Throughout 2021, the U.S. Department of State and program partners around the world are marking the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program by highlighting the achievements, innovations, and impact of the U.S. government’s flagship educational exchange program.
To celebrate this milestone, and recognize 64 years of educational and cultural exchanges between Ireland and the USA, the Fulbright Commission in Ireland and the U.S. Embassy in Ireland hosted a special in-person Fulbright Alumni evening at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. This event also celebrated the Fulbright-Frederick and Anna Douglass Award, developed in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Ireland. This scholarship has been developed to encourage participation of diverse communities in U.S.-Irish exchanges, and to spread awareness of the Fulbright Program within more communities, particularly those traditionally underrepresented in international exchange.
The evening of celebration reflected on Fulbright past and present, as well as future ambitions. Irish and U.S. Fulbrighters who undertook awards over a range of decades took part in a panel and discussed their experiences of cross-cultural collaboration, change-making, community engagement and personal development.
Watch the recording of the full event below.
Fulbright Austria is happy to announce an online Fulbright Day on 3 November 2021. For their event, they hosted a panel discussion to focus on the achievements of their programs and their alumni. The discussion highlighted not only Fulbright Austria’s Combined Grant and Community-based Combined Grant—which are unique within the global Fulbright Program—but also U.S. alumni who participated in the Fulbright Program both in Austria and in other countries.
In celebration of the Fulbright program’s 75th anniversary, U.S. Embassy Dhaka and the Bangladeshi Fulbright alumni community organized a two-day virtual conference from October 27 to October 28, 2021. U.S. Ambassador Earl Miller inaugurated the conference on October 27 and Deputy Chief of Mission Helen LaFave delivered closing remarks on Bangladesh’s Fulbright Day (October 28).
The two-day virtual conference hosted 16 sessions featuring a total of 49 speakers from both the United States and Bangladesh. The speakers included 42 alumni who reflected on the knowledge and experiences gained from their Fulbright journey which continues to impact their personal and professional lives and the communities around them. A leading South Asian macroeconomist, former Bangladesh Ambassador, and Fulbright alumnus, Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, delivered remarks as the conference’s keynote speaker on Bangladesh’s Fulbright Day. Embassy’s social media posts on the conference and Bangladesh Fulbright Day was highly appreciated by the followers. The Fulbright conference opening and closing sessions were live streamed on U.S. Embassy Facebook page—reaching 187,589 people. To promote the conference and encourage more Bangladeshi women to apply for the Fulbright program, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer Khadija Mohamud and two distinguished Fulbright alumnae participated in a live tv show segment hosted by DBC News which aired on October 23, 2021.
Conference sessions covered a diverse array of topics such as the evolution of U.S.- Bangladesh diplomatic relations, inclusion and pluralism, higher education, agriculture, climate change, and gender, justice, and advocacy. During the conference U.S. and Bangladeshi Fulbright alumni and former U.S. Embassy Dhaka colleagues talked about the long-term impacts that their Fulbright experience have had on themselves and their communities as well as ways to carry forward the legacy of Fulbright program by promoting diversity and inclusion, expanding worldviews and future study and career opportunities as a way of strengthening diplomatic ties between the United States and Bangladesh. Professor Dr. Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman (Fulbright Scholar, 2002), Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka, reflected on the impact of his exchange experience sharing, “the Program gave me an opportunity to experience and learn about American society…which was eye opening for me. It offered me an opportunity [to understand America is a] multi religious and multicultural society that encourages interreligious dialogue and intercultural relations, which are two fundamental aspects to establish peace in any society.”
DBC News TV Interview
Watch the Ceremony Facebook Live here.
In celebration of Fulbright75 and the 30th anniversary of the Czech Fulbright Commission, two virtual events were hosted by Czech Fulbright Commission. Together with our colleagues from Germany, Poland, and Slovak Republic we highlighted the ETA programs in our countries through a panel “Changing Mindsets, New Opportunities & New Partnerships.” The recording of the panel’s main “room” is available to watch below.
Artists from the Czech Republic and US joined forces and the final project was introduced by its curator, Šárka Zahálková on-line. Watch the recording below.
A sociological survey of Czech and US alumni of the Czech Fulbright program was introduced and is now available for download here.
On November 4, Fulbright Denmark’s Anniversary Symposium took place at Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen. The symposium was titled “From Soft Diplomacy to Science Diplomacy” and brought together in person and virtually Americans and Danes, including HRH The Crown Prince of Denmark, who share a passion for making the world a better place through science.
The day became worthy of the Fulbright anniversaries and the legacy of the program: excellent presentations from our four keynote speakers and good discussions about timely, urgent issues. It left everybody with an understanding of the role science and science diplomacy must play. But it also left the audience with the hope that programs like the Fulbright program will be able to deliver truth and solutions to the problems faced by humanity today. If you missed the symposium on November 4, the full event can be streamed through Fulbright Denmark’s Facebook here.
Reciprocation — A collaborative art exhibition by American and Indian artists that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the worldwide Fulbright program opens with an overwhelming response
The U.S. Embassy, USIEF, and Ojas Art present “Reciprocation” – an art exhibition by American Fulbright Artists and their India Connections – that opened in New Delhi on November 12, 2021, to a welcoming audience of diplomats, art connoisseurs and artists. Curated by Kathryn Myers, this extraordinary exhibition features a unique collaboration between ten American Artists (recipients of Fulbright Fellowships) and an equal number of Indian artists.
The celebrations were marked by the presence of the US Chargé D’Affaires Patricia A. Lacina, USIEF Executive Director Adam Grotsky, U.S. Embassy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Gloria F Berbena and Cultural Attaché Anthony Miranda, along with a number of Fulbright alumni and individuals from the art world.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, Anubhav Nath, Director of Ojas Art, said, “We are extremely delighted to have an immensely talented set of American Fulbright artists exhibiting with us along with their chosen Indian artists. Reciprocation resonates with the very fabric of Ojas as we have been part of various creative collaborations. With Kathryn’s curatorial eye and the revelation of the testimonials from these Fulbright scholars, we are as eager to know about their creative interactions and their outcome, as the visitors to this exceptional exhibit.”
The artworks spread across mediums from paintings on canvases to photographs. The exhibiting artist pairs include Alan Teller & Jerri Zibral with Prabir Purkayastha, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew with Adira Thekkuveettil, Christine Rogers with Cop Shiva, Eva Lee with Karma Sichoe, Kathryn Myers with Rajesh Sagara, Marcia Neblett with Lakshmi Priya Daniel, Margaret Lanzetta with Gigi Scaria, Michael Richardson with Priti Samyuktha, Pawel Wojastek with Gautam Chaterjee, and Tanya Gill with the late Priya Ravish Mehra.
Adam Grotsky, Executive Director of the United States – India Educational Foundation said, “The worldwide Fulbright Program is committed to providing opportunities for American and foreign artists, writers, poets, filmmakers, and musicians to showcase their creativity. Many Fulbright grants are offered in the performing and visual arts each year. For our part, USIEF has supported hundreds of artists from both India and the U.S. since the founding of our program in 1950.”
See more photos from the exhibit below.
On October 8, Fulbright Hungary commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program and the 30th anniversary of the Hungary Fulbright Association with an event titled, “A Community Based on Shared Values,” held at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Marc Dillard delivered the keynote address, in which he spoke of the historic importance of the program in sharing knowledge and culture between the two countries. The event was attended by 140 Fulbright participants past and present, Government of Hungary officials, and other European alumni of U.S. government exchange programs. The day featured a series of roundtable discussions highlighting the importance of the transatlantic relationship.
During their international exchanges, Fulbrighters come face-to-face with difficult and seemingly intractable problems. In response to these problems, Fulbrighters make use of their newfound academic training, cultural knowledge, and entrepreneurial skills to create innovative solutions that better the world around them. As leaders of industry and technological innovators, Fulbrighters work to forge a better, more inclusive future.
Fulbright Leaders of Industry
Fulbright alumni lead multinational, complex organizations, making use of their ingenuity, knowledge, and cultural understanding.
Dr. Craig R. Barrett, 1971 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Denmark, is an engineer, business executive, and educator. He is best known for his career at Intel Corporation, where he was elected to the Board of Directors in 1992, became Intel’s fourth president in 1997, CEO in 1998, and chairman of the board in 2005. After retiring from Intel, Barrett joined the faculty of Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. He also works to improve education through organizations including the Carnegie Institution for Science, U.S. Council for International Business, Society for Science, and United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development. As a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, Barrett taught materials science at the Technical University of Denmark in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark.
Salil Mehta, 1985 Fulbright U.S. Student to India, is an experienced media executive. As general manager of digital media for The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment, Mehta manages video apps and digital media platforms, including all digital properties of Walt Disney Television, and those of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. He previously served as president of FoxNext at Twentieth Century Fox; and as CEO and CFO of NBCUniversal’s entertainment, digital networks, and integrated media division. As a Fulbrighter, Mehta studied political economy at the Delhi School of Economics in New Delhi, India.
Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, 1986 Fulbright U.S. Student to Finland, is CEO and founder of RMK Group, a consulting firm that specializes in advising and strategy for CEOs and business leadership. Macieira-Kaufmann has deep expertise in the financial services industry, as well as experience on private and non-profit boards, including as head of International Personal Bank U.S. at Citi and chairman of the board of Banamex USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Mexico’s second-largest bank. Macieira-Kaufmann studied communications as a Fulbright U.S. Student at the University of Helsinki and served on the Fulbright Association’s Board of Directors.
Improving Lives Through Technology
Fulbrighters improve the lives of people around the world by solving complex problems through cutting-edge science. By using robotics, biology, and new applications of technology, scientists and technologists devise new ways to improve the quality of human life.
Ziad Sankari, 2008 Fulbright Foreign Student from Lebanon, is a technology entrepreneur. After losing his father to a heart attack due to poor healthcare, Sankari started CardioDiagnostics, a company that develops technology to monitor patients’ hearts wirelessly, allowing communication of diagnostic and preventive information to patients. On his Fulbright, Sankari studied biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University, where he first envisioned CardioDiagnostics. He pitched CardioDiagnostics at the 2011 Global Innovation Through Science and Technology’s (GIST) Tech-I Pitch Competition, where he won first place and received his first round of seed funding. Given his experiences, Sankari sees education as essential to successful entrepreneurship and combating poverty and extremism.
Dr. Nektarios Paisios, 2007 Fulbright Foreign Student from Cyprus, is a software engineer focused on removing the everyday obstacles that visually impaired people encounter, including the inaccessibility of visually presented information, barriers to mobility, and the lack of equal access to mobile phones and other electronic devices. Now leading a team at Google, Paisios works to improve accessibility of the Google Chrome web browser. Paisios’ current work is informed by his PhD in computer science, which he completed at New York University through the Fulbright International Science and Technology Award.
Dr. Ellen Roche, 2011 Fulbright Foreign Student from Ireland, is a biomedical engineer who creates innovative solutions for cardiovascular issues. An associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science, she has tackled heart failure prevention with the Harvard Ventricular Assist Device (HarVAD), a soft-robotic sleeve device to maintain the heart’s functionality; and Therepi, a reservoir that attaches directly to damaged heart tissue. Dr. Roche built her expertise through the Fulbright International Science and Technology Award, completing a PhD in biomedical engineering at Harvard Medical School.
György Lévay, 2015 Fulbright Foreign Student from Hungary, develops new technologies for individuals with disabilities. He is a research manager at Infinite Biomedical Technologies, a company focused on the advancement of upper limb prostheses. On his Fulbright at Johns Hopkins University, Lévay completed his master’s degree in biomedical engineering, where he conducted research on control algorithms and strategies for upper-limb prostheses. This culminated in the creation of a Game Enhancing Augmented Reality (GEAR) device, which enables people with limited limb mobility to control a computer using their feet. For their idea, Lévay’s team won the grand prize in the Intel-Cornell Cup.
Building Better Solutions through Fulbright
Fulbrighters find new ways to innovate and create impactful change in a variety of industries.
Dr. Bernard S. Baker, 1959 Fulbright U.S. Student to the Netherlands, was an electrochemistry pioneer and fuel cell researcher for 45 years. He co-founded and served as president, CEO, and chairman of Energy Research Corporation, now called FuelCell Energy, Inc., which develops and manufactures direct fuel cells used to generate clean electric power. During his lifetime, he was issued 20 U.S. patents relating to fuel cells and other electrochemical systems and authored more than 100 publications, including technical papers, books, and symposia proceedings.
Soyoung Kang, 1996 Fulbright U.S. Student to South Korea, is chief marketing officer (CMO) at eos, the lip-care trailblazer that has sold over half a billion lip balms worldwide. In her role, Kang drives the overall brand strategy, planning, and operations for all global and regional marketing initiatives. Since joining eos as CMO, Kang has led a total brand reboot, from redesigning and expanding the product portfolio to launching the global “Make It Awesome” campaign. Kang was named a Forbes CMO Next 2019, which recognizes marketing leaders. She was also selected by Business Insider in 2019 as a CMO to Watch for reshaping marketing, and by Glossy as a Beauty Innovator who is driving change in the beauty industry. On her Fulbright, Kang studied the influences of Confucian ideology on the development of dwellings in Korea.
Anthonia Carter, 2017 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom, explores the intersection of data science, economic development, and critical design theory. As a PhD student studying information science at Cornell University, she investigates the ethical, societal, and computational implications of recommendation engines and ranking systems that drive online crowdfunding platforms. Carter is the founder of EGK Starters, which provides transformative learning and mentorship experiences to early-stage BIPOC startup founders, helping to position them to raise capital and partner with investors to fund more BIPOC-led startups. On her Fulbright, Carter completed a master’s degree in multidisciplinary innovation at Northumbria University. There, she used a design-led approach to help enterprises realize innovation opportunities.