On December 1, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program by having the distinguished Fulbrighters who have contributed to build innumerable bridges between our two countries. They shared their Fulbright journey, how the program transformed them personally and professionally, and how the power of educational exchange in strengthening the U.S. – Vietnam relation. The panel included alumni from various Fulbright programs.
Dr. Cal Mackenzie is the Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of Government Emeritus at Colby College in Maine USA. He first came to Viet Nam in 1970 as a soldier in the American Army, a caustic experience in his life. He happily returned as a Fulbright Scholar at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences in 2012. He has returned to Viet Nam often in the following years to work on business development and charitable activities with his many Vietnamese friends.
Ms. Thao Griffith – she studied International Relations at American University in 2004. After coming back to Vietnam, Thao became the first Vietnamese Country Director of an international NGO that helped post-conflict issues including Agent Orange contamination, unexploded ordinances (UXO) and mental health issues.
Dr. Nguyen Viet Khoi is the Vietnamese Fulbright scholar at Columbia Business School in 2012. He now works the Center of International for Training and Education, Vietnam National University. His work focuses on creating young global citizens of the 21st century who have the potential to promote sustainable development and keep the society moving forward.
Mr. Vincent Pham Vincent is a Vietnamese American. His parents left Vietnam after the war. He came to Vietnam as an English Teaching Assistant 4 years ago. After finishing his Fulbright fellowship, Vincent decided to stay in Vietnam, working for Fulbright University, joining efforts to build the first Vietnamese independent, not-for-profit university inspired by American liberal arts tradition. Vincent represents a young generation of Vietnamese American who are not constrained by the past bias and contribute into the challenging reconciliation.
Ms. Bui Viet Lam, a Georgetown University alum. After coming back from the U.S., Lam joined Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) as one of the founding team members. Lam devotes her efforts to share Fulbright University Vietnam’s story to the world and make the world know about FUV, the first Vietnamese independent, non-profit university inspired by American liberal arts tradition. Besides sharing her own story as a Fulbrighter, Viet Lam also takes the role of moderator for this roundtable discussion.
In addition, there is an ongoing campaign of profiles of prominent Fulbright alumni on the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usembassyhanoi/. The profiles highlight diverse alumni from various programs sharing their Fulbright journey and how the program transformed them personally and professionally.