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Hernando de Soto Fellowship Program
By Kelsey Zahourek

Click here for information and requirements for the 2010 Hernando de Soto Fellowship 


Property Rights Alliance (PRA) in Washington, DC offers a fellowship to a graduate student interested in the areas of intellectual and physical property rights and global affairs. The fellowship is named after the world renowned economist and property rights advocate Hernando de Soto of Peru.

“Mr. de Soto is currently President of the ILD —headquartered in Lima, Peru— considered by The Economist as one of the two most important think tanks in the world. Time magazine chose him as one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century in its special May 1999 issue "Leaders for the New Millennium", and included him among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004.” (Excerpt from ILD website)

PRA acknowledges the importance of research in the field of international private property rights and is proud to offer a fellowship to a highly qualified candidate each year. All individuals should have a strong background in international affairs and econometrics.


The aim of the fellowship is to offer a graduate student the opportunity to work independently in the area of private property rights and international affairs, in collaboration with prominent experts and institutions in the field.

The primary task during the fellow’s time is to create the International Property Rights Index for the current year. The index serves as a gauge of a country’s efforts to protect and promote physical and intellectual private property rights through sound policies, a strong legal framework and economic development.

Additionally, the fellow will work on one or more projects of his or her interest (time permitting). These will be agreed upon with PRA's executive director prior to the fellowship and must be compatible with the organization’s principles and objectives. Lastly, the fellow will have the opportunity to attend meetings and conferences dealing with property rights held in the Washington, DC area.

2009 Hernando de Soto Fellow

PRA is proud to announce our 2009 Hernando de Soto Fellow, Victoria Strokova, whose primary responsibility is authorship of the fourth annual International Property Rights Index.

Victoria Strokova received a Master of Public Policy degree, with honors, from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. During her graduate studies, she worked with the Enterprise Initiative, a research program that supports rigorous methods to examine the complex process of wealth creation and the role of enterprise in alleviating poverty. Her other research pursuits include studying the relationship between competition law and trade liberalization and the impact of regionalization on free trade. Her master’s thesis explores recent developments in the U.S. housing market.

In addition to having had wide ranging research experiences, Ms. Strokova has worked with grassroots organizations aimed at increasing property rights protections and fighting eminent domain abuse. In 2006, she was selected for a highly competitive Charles G. Koch Summer Fellowship, during which she expanded her understanding of the importance of property rights for freedom and prosperity. Ms. Strokova has a keen interest in advancing property rights in her native Russia as well as the rest of the world.