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.