Innovators.
Trailblazers.
Fulbrighters.

Photo of a woman doing research on a snowy mountain
Dr. Alia Khan
U.S. to Chile, 2018

Impact

Actions, Insights, and Opportunities

Since its inception in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds—recent graduates, teachers, scientists and researchers, artists, and more—have participated in the Fulbright Program to help them better understand and advance ideas in the world we share.

What impact will you make?

Orientation for U.S. Students and Scholars to Africa, 1986
75 years of opportunities through educational and cultural exchange.
Orientation for U.S. Students and Scholars to Africa
Zoya Hsiao, U.S. to South Korea, 2018
“I feel like I can also bring something to the table and offer a different perspective of America. That’s the whole point of Fulbright, right?”
Zoya Hsiao, 2018 US Student to South Korea
Daliwa Joseph Bainamndi, Cameroon to U.S., 2020
Fulbrighters collaborate to develop extraordinary solutions for complex challenges.
Daliwa Joseph Bainamndi, 2020 Foreign Student from Cameroon
Thomas Tobin, U.S. to Hungary, 2017
Lasting connections lead to mutual understanding among Fulbright participants.
Thomas Tobin, 2017 US Scholar to Hungary
Issa Sulaiman Al Azri, Oman to U.S., 2015
The Fulbright Program offers opportunities to shift perspective in remarkable ways.
Issa Sulaiman Al Azri, 2015 Foreign Student from Oman
Hannah Flowers, U.S. to Ireland, 2020
“Fulbright made this dream of mine possible…I am immensely grateful for the opportunity.”
Hannah Flowers, 2020 US Student to Ireland
Vid Micevic, U.S. to Thailand, 2016
Fulbright offers exceptional opportunities for self-transformation.
Vid Micevic, 2016 US Student to Thailand

Making Their Mark

40
Fulbright Alumni have served as heads of state or government.
60
Fulbright Alumni have received a Nobel Prize.
16
Fulbright Alumni have received the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
89
Fulbright Alumni have been awarded
Pulitzer Prizes.

History

Connecting a Complex and Changing World

In 1946, in the aftermath of World War II, President Harry S. Truman signed legislation into law to establish the Fulbright Program, an international academic exchange program with an ambitious goal—to increase mutual understanding, and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The Fulbright Program now operates in 160 countries and has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and in all fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges. This timeline represents some of the significant milestones in the Fulbright Program’s history.  Check back to see more entries, which will be posted throughout 2021.

See the full timeline.

1954

John Hope Franklin Begins Fulbright Journey

Franklin, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, author, historian and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chair, went on his first Fulbright to the U.K. in 1954.

Photo of John Hope Franklin
1961

Passage of Fulbright-Hays Act

President John F. Kennedy signed the Fulbright-Hays Act, re-authorizing the Fulbright Program. The Act also enabled foreign governments to contribute funding to Fulbright programming.

Photo of President Kennedy signing the Fulbright-Hays Act into law.
1965

Future Nobel Laureate Starts Fulbright

Muhammad Yunus arrived in the U.S. from Bangladesh to study economics. The professor, social entrepreneur, and founder of Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize (2006) for microlending to reduce poverty.

Photo of Muhammad Yunus
1986

Fulbright 40th Anniversary

Distinguished Lecturer Grants Program created to celebrate Fulbright’s anniversary. Recipients include luminaries such as poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, who traveled on her Fulbright to Ghana in 1986.

Photo of Maya Angelou
1993

Fulbright Association Launches Prize

The Fulbright Association, the U.S. Fulbright alumni group, awarded its first Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Nelson Mandela for his work fighting apartheid in South Africa.

2007

Fulbright Alumni Serve in Congress

Fulbright alumni have long served in the U.S. Congress. The 110th U.S. Congress convened on January 4, 2007, with four Fulbright alumni serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Photo of the United States Capitol
2017

Classroom Diplomacy

Teacher Exchanges expand program offerings for primary and secondary teachers in the U.S. and 70 countries; nearly 11,000 teacher alumni have brought global perspectives to classrooms around the world.

Photo of teach in a science class with secondary students
2020

6 Fulbright Alumni Lead Their Countries

Served or were elected: Colville Norbert Young (Belize), Ashraf Ghani (Afghanistan), Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (Croatia), David Granger (Guyana), Alexander de Croo (Belgium), Francisco Sagasti (Peru)

Photo of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in July 2011

I kept hearing that Fulbright opens doors. I’d say Fulbright actually creates doors. It forges pathways, where there seem to be only walls.

Maria Papanikolaou
Greece to U.S., 2016
Photo of woman sitting on a bench facing the train tracks to the side as a train passes by

Alumni

Fulbright Alumni: Lasting Legacies

Each month of the 75th Anniversary year will feature notable Fulbrighters who have made an impact on the world. Read their stories here.

Zahi Hawass

Archaeologist

Fulbright Egypt Student to the U.S., 1983

I’m proud to be a Fulbright. I learned a lot about how to be a good lecturer, how to write books, and also how to educate people all over the world.

Read His Story

Harrison “Jack” Schmitt

Astronaut

Fulbright U.S. Student to Norway, 1957

The Fulbright Program is many things to many fortunate people. For me, the […] experience clearly shaped the broad framework of my life.

Read His Story

Bay Fang

President of Radio Free Asia

Fulbright U.S. Student to Hong Kong, 1995

My Fulbright year in Hong Kong launched me on the path to becoming a foreign correspondent and helping to give voice to the voiceless.

Read Her Story

Lee Evans

Olympic Athlete and Humanitarian

Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Cameroon, 1986

Witnessing and influencing change, Lee Evans serves as an inspiration to generations of athletes and changemakers.

Read His Story

Fulbrighters not only enrich their educations and advance their careers, they also make meaningful contributions abroad and at home, often in unexpected ways. Throughout the program’s 75-year history, Fulbrighters have borne witness to world-changing historical moments; in some cases, they have even made history themselves.

U.S. Fulbright Student Mid-Year Conference, 1994
U.S. Fulbright Student Mid-Year Conference, 1994
Get Connected

In the Media

Recent News

Discover Fulbright Program news and updates.

2020 and 2021 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows Announced

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the National Geographic Society announced the selection of the 2020 and 2021 cohorts of Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows.

Read More2020 and 2021 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows Announced

Fulbright Program Commemorates 75th Anniversary

The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is proud to celebrate the impact and achievements of the over 400,000 alumni of the Fulbright Program as we commemorate its 75th anniversary.

Read MoreFulbright Program Commemorates 75th Anniversary

Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Alumna Named Artist-in-Residence

Mimi Onuoha, a 2014 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow, was named the artist-in-residence at the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab at Princeton University.

Read MoreFulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Alumna Named Artist-in-Residence

Nobel Prize Winner and Fulbright Alumnus Ei-ichi Negishi Dies at 85

Nobel-winning chemist and 1960 Fulbright Foreign Student from Japan Ei-ichi Negishi passed away at the age of 85.

Read MoreNobel Prize Winner and Fulbright Alumnus Ei-ichi Negishi Dies at 85

Fulbright Alumna Awarded 2021 Pulitzer Prize

Megha Rajagopalan, 2010 U.S. Student to China, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting alongside her BuzzFeed News colleagues.

Read MoreFulbright Alumna Awarded 2021 Pulitzer Prize

U.S. Embassy in Tunisia Creates Video for Fulbright’s 75th Anniversary

To celebrate the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary, the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia created a video highlighting their Fulbright Day event and the alumni who attended.

Read MoreU.S. Embassy in Tunisia Creates Video for Fulbright’s 75th Anniversary

Fulbright Thailand Launches Video Series for Anniversary

The Thailand-United States Educational Foundation (TUSEF) launched an ongoing series featuring alumni from their various Fulbright programs.

Read MoreFulbright Thailand Launches Video Series for Anniversary

20 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Announced for AY 2019-2020

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs recognized 20 institutions as “Fulbright Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Institutional Leaders” for their noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program.

Read More20 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Announced for AY 2019-2020

Fulbright Alumna Named Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre

U.S. Student alumna Iyvon Edebiri was named the Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre in New York.

Read MoreFulbright Alumna Named Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre

Alumna Maya Angelou Among Women Chosen to be on Quarter

Writer, poet, and Fulbright alumna Maya Angelou was chosen to be one of the first women to appear on a series of quarters issued by the U.S. Mint.

Read MoreAlumna Maya Angelou Among Women Chosen to be on Quarter

Behind-the-Scenes Look at Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Luxor Discovery

Egyptian media outlet Cairo Scene followed alumnus Dr. Zahi Hawass and Fulbright Egypt for this exclusive video feature.

Read MoreBehind-the-Scenes Look at Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Luxor Discovery

U.S. Scholar Alumna Featured on PBS NewsHour

Janai Nelson, alumna and Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), was a guest commentator on PBS Newshour to discuss the trial and verdict of Derek Chauvin.

Read MoreU.S. Scholar Alumna Featured on PBS NewsHour

Fulbright-National Geographic Alumna Featured on The New Yorker Radio Hour

Destry Maria Sibley spoke about her grandmother’s story of being sent to a Mexican orphanage as a child during the Spanish Civil War.

Read MoreFulbright-National Geographic Alumna Featured on The New Yorker Radio Hour

Egyptian Fulbright Alumnus Discovers “Lost Golden City”

Egyptologist and Fulbright alumnus Dr. Zahi Hawass’ discovery “has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological finds since Tutankhamun’s tomb.”

Read MoreEgyptian Fulbright Alumnus Discovers “Lost Golden City”

Fulbright Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Participant Stories

The U.S. alumni organization of the Fulbright Program, the Fulbright Association, is sharing stories of inspirational Fulbrighters throughout 2021.

Read MoreFulbright Association Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Participant Stories

Third Fulbright Arctic Initiative Launches with Virtual Kick-Off

On March 23-24, the new cohort of Fulbright Arctic Scholars held a virtual meeting to kick off their 18-month collaborative research program.

Read MoreThird Fulbright Arctic Initiative Launches with Virtual Kick-Off

Ex-Bristol Student Unable to Read at 13 Now Studying for PhD on Fulbright

William Carter was unable to read until the age of 13 because of his severe dyslexia and dyspraxia. He is now on a Fulbright at the University of California, Berkeley.

Read MoreEx-Bristol Student Unable to Read at 13 Now Studying for PhD on Fulbright

TCU Celebrates 75-Year Legacy with the U.S. Fulbright Program

Texas Christian University (TCU) launched a site that celebrates TCU Fulbrighters and their stories.

Read MoreTCU Celebrates 75-Year Legacy with the U.S. Fulbright Program

Fulbright Alumnus Named Editor-at-Large at Lonely Planet

Travel writer, multimedia journalist, and Fulbright alumnus Sebastian Modak was named the new Editor-at-Large for Lonely Planet.

Read MoreFulbright Alumnus Named Editor-at-Large at Lonely Planet

An Advocate for the Disabled Talks About the Importance of Giving Back

Eyþór Kamban Þrastarson, a Fulbright fellow (Iceland to the U.S., 2015) and a manager of a Erasmus collaboration project that aims to empower and enable young people that are blind and visually impaired, discusses the impact Fulbright made on his life.

Read MoreAn Advocate for the Disabled Talks About the Importance of Giving Back

2020-21 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions Announced

We congratulate the 2020-21 Top Producing Institutions of Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars, who had the most Fulbrighters in certain categories.

Read More2020-21 Fulbright Top Producing Institutions Announced

Rakuten Donation Enhances Fulbright Opportunities for Japanese Students

Fulbright Japan announced that Rakuten, Inc. has committed to establishing the Fulbright-Mikitani Memorial Grant to support future Japanese participants.

Read MoreRakuten Donation Enhances Fulbright Opportunities for Japanese Students

National Archives Signs MOU with Fulbright for Archival Science Fellowship

The National Archives and the State Department formalized a new partnership to establish the Fulbright-National Archives Heritage Science Fellowship.

Read MoreNational Archives Signs MOU with Fulbright for Archival Science Fellowship

Fulbright Partners with National Park Service to Strengthen Exchanges

Fulbright and the National Park Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), increasing environmental and cultural awareness worldwide.

Read MoreFulbright Partners with National Park Service to Strengthen Exchanges

Fulbright Program Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2021

Read more about the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary celebration in DipNote, the U.S. Department of State’s official blog.

Read MoreFulbright Program Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2021

The Fulbright Program’s 2020 Year in Review

Take a look back at the program’s highlights and milestones in an unprecedented year.

Read MoreThe Fulbright Program’s 2020 Year in Review

The 2019-20 Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows Share their Stories

Now back from the field, the four 2019-20 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows share their research and photos.

Read MoreThe 2019-20 Fulbright-National Geographic Fellows Share their Stories

2021 Events & Activities

Organizations around the world are celebrating Fulbright's 75th Anniversary.

Submit activities and events here, if you would like to be featured below.

8.05 Fulbright Day: Lithuania More information 8.06 Fulbright Day: Latvia More information 8.14 Fulbright Day: Pakistan More information 8.17 A Night of Poetry From Fulbright Poets to Romania, Burkina Faso, and Finland More information 8.19 Fulbright Day: Costa Rica More information 8.25 Fulbright Day: Argentina More information 8.26 Fulbright Day: Ecuador More information 8.27 Fulbright Nebraska Chapter hosts Community Conversations More information 9.01 Fulbright Day: Lebanon More information 9.10 Fulbright Day: Angola More information 9.23 Fulbright Day: Ireland More information 9.23 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Celebrates 75 Years of Global Actions, Opportunities, and Connections More information

Get Involved

We encourage all program alumni, partners, and friends to engage with Fulbright and their communities.

Ramy Kheir
Egypt to U.S., 2019
Photo of a Fulbrighter helping at a food bank.