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Greetings from the East-West Center Association Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. My name is Namuun and I am the Executive officer of EWCA Ulaanbaatar Chapter. To promote a better understanding about what the East-West Center offers to leaders, youth, scholars and practitioners across the world, we initiated a monthly interview corner with Alumnae from Mongolia. In our June interview, we are introducing Solongo Tsetsegmaa, East-West Center Asian Development Bank Japan Scholarship Fellow 2014-2016. She is Managing Partner at Nayan LLP Advocates, General Counsel at Hybridzone Performance Institute. Hope you enjoy learning about how she acted upon her learning as EWC alumna.

  1. How did you first find out about the East-West Center?

It is a long and sweet story. I always adored paradise island Hawaii ever since I was a child. But never thought that I would study and live there. I decided to study in graduate degree program in 2013. Then I started researching about different types of scholarships. Through that process I found out that the ADB fellowship program is an affiliate with the East-West Center. I was so excited to learn that. I applied to the program and fortunately I got selected as one of the candidates. It was a great experience.

  1. Can you tell us more about the Scholarship you received administered by the East-West Center? What were the highlights of this journey?

The scholarship I received is called the Asian Development Bank - Japan Scholarship Program. I can surely tell that it is one of the most generous scholarships. It covers not only your tuition, but also your life expenses including your travel expenses. It provides an opportunity to fellow students to focus on their study and research 100% and fulfill their dream. It was a wonderful and memorable journey of my life. I earned a great education and made many life long friends.

  1. What are the most vivid memories with the O’hana?

I adore and value our O’hana from the bottom of my heart. From the very first day till the end of the journey it was full of love and support. The Wednesday evening seminars, the EWCPA activities, the Talent shows and “Hale Manoa” lifestyle are all precious memories that I always cherish.

  1. What are your values that inline with your education and career?

I believe that the dignity and honesty are the two most important values in my personal life, education and career. Without dignity you lose strength in the journey, without honesty you are not able to accomplish your goal fully. I do everything with this mindset. Otherwise, I choose not to do at all.

The society we are living today has huge problem of corruption. It is derived from dishonesty and lack of dignity. Those values matter to every aspect of development and all industries. They come with a high price and sacrifice, but for good deeds. To earn these values require a strong willpower and dedication.

  1. Can you tell us about your current work or projects you’re focusing on?

I’m a Managing Partner of the law firm Nayan LLP Advocates and the General Counsel at Hybridzone Performance Institute.

Currently we are working on the sports education project that will be carried out in Bahrain.

  1. On diversity: What is diversity to you? And how did the EWC perhaps expand your understanding about diversity?

Diversity is “a key to the peace”. It is not just the way to explore the world and cultures, but to shape the ideas about innovation, knowledge and future trend of the development.

Diversity is a “key to peace”. It is not just the way to explore the world and cultures, but to shape the ideas about innovation, knowledge and future trend of the development.


My experience of being an East-West Center fellow did expand my view and understanding about diversity significantly. It was a great opportunity to meet brilliant young people from all around the world and living with them together under the Hale Manoa roof. Every culture is unique and beautiful in its own way, but one thing that common is they are all rooted on respect and harmony for each other.

  1. On youth: Your thoughts on youth and exposure to diverse cultures?

I believe the more you know your own culture and have a deep respect to it, the more you will be open minded to treat others’ culture the same way. I strongly encourage kids and youth to explore and practice their own culture and tradition at first in a level that you actually know and proud of who you are. Then you go explore other cultures, share your own culture with others and exchange ideas. It will expand the world you are living and open the door to different measurements and aspects of life.

  1. On COVID-19: How has your daily routines changed and what opportunities are rising form social distancing?

This is a sad and unexpected challenge throughout the world. It breaks my heart to watch the news about death rate and struggle that people are facing everyday. Especially, the situation in the USA is devastating. We are all doing our best to survive. However, it is taking much more time and strengths that we have never imagined.

Social distancing and being in the lockdown certainly required big changes in personal and professional life. I’m working from home everyday, fulfilling my motherhood duties and doing my best to follow the social distancing rules. It requires multitasking and organizing skills at all times. Even though it is tough, I’m glad that we are safe. Cannot complain about anything as long as you are healthy comparing to those who are fighting for their dear lives.

Different opportunities are rising during this time. Especially in education and training industry, it is pushing to open the doors for online learning platforms. Everyday is learning and adapting process at this time. Hope things will get better soon.

"Different opportunities are rising during this time of COVID-19. Especially in education and training industry, it is pushing to open the doors for online learning platforms"

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