Susan Hay Patrick is the chief executive officer of United Way of Missoula County. She recently received an award from the Office of Citizen Exchanges at the State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Patrick was named the United States winner of the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Professional Fellows Program Alumni Impact Award.

“That is a program that brings young leaders from developing countries to the U.S. to learn how their craft is practiced in the U.S.,” Patrick said. “They are journalists, teachers, and non-profit executives. They also send those of us who host fellows overseas to talk about our professions and help strengthen civil society in developing countries.”

Patrick admired some of the people from these very poor and young countries. They were trying to make changes in their countries and she praised them for it.

“These young people are working so hard to continue to rebuild their country,” Patrick said. “Most of these countries have often repressive governments and not the free press that we take for granted. They don’t have the culture of fundraising that we have in our nation. It has been really amazing to be able to help them get to the next level.”

Patrick will be honored at the Spring 2019 Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C., at the end of May. Nearly 300 Fellows from 60 countries will be in attendance.