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Fulbrighters Leading Through Innovation

Young woman with long brown hair and glasses typing on a laptop on a table. Around her are various wires and gadgets.
Fulbrighters contribute cutting-edge solutions to complex global problems, including through the Fulbright-Technology Industries of Finland Award.

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.

Headshot of Dr. Craig R. Barrett

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.

Headshot of Salil Mehta

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.

Headshot of Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann

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 speaking at a podium

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.

Headshot of Dr. Nektarios Paisios

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.

Headshot of Dr. Ellen Roche

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.

Forbes NEXT magazine cover in Hungarian with Headshot of György Lévay with one of his mechanical upper limb prostheses - a robotic-looking hand and wrist on the cover

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.

2019 Fulbright Specialist Louann Hofheins Cummings, woman in red dress and white blazer, surrounded by a group of staff from the African Development University in Niger wearing mostly traditional African clothing.
2019 Fulbright Specialist Louann Hofheins Cummings (center front) supported staff at the African Development University in Niger with a learning management system, taught business administration classes, trained faculty and advised university management, and led a workshop on executive education with professionals and government officials.

Building Better Solutions through Fulbright

Fulbrighters find new ways to innovate and create impactful change in a variety of industries.

Headshot of Dr. Bernard S. Baker

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 with a casual top standing in front of a wall made of small balls in different colors - mostly red, pink, white, and blue

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.

Headshot of Anthonia Carter

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.

Fulbright grantee in a lab working a robotic arm.
Emmanuel Johnson, 2013 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom, completed a master’s degree in robotics and conducted research in human-robot interaction. He was primarily interested in exploring how robots can use gestures to provide feedback in a learning environment.