At the end of December, the 10th Global Lithuania Awards ceremony took place at St. Catherine’s Church in Vilnius. Among the winners, in the Global Experience for Change in Science category, was Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Professor Thomas Bryer. The Lithuanian-origin Prof Bryer was awarded for his initiative to create a unique dual-degree Public Governance study programme.
The annual Global Lithuania Awards honours Lithuanians living abroad or returning to their homeland, who – with their exceptional talent, visions and successful work – create an advanced Lithuania and make its name famous globally. The awards are organised by the Global Lithuanian Leaders (GLL) network of diaspora professionals. Lithuanians from all over the world – the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States – gathered for the global Lithuania celebration.
In the category Global Experience for Change in Science, Lithuanian professor Bryer was awarded for introducing a new level of quality in NGO management studies. Bryer initiated the dual degree programme for students of KTU, who can now learn public governance from the best of the best in the USA. There, the NGO sector is known for deeply rooted traditions of development, fundraising, and management.
“My dream job is Lithuanian ambassador to the United States of America,” says Bryer, whose grandparents are from Lithuania.
In Lithuania, Prof Bryer works as a lecturer for both students and professionals. He openly shares his experiences, performs scientific research, and has raised funding from private Lithuanian funds to finance students’ scholarships so they would have the opportunity to study at the University of Central Florida, USA and strengthen Lithuania’s NGO sector upon return. KTU professor has already received at least 15 awards for his activities in public governance, NGO and volunteer management. His residence in Lithuania enriches both the academic community and the NGO sector.
The awards are sponsored by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda. They are organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the national broadcaster LRT, the law firm Triniti Jurex, the Marius Jakulis Jason Foundation, Strategic Staffing Solutions, and the world Lithuanian community.
In 2021, over 15 individuals and teams were nominated for the awards in eight categories. The winners were awarded the statues made by renowned Lithuanian sculptor Stasys Žirgulis.