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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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2008 Island Fellows Announced; Will Visit Islands, Help OIA Promote “Island Business Link”



Washington, DC – April 22, 2008:  The Office of Insular Affairs announced the roster of the sixth Island Fellows Program today in Washington, D.C.  The team, is comprised of eight MBA candidates from the Columbia School of Business, the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania, the Kellogg School of Management in Northwestern University, the McDonough School of Business in Georgetown University, the Harvard Business School, and the University of Hawaii.  They will begin their 10-week program in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2008.  Over the past few years, the Island Fellows program has made significant contributions to the Department of the Interior's ongoing efforts to promote private sector-led economic development in the U.S.-affiliated insular areas, conducting field research and outreach in support of large-scale events hosted by the Department of the Interior.   

The Island Fellows will be visiting all insular areas under OIA jurisdiction beginning around the week of June 16.  While visiting their respective assigned jurisdictions, they will meet with local businesses and government leaders to identify local priorities for the types of businesses that residents believe should be invited to the fifth Secretary of the Interior's Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands, to be held in Honolulu in April 2009.  Once the Island Fellows return from the islands, they will begin to market the next Conference actively, and OIA staff will welcome recommendations from the various business owners within the insular jurisdictions for making the next Conference the best one yet.

This year's Island Fellows will also be introducing a new business development tool known as "Island Business Link."  It is a system to facilitate the matching of island businesses with businesses anywhere in the world and is based on the model OIA used for the "business-to-business (B2B) meetings" that were held at the last two Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands.   The Island Fellows will be conducting at least one workshop for government and business leaders on how the system works.   Ideally, the workshop(s) will be followed up with one-on-one meetings between the Island Fellows and individuals to answer questions and actually to post some business opportunities to the system.

The Island Fellows will return to Washington, DC on July 4, and in addition to providing continuing support for the rollout of Island Business Link, they will also work on the development and outreach for the next planned Conference on Business Opportunities in the Islands, tentatively scheduled for April 2009.  The contact person for the Island Fellowship program as well as IslandBusinessLink.com is Ms. Angie Williams who may be emailed at angela_williams@ios.doi.gov.

Brief backgrounds of the 2008 Island Fellows with their assigned jurisdiction may be accessed here