Scholarships have been awarded to two participants from India and Taiwan to attend the Executive MSc in Cities at LSE – an 18-month modular programme designed for individuals who want to improve the way their organisations understand and deliver change in cities.
Following a rigorous selection process, the beneficiaries of the Bloomberg Scholarship for Public Service in 2016/17 were Navin Rai (pictured, left) and Yao Wen-Chih (pictured, right). They joined the first cohort of 23 participants drawn from 15 cities in six continents who work in a range of design, planning, governance, investment and educational sectors in the urban field – both public and private.
Navin Rai runs national flagship programmes in the Urban Development & Housing Department of the Indian State of Sikkim which is investing in its future economic, social and environmental sustainability. Navin explained: “I decided to join the Executive MSc in Cities to upscale my skills, to learn more about my field, and to broaden my existing network. I will become more informed so I can contribute more to my department and to society. Having researched LSE Cities and the rich history of LSE more broadly, I know this is the right place for me. Without the Bloomberg Scholarship I would have been unable to take part in this transformative programme.”
Wen-Chih has been a member of Taiwan’s parliament since 2012. A journalist and political scientist by training, he is likely to be a mayoral candidate for Taipei in 2018. Since being sworn in as a legislator, he has proposed various law amendments to strengthen disaster preparedness and economic development aspects of the built environment. Wen-Chih said: “The prospect of running a complex city with millions of people requires an integrated approach to urban governance, which combines vision with practical implementation. The Executive MSc in Cities at LSE does just that, exposing me to global best practice in urban development, investment and policy-making. Bloomberg’s support has allowed be to be better prepared as an urban leader.”
Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of the Executive MSc in Cities at LSE, commented: “The quality of participants in the new programme is exceptional. Their varied experience and backgrounds – exemplified by the two Bloomberg Scholars – is contributing to a steep learning curve which will have a lasting impact on how cities globally are improved. Bloomberg Philanthropies has been exceptionally generous in supporting capacity building for talented individuals in the public sector where innovation and integrated leadership is most needed.”
“Investing in civil servants represents the single largest opportunity to improve performance and spur innovation within government,” said James Anderson, head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation programmes. “Bloomberg Philanthropies is committed to investing in smart government, and we’re proud to work with LSE Cities to strengthen the skills of a broad range of government leaders to help them better solve problems and improve the lives of residents.”
Selection for the 2017/18 Bloomberg Scholarship for Public Service is now complete and the results will be announced later this year. More information can be found on the Executive MSc in Cities Website.