Meet the 50th Cohort of Luce Scholars

Feb. 20, 2024 By Michelle Douenias, Senior Program Manager for Luce Scholars
Meet the 50th Cohort of  Luce Scholars

The Henry Luce Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of the 50th cohort of Luce Scholars, marking a significant milestone in the program's history. After a rigorous selection process, we are proud to present the exceptional individuals who will embark on a transformative journey of cross-cultural exchange and leadership development.  

Chosen from a highly competitive pool across diverse academic disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences, the 50th cohort embodies the spirit of intellectual curiosity, leadership, and global engagement that defines the Luce Scholars Program.  

The Luce Scholars Program is an experiential fellowship program that offers emerging leaders immersive professional placement in Asia tailored to their interests and aspirations. Over the 13-month program, these 18 dynamic young professionals receive stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia. Through these experiences, the program aims to forge more robust, more informed, more compassionate relationships across geographic borders by creating opportunities for young Americans across diverse sectors and interests to deepen their ties and understanding of the countries, cultures, and people of Asia.  

"The exceptional promise and diverse talents of our new cohort fill me with confidence that they will shape a brighter, more interconnected future," said Aida Gureghian, Program Director for Leadership.  

Today, there are just over 800 Luce Scholars alums living around the world, making invaluable contributions as global leaders and citizens, and building lifelong professional relationships that began with this program. Their experiences demonstrate that there is no better way to build mutual understanding and a sense of common purpose than through sustained, immersive, in-person engagement with others.  

"This 50th cohort will undoubtedly propel positive change and innovation, reflecting the impact of our mission of fostering dialogue across divides, enriching public discourse, amplifying diverse voices, and investing in leadership development," said Mariko Silver, President of the Luce Foundation.  

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Luce Scholars Program, we reaffirm our commitment to fostering cross-cultural understanding, leadership development, and positive global engagement through the Luce Scholars Program.  

Congratulations to the 50th cohort of Luce Scholars! Your journey begins now, and we look forward to witnessing the extraordinary impact you will undoubtedly make. 

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Authored by:

Michelle Douenias
Senior Program Manager for Luce Scholars: Michelle Douenias

Michelle Douenias is Senior Program Manager for Luce Scholars at the Henry Luce Foundation. In this role, she runs the day-to-day aspects of the Luce Scholars Program, the admissions process and oversees The Asia Foundation grant. Michelle's journey with the Luce Foundation began with her role as program assistant for both the Luce Scholars and the Clare Boothe Luce Programs, followed by a stint as program associate and event coordinator for Luce Scholars. Before joining the Luce Foundation in 1990, Michelle worked as a jewelry designer and briefly taught K–12th grade art. She earned her B.A. and teaching certificate in fine arts from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Beyond her work at the Luce Foundation, Michelle currently serves on the National Association of Fellowship Advisors Biennial Conference Foundations Subcommittee. Her commitment to community service is evident through her many volunteer roles in the Morris School District and local community. Notably, she served as a Board of Trustees member for the Morris Educational Foundation from 2013 to 2019.

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