A Full Circle (and Global) Moment for Peter Hansen ’18

Peter Hansen wears a turquoise blue collared shirt and has short blondish brown hair and mustache.
Peter Hansen ’18

Claremont, Calif. (February 6, 2023)—Pitzer College alumnus Peter Hansen ’18 has received the two-year Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) to work for the United States African Development Foundation (USADF). He will serve as a grants management specialist, helping invest directly in African grassroots organizations and social entrepreneurs.

“Included within my role is the opportunity to travel to Africa multiple times a year,” said Hansen. “I spent the first six years of my life in Lagos, Nigeria, and have not been back to the continent since 2002. This feels like a full circle moment!”

Established over 45 years ago by Executive Order, the PMF is the federal government’s flagship leadership development program for advanced degree holders across academic disciplines. Hansen will receive leadership training and the opportunity for a rotation of 4–6 months with a different government agency—which he hopes will be the State Department or the United States Agency for International Development. 

A seasoned globetrotter, Hansen has lived in four countries besides the U.S. His international experience includes teaching English as a Fulbright Fellow in Malaysia, where he summited the country’s tallest mountain, Mt. Kinabalu.

Peter Hansen stands on Mt. Kinabalu with a golden orange sunset in a cloudy sky and mountains behind him. He wears a gray beanie and a dark and light blue windbreaker jacket.
Hansen on Mt. Kinabalu

Hansen also brings to his fellowship an academic prowess with a BA in International Relations from Pitzer and an MA in International Development and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He credits Pitzer as a formative experience that prepared him for his career.

“Pitzer helped me in two distinct ways,” said Hansen. “The academic rigor of the economics and the writing-intensive political studies courses prepared me well for graduate school. Also, my time as a member of the Pitzer-Pomona Swim and Dive team taught me self-confidence and discipline: confidence that I can achieve my goals if I work hard enough, and the discipline that it requires.”

Hansen’s goal is to continue working for USADF after the fellowship. He is also interested in applying to the Young Professionals Program at the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to do similar development work.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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