Current scholarship recipients

    In 2023, the following students successfully received a GIA scholarship:

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    Chieh-Ling (Joanna) Liao (Taiwan)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for Taiwanese National 


    Chieh-Ling studied Five-Year-Bachelor-Master-Program at National ChengChi University (NCCU) in Taiwan, majoring in International Business. Chieh-Ling has good learning in economics under the undergraduate program of NCCU. During her study in the graduate program, Chieh-Ling took the major of international economic law, with specialization in WTO Law and International Financial Law.


    Aside from academic studies, Chieh-Ling was an editor of “Research Center for International Organizations and Trade Law”, which publishes e-newsletter every two weeks as well as at least one e-book (Google Book) a year.


    Despite Chieh-Ling’s dual background in economics and law, she felt more in-depth training would be needed to elevate her ability in achieving academic excellence especially when she was working on her thesis addressing the issues regarding the function of the WTO Appellate Body. The proximity of the MILE Program to the WTO and the faculty members of the WTI fascinate her the most.


    Apart from academics, Chieh-Ling enjoys playing badminton and reading.

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    Joalane Lemao (Lesotho)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for a student from a least-developed country 


    Joalane Lemao is a lawyer from Lesotho. She successfully obtained her LLB degree from the National University of Lesotho (NUL). During her degree, she was very active in many facets of her university life. Joalane was selected to represent NUL in the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition. There her team won two awards at regional level, in recognition of their strong writing and oral skills in WTO law. She also previously participated at the Model WTO simulation conference as a delegate.


    Prior to joining the World Trade Institute, Joalane was a research assistant to an independent consultant, where she conducted research on Lesotho’s National Implementation of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade in Services. She also served as a secretary to the Independent Continental Youth Advisory Council on AfCFTA.


    Joalane is a regional representative and member of the Afronomicslaw Academic Forum Southern Africa- A forum that brings together students and early career researchers with an interest in International Economic law issues with regards to Africa and the Global South.


    Her interests heavily lie on WTO Law, International Trade Law and Regional Integration.

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    Saheli Wikramanayake (Sri Lanka)

    Recipient of the Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca Scholarship

    Saheli obtained her LL.B (Hons) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. She won a Gold Medal and scholarship from the University of Colombo, for her performance in Public International Law. She also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Colombo’s student law journal. She represented her university at the John H. Jackson Moot Court Competition, where she and her team won, becoming the first Sri Lankan team to win an international mooting tournament. Saheli was awarded Best Speaker in the Grand Final, and her team won the award for the Best Written Submission on Behalf of the Respondent.


    She helped launch the International Trade Law Program in Sri Lanka in 2021, and worked to build capacity in international trade law in Sri Lanka, including as a coach of a team participating in the John H. Jackson Moot. As Head of the Program in 2022-23, she organised an introductory course on international trade law, to train students, legal professionals, and government officials. She led the launch of the first-ever blog focusing on international economic law and Sri Lanka. Saheli has also worked as a Researcher and Fact-Checker for a South Asian regional publication, gaining exposure to the politics, history and culture of the region.


    Outside of law, Saheli enjoys reading, crocheting, and following her favourite football team.


    After completing the TRAIL+ LLM Program, Saheli aims to continue studying and researching international economic law, building on her interest in WTO reforms, climate change, and food security.


    Past scholarship recipients

    In 2022, the following students successfully received a GIA scholarship:

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    Claudia Rosas Càrdenas (Peru)

    Recipient of the Nathalie Diaz Asmat Scholarship  

    Claudia Rosas is an economist with a mention in International Business, who graduated from ESAN University in Peru. She started her career as a Trade Assistant at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru. In that position, she participated in negotiations and the implementation of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Chapters of Trade Agreements between Peru and its trading partners such as the Andean Community, Pacific Alliance, European Union, CPTPP, among others. She was also part of the Peruvian delegation in the WTO TBT Committee. In addition, she represented Peru in APEC’s Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, where she led the initiative on “Promoting Transparency of TBT WTO Notifications: Improving Completeness and Clearness of Information”.


    Her job included the implementation of Peru’s Strategic National Plans. She led the development of the “Guidelines to promote the use of international standards for Peruvian exports” in the framework of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Plan. Also, she provided technical assistance to Peruvian exporters, especially, SMEs, regarding international technical requirements to trade within the framework of the National Strategic Export Plan 2025.


    Her area of interest includes academic research having published several articles, mostly regarding transparency in SPS and TBT notifications and Specific Trade Concerns.


    Currently, Claudia is pursuing the MILE Programme thanks to the Nathalie Diaz Asmat scholarship, a fund created in memory of the late Nathalia Diaz, a MILE 14 beloved alumna.

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    Chi-Hsuan Liu (Taiwan)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for Taiwanese National 

    Chi-Hsuan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from National Taiwan University (NTU). After graduating from college, she pursued a master’s degree at the College of Law at NTU. Following her interest in international trade law, she mainly took courses concerning relevant topics at school, such as international investment law and arbitration, WTO law, and international health law.


    Aside from academic studies, Chi-Hsuan has also been an active participant in extracurricular activities. She had been a research assistant at Asian Center for WTO & International Health Law and Policy (ACWH) for over three years, and was appointed as chief editor of two periodicals published by the center. In addition, she also participated in several research projects focused predominantly on international law issues.


    Chi-Hsuan joined TRAIL+ Program in search of advanced studies on international trade law and investment law. Particularly, she would like to acquire more theoretical and practical knowledge on trade of service, climate-change policies, investment arbitration, and regional trade agreements. As for her future career, she is determined to work in international law and economics fields, such as international organizations, NGOs, or the Office of Trade and Negotiations, Taiwan.


    Chi-Hsuan can speak fluent Chinese and English. In her free time, she likes to visit historic sites, museums and galleries.

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    Sapana Danai (Nepal)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for a student from a least-developed country 

    Sapana Danai is a trained and licensed lawyer based in Nepal. Her practice focuses on foreign direct investment, private equity financing, taxation, public procurement, arbitration, banking, foreign exchange and various other commercial laws.


    She graduated from Nepal Law Campus, Tribhuvan University. Before joining WTI, Sapana acted as in-house counsel in the leading law firm in Nepal and was involved in providing advisory, drafting complex agreements, litigation and dispute resolution-related services to a variety of local and international clients in the areas of foreign direct investment, private equity financing, intellectual property, telecommunications, taxation, international trade, hydropower, immigration law, labour, public procurement, arbitration, banking and finance foreign exchange law, and various other commercial laws.


    Sapana has had a passion for trade and investment since her second year of law school and she pursued her career in investment while she was working in a law firm as a lawyer. This passion led Sapana to pursue her postgraduate in international trade and investment. Sapana is the recipient of the Global Impact Association Penglai Scholarship to pursue an extensive Trail+ program in international trade and Investment at WTI. Sapana believes Trail+ is a turning point in her career, enhancing her abilities and understanding in the field of investment, trade, and economics which can be fruitful to, directly and indirectly, support her country and South Asian region.


    Aside from her professional life, Sapana loves watching cricket and reading classic novels. Sapana enjoys trekking and adventure activities such as bungee jumping, rafting, and paragliding.

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    Karla Shantal Ayala Molina (Mexico)

    Recipient of the Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca Scholarship

    Karla Shantal Ayala Molina is a government official and trade negotiator from Mexico. She obtained a law bachelor’s degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She also studied a specialized course on International Trade, and completed a diploma in International Trade Negotiations Guillermo Aguilar Álvarez 2022, at Colegio de México (COLMEX). Karla did professional internships in the Coordination Office of the Federal Commission of Economic Competition (COFECE).


    In the professional field, Karla Shantal participated in the defence of the Mexican State in investor-State cases under the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) as well as in the prevention of cases related to the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism, of the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA), in the Ministry of Economy, at the General Directorate of International Trade Legal Consultancy.


    In 2021, Karla Shantal was part of the team of the General Directorate of International Trade in Services and Investment and participated in the negotiations for the modernization of the agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments between Mexico and Switzerland, Korea and China. In addition, she participated in the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ecuador and in the first round regarding the FTA with the United Kingdom. She joined the discussions with the Mexican Delegation in the joint initiative on electronic commerce of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


    Karla Shantal is interested in exchanging experiences and obtaining continuous learning through the TRAIL+ program as a professional expert in trade and investment and putting into practice the knowledge in public policies that encourage international trade.

  • In 2021, the following students successfully received a GIA scholarship:

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    Samuel Mokonen Abdeta (Ethiopia)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for a student from a least-developed country 

    Samuel Mokonen Abdeta was born and grew up in Ethiopia. He obtained his LL. B at College of Law and Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University. Samuel has actively participated in various academic and non-academic training and obtained certificates for that in the College of Law and Governance Studies. He has also done an internship, which focused on ‘Ethiopian accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO)’ and contributed to the research titled, "Ethiopian Custom Valuation Law in the light of WTO Customs Valuation Agreement to the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade". During this internship, Samuel has taken the WTO-e-learning programme and was certified in various trainings.


    After completing his one-year judicial training at Oromia Justice Sector Professionals Training and Legal Research Institute (OJSPTLRI), he was nominated by Caffee Oromiya as Oromia First Instance Court Judge. Before he joined the World Trade Institute's (WTI) TRAIL+ programme, he has served in the mentioned court by adjudicating many cases in type, ranging from family, labour, commercial, investment, property and criminal cases. In addition, Samuel has been studying an LL.M in Commercial and Investment law since 2020 at Jimma University of Ethiopia. By joining the WTI, he is geared up to get profound knowledge and skills in all issues of international trade and investment law to become full-fledged international trade and investment lawyer.


    He is the first student from the least developed countries to be a recipient of a Penglai Scholarship offered by the Global Impact Association (GIA) to pursue further studies. Thus, he is grateful to the GIA for realizing his dream to study at WTI.


    Samuel enjoys reading books, listening to intellectual debates, and participating in religious and voluntary activities.

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    Gabriela García Merchán (Ecuador)

    Recipient of the Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca Scholarship

    Gabriela García Merchán is a former government official from Quito, Ecuador who is passionate about international trade and the multilateral trading system. Her academic background includes a foundation in Sociology and Political Science, as well as International Relations and Diplomacy. Through her work in the Foreign Service of Ecuador, Gabriela found her calling in multilateral trade law and policy, to which she has devoted the last 8 years of her career.


    She worked as a Counselor at the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the WTO for over five years, where she acquired hands-on experience in trade negotiations and covered the Goods-related bodies, with particular focus on Agriculture, SPS and TBT. During her time at the Mission of Ecuador to the WTO, Gabriela was involved in writing position papers, drafting proposals, and organizing events. She was Deputy Permanent Representative for one year and Interim Head of Delegation during 2020.


    Before joining the MILE Programme, she was Director of the Department of International Economic Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Quito, heading the team that works on multilateral trade issues.


    Gabriela speaks Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, and is trying very hard to learn German. She has a daughter named Sophie and enjoys photography on her free time.


    Gabriela hopes to contribute in a positive way to making trade a tool for achieving equality and sustainable development, by helping countries like Ecuador to surmount the many challenges they face as they strive to take advantage of the benefits of trade.

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    Yi-Ju Chen (Taiwan)

    Recipient of the Penglai Scholarship for Taiwanese National 
  • Internship Scholarship Recipient

    The following student successfully received a GIA internship scholarship:

  • In 2023

    In 2022

    In 2021