences, best practices, and innovative solutions related to community-level water management. It also connected them to U.S. institutions and the policy community working on water management and women’s participation.

The project included in-person and virtual exchanges in the Central and South Asian region and in Washington, DC centered around video and web content production, and curriculum development. The award was for nearly $300,000 and extended from January 2013 to December 2015. The principal investigator was Marlene Laruelle, Research Professor of International Affairs with the Central Asia Program of the Elliott School’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies; the co-principal investigator was Ariana Rabindranath, former Associate Director of GGP. Two other affiliated faculty were Deepa Ollapally of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Barbara Miller former director of GGP.


Women and Healthy Sustainable Societies (Summer 2013)

The Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs (formerly GGP) received a grant of $18,000 from Conservation International (CI) for a policy review to support CI’s initiative, “Women and Healthy Sustainable Societies.” The GEIA research team comprised of Ariana Leon Rabindranath, then Associate Director of GEIA, and Pierre Pratley, then pre-doctoral fellow. They collected existing international, regional, and national level policies about freshwater conservation, food security, climate change adaptation, and improved livelihoods in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and then reviewed their inclusion of a gender dimension.



Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs (GEIA)


Elliott School of International Affairs, GW

1957 E Street NW, Suite 501

Washington, DC 20052


Phone: +1 (202) 994-8483

Email: geia@gwu.edu


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