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2010-11 Killam Fellow, Gregory Johnsen, at McGill University, Québec

September 30, 2010

Originally posted: 2010

The Killam Fellowship program has made clear to me that there are a great many planes on which the United States and Canada have the potential for collaboration. Of course, there are the obvious ones: shared public policy, commerce and trade, joint security, and environmental protection. Living in Canada has also afforded me the opportunity for another important one: friendship. After traveling to Ottawa in September for a joint Killam and Fulbright Canada orientation program though, I became aware of an additional possibility which may be too often overlooked.

We stand to gain a lot by sharing our ideas with each other. It was a profound experience to sit at the dinner table during our orientation and engage in conversation with some of the greatest academic minds, with leaders of industry, and with policymakers from both countries. I realized that as North Americans we all face many of the same challenges, but the responses from our business community, political leaders, and the academy are sometimes very different, and in that I see opportunity for learning and exchange. Neither country should be so brash as to think we have a monopoly on all the best ideas.

Gregory Johnsen is a senior majoring in Economics and International Studies at UW. He was awarded a 2010-2011 Killam Fellowship for a semester of study at McGill University in Montréal.