Ms. Margret Weidner
Specialization: Economics
Home institution in US: Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
Host Institution in India: National Council of Applied Research, New Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
In May 2011, Ms. Margret Weidner earned a B.S.B.A. in accounting and economics from the Williams College of Business at Xavier University, Ohio. She was a resident assistant and a founding president of Xavier’s Beta Alpha Psi chapter. As a Downing Scholar, Ms. Weidner worked with a specialist in development economics to study the effects of social and political institutions on business firm performance, and she presented their research at the 2010 Southwestern Social Sciences conference. Her interest in the study of water and focus on India began when she received a Brueggeman Fellowship, which allowed her to undertake a year-long independent study of water issues culminating in a seven-week study trip to India, where she worked with Navdanya, an Indian NGO with an organic farm outside Dehradun. Managers of Navdanya introduced her to a number of professionals, activists, academics and community leaders working on water issues. Her positive experience in India and the passion of the individuals she met inspired her Fulbright project.

Passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in a condensed time period after graduation made it possible for Ms. Weidner to return to India for two months to study Hindi before beginning her full-time position as an auditor for Ernst & Young LLP, where she has worked since October 2011 on the audit of a publicly-traded bank. She looks forward to combining the analytical skills she obtained as a CPA with the passion she has for providing clean water efficiently and effectively as a Fulbright Scholar in India.

Ms. Weidner’s Fulbright project, “A Comparative Analysis of Water Management Strategies in the Indian Himalayas,” will compare small-scale water management strategies used in the Himalayan villages of India. She will bring together the work of a large economic research institute, the National Council of Applied Economic Research, with the activities of an Indian NGO, Himalaya Seva Sangh. She intends to conduct a rigorous quantitative and qualitative study to compare community-based water management projects and their local impact.