For Dr. Chris Carr, stepping off the plane at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad was the first step in what would become a longer association with Pakistan. Beginning March 15, 2015 he served as a U.S. Fulbright Specialist to the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad. Dr. Carr’s inaugural visit would allow the business law and public policy expert to connect with faculty, educators and students in Pakistan to expand the application of business principles with regards to both the national and international markets, and immerse himself into “the burgeoning start-up and entrepreneurship culture and ecosystem now forming in Pakistan.”
At NUST, he worked under the auspices of NUST Business School and was hosted by Dr. Asfia Obaid and Prof. Majid Matloob, both experts in the fields of business and human resource management. Dr. Carr’s association with Prof. Matloob in particular proved to be fruitful as they happened to share common interests and research foci, related to innovation and entrepreneurship. As I worked with Professor Matloob,” Dr. Carr said remembering his time at NUST, “we found [that] we had some common professional personal and academic research interests.”
Fostering this type of exchange is in part what the Fulbright program and USEFP are all about.
Dr. Carr soon returned to his role as Professor at Orfalea College of Business and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly). He and Prof. Matloob remained in close contact – an association that would eventually result in Cal Poly formally inviting the NUST Associate Professor to pursue his research on women entrepreneurship in scenic San Luis Obispo, where Cal Poly is located.
“It turns out that NUST and Cal Poly as universities both have a lot in common in terms of focus, roles they play, students they serve, strengths, etc. Fostering this type of exchange is in part what the Fulbright program and USEFP [United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan] are all about and seek to accomplish,” explained Dr. Carr of how the association between two researchers evolved into key scholarship on entrepreneurship and innovation.
“It’s been a win-win for all parties involved.”
The Fulbright Specialist Program, which provided the grant that enabled Dr. Carr’s visit to NUST, complements the Fulbright Scholar Program that facilitates U.S. scholars and professionals to collaborate with their colleagues in Pakistan. Both programs are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The prime focus of the Fulbright Specialist Program is educational capacity building and the development of longer-term educational relationships.
Dr. Carr earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska, a Master’s in Political Science from UCLA, and a Law degree with cum laude distinction from Santa Clara University. His association with the Fulbright Specialist program has also taken him to places like Tunisia and Mongolia. Dr. Carr has also taught graduate level management courses at the prestigious Peking University in Beijing, China.