The Special Adviser to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua on Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, has been appointed an officer and an international affairs fellow of America’s most prestigious higher institution, Harvard University in Boston.
President Goodluck Jonathan has been briefed on the award and Adeniyi may soon take his leave from the Presidential Villa for the fellowship.
According to Empowered Newswire, a US-based news agency, the Fellows Programme Director in Harvard, Kathleen Molony, confirmed the honour on Adeniyi on Wednesday.
The agency said: "Molony said the university will soon be formally releasing and publishing short bios of the fellows announcing those who have been appointed as officers and fellows for the yearly program which is also for a one-year term.
"If he accepts the offer, Adeniyi may have to quit his job at the presidency as he is expected to resume this programme in Harvard in August and will wrap up in July next year.
"There are about 15 of such fellows drawn from around the world who have been appointed, including Adeniyi.
"Molony said the program is not a fellowship, but a Fellows Program, underlining its distinguished status being that the program offers maximum opportunities for personal research and discussion of international issues for the fellows.
"Besides, those named to the program are not just fellows, but also an officer of Harvard University for the one-year duration.
"Although all Fellows are expected to participate in some activities specific to the program, their activities will not be limited to the Harvard Centre that hosts the program, pointing to the extensive reaches and possibilities open to the 15 international fellows within Harvard University and beyond, including other universities in the area.
"Besides, Adeniyi and other fellows in the Program are also going to be involved in not only auditing Harvard courses of their choice, but as top fellows shall also be expected to organise and lead study groups for Harvard undergraduates.
"The program details also said they will "participate in seminars at the Center and elsewhere, provide advice to undergraduate and graduate students, and otherwise interact with the faculty, visiting scholars, and other members of the University’s community."
According to Harvard sources, "the Fellows Program for which Adeniyi has been appointed is the principal forum for the interaction of practitioners with the faculty, students, and visiting scholars of the Weatherhead Centre.
"The Weatherhead Centre is one of the arms of Harvard University and the Fellows program was inaugurated in 1958, simultaneously with the establishment of the Centre itself ‘in the belief that the Center’s research activities would benefit from the contributions of non-academic professionals with broad practical experience in international affairs.’
"Like the other 14 fellows appointed from a pool of several applicants, Adeniyi and the Harvard centre managing this program will also enter into an agreement ‘with a Harvard faculty member associated with the Weatherhead Centre that results in the formation of an active scholarly relationship.’
"The fellows are often appointed for their "leadership in international affairs, as demonstrated by both a record of past achievements and the promise of future accomplishments.
"Considered in the US and in global circles as a high-powered program, some of the past fellows are well known, "senior diplomats, military officers, politicians, journalists, international civil servants, officials from nongovernmental organistions, and business leaders from around the world," according to Harvard university records.
Adeniyi, who received an official notice before the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua on Wednesday night, was said to have discussed the fellow award with President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was learnt that Jonathan might give Adeniyi leave to be part of the programme.
The agency however quoted Adeniyi as saying: "I wonder how you got to know. I just received the offer letter on Wednesday morning.
"Of course, I will discuss with my boss because it would mean I have to quit government, but it is not an offer I want to miss."
Shortly after he became a Special Adviser to the President, Adeniyi had also undergone a White House Orientation program on the role of government spokesperson in modern times.
The Source: Nation Newspaper