More than 400,000 people from all backgrounds — recent graduates, teachers, scientists and researchers, musicians, artists, and more — have embarked on Fulbright experiences and come away with enhanced skills, new connections, and greater global understanding. During the 75th Anniversary year, we featured 48 notable Fulbrighters who have made an impact on the world. Read their stories below.
Megha Rajagopalan harnessed geospatial technology and old-fashioned reporting to expose the scale of the internment of Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang Province. For this piece of groundbreaking journalism Rajagopalan was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.
Victor Lopez-Carmen’s decision to become a doctor is rooted in his desire to challenge that invisibility and ensure that Indigenous Americans have equal access to health care. Lopez-Carmen is a member of both the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and the Pascua Yaqui Nation.
Nataly Naser Al Deen has dedicated herself to the fight against cancer, both as a leading researcher and as the founder of an NGO that encourages fitness for breast cancer survivors. A three-time recipient of U.S. Department of State-funded scholarships, she is currently conducting postdoctoral cancer research.
Leila Cobo is a classically trained concert pianist, a novelist, and perhaps her country’s preeminent journalist focusing on Latin Music. As Latin Music has increasingly taken over the U.S. charts, Cobo has been there to document its meteoric rise.
Dr. Manuel T. Pacheco’s path to U.S. higher education leader could be considered “nontraditional.” He was the son of migrant farm workers, became the first in his family to attend college, graduated from a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and earned a Fulbright U.S. Student award to France.
A first-generation college graduate, Dr. García was raised in Brooklyn, New York, by parents who migrated from Puerto Rico to work in factories and provide a better life for their family. They emphasized the importance of education, telling Dr. García and her four siblings, “the only inheritance a poor family can leave you is a good education.” These words have shaped her life.
Known in Rwanda as a mentor and prolific researcher, Dr. Eugene Mutimura advocates for his country’s development of science, technology, and education. While his scientific research is notable, Dr. Mutimura’s contributions to promoting young scientists and the growth of Rwanda’s scientific infrastructure are equally impressive.
Dr. Mona Khoury-Kassabri is a history maker. Her continued role in academics and administration at Hebrew University, informed by her Fulbright Visiting Scholar experience at the University of Chicago, empowers underrepresented communities through education.
Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg knows about returns on investment, having served as the chief investment officer for the World Bank for 12 years and as the founder and chairwoman of Strategic Investment Group. When she says, “I cannot think of a better return on investment” for the opportunity Fulbright provided, she speaks from experience.
Dr. Sophie V. Vandebroek has held leadership roles at multinational companies including IBM, Xerox, and IDEXX Laboratories, and holds 14 United States patents. Throughout her impressive career, she has always emphasized the benefits of working with diverse and entrepreneurial colleagues from around the world.