As part of ELI’s mission to foster and empower a new generation of environmental professionals abroad, the International Visiting Scholars Program hosts promising young environmental lawyers, economists, and scientists from other countries at ELI to collaborate with our staff in Washington. Individual scholars are typically in residence at the Institute for periods of one to three months, with some staying for a year or more. The Scholars work on independent projects — often focusing on environmental challenges in their home countries — as well as Institute projects and programs in their regions and the US. To help these Scholars advance their work after they return home, we link them with US public and private environmental professionals in their areas of interest. Our ELI Visiting Scholar alumni become members of an international network with whom ELI staff continue to collaborate and support in our projects abroad.
Over the years, ELI has hosted 70 International Visiting Scholars from 30 countries. Recently, we have hosted Scholars from Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Iraq, Liberia, Madagascar, Peru, and Uganda, among other countries. While at ELI, these Scholars work on projects ranging from identifying legal tools for promoting pollution prevention in key mining countries in the Americas to examining how African constitutional law can be used to promote environmental protection. Subsequently, these Visiting Scholars have gone on to become rising leaders in environmental NGOs and environmental agencies in their respective home countries as well as in international environmental and development institutions.
In addition, ELI has had the privilege of hosting five Futrell Visiting Scholars, noted scholars and lawyers who exemplify the spirit and achievement of J. William (“Bill”) Futrell who was President of ELI for 23 years.