Feature Alumna of the Month: Bilguun Erdenebat

Ms. Bilguun Erdenebat, a 2013-2015 Fulbright Student and President of the Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA)

Since 2019, the Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA) has implemented the U.S. Department of State-funded EducationUSA Program in Mongolia. Over the past two years, MASA has been recognized both in the region and globally for its outstanding work and earned multiple individual and team awards. At the head of the award-winning team is MASA President, Ms. Bilguun Erdenebat.

The first Mongolian Fulbright Student to attend Cornell University, Bilguun says her studies, International Development with a concentration in Development Policy, had an enormous impact in her life. “Fulbright prepares young leading professionals Mongolia needs,” Bilguun shared. “It gave me not only an opportunity to further my professional knowledge, but also experience human rights and its real implementation in daily life in the U.S.”

After Fulbright, Bilguun returned to Mongolia and started volunteering with the Mongolian Association of State Alumni (MASA). She has also built a successful career specializing in social development and gender, working for organizations that include the Asian Development Bank, UNEP DTU Partnership, and the Global Green Growth Institute. Despite a busy career as well as becoming a mother, Bilguun has been on MASA’s Board of Directors since 2015 and continues to volunteer as a way to pass the opportunities she has had on to others.

In 2019, Bilguun and her team at MASA became the first USG alumni association selected to implement EducationUSA in the world. The EducationUSA network spans more than 170 countries and promotes U.S. higher education by offering accurate, comprehensive, and current information and consulting free of charge.  

Then, in 2020, the Department of State recognized EducationUSA Mongolia’s hard work with the Global Outstanding Team Project Award and presented Bilguun the individual Rising Star award. The commendations cited Bilguun’s leadership and her team’s commitment to ensure all program materials and presentations are fully accessible to people living with disabilities.  

Over just two years, Bilguun’s team has become one of the top three program implementers in the world under her leadership. Recently, EducationUSA Mongolia shared their programs and best practices with other implementers in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, and South Korea. The team has also been invited to share their experience as a USG alumni association implementing the EducationUSA Program at the July 2021 EducationUSA Forum in Washington, D.C. Last but not least, EducationUSA Mongolia took home the EAP region’s Rising Star award for the second year in a row in 2021, showing Bilguun continues to shine as brightly as ever as a guiding star for her team.