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Partners for Mutual Understanding

The Fulbright Program partners with dynamic and forward-thinking organizations to expand the program’s reach, build diverse networks, and create impact in a variety of disciplines and fields. Learn how Fulbright partnerships help fulfill the program’s mission. 

In addition to the organizations listed below, Fulbright commissions – a group of 49 partnership organizations, most of which are funded jointly by the U.S. and the partner government – are responsible for educational exchanges in their countries. Among their duties, they recruit and nominate candidates for fellowships; designate qualified local educational institutions to host Fulbrighters; engage alumni; support incoming U.S. Fulbrighters; and, in many countries, operate an information service for the public on study in the United States. Read more about the work of Fulbright Commissions here.

Fulbright Impact Through Partner Organizations

A group of Fulbrighters, some with disabilities, at a Foreign Student enrichment seminar.

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE) is a project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs designed to increase participation in international exchanges by people with disabilities. It is implemented by Mobility International USA (MIUSA), a disability-led nonprofit organization that advances disability rights and leadership globally. The Fulbright Program is proud to work with NCDE to support greater access to international educational exchange for people of all backgrounds and abilities by modifying recruitment and screening practices to remove barriers for people with disabilities and supporting Fulbrighters during their grants. The program also supports the Joining Hands Symposium, as well as the Roundtable Consortium (RTC), an advisory committee of 24 international exchange and disability organizations that work with NCDE to increase the participation of those with disabilities in international exchanges. 

Two women posing in front of a waterfall. One is wrapped in two blankets and is on a wheelchair, the other kneels next to her in a hooded jacket. Both look cold, but are smiling.
Miroslava Mima Ivanović (right) was the first Montenegrin with a disability to participate in the Fulbright Program. In 2018, Miroslava left Montenegro to spend three months at the Syracuse University College of Law, Disability Law and Policy Program. While her Fulbright was a challenge and a risk, her participation was “more than worth it.” Miroslava currently serves as the Executive Director of the Initiative of Youth with Disabilities of Boka in Montenegro.
Headshots of two women placed side-by-side: Oyuntugs Bayaraa from Mongolia and Sheila Xu from the United States.
Oyuntugs Bayaraa, 2016 Fulbright Foreign Student from Mongolia, who is visually impaired, received a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Arkansas. Now back in Mongolia, she works with the Mongolian Association of State Alumni to broaden educational opportunities for youth with disabilities, especially those affected by hearing impairments. Sheila Xu, 2016 Fulbright U.S. Student to Italy and NCDE “Access to Exchange Externship” recipient, wrote a short resource guide for people with disabilities, drawing from her Fulbright experiences. Sheila now works as a business communications consultant and is a public speaker on deaf culture, deaf travel, accessibility and inclusion, and international exchange opportunities and resources for the deaf. 

MIUSA is committed to continuing to advance inclusion globally with the Fulbright Program: “Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and the Fulbright Program share a strong belief in the benefits of cross-cultural and educational experiences for all people with and without disabilities and the commitment to equal opportunities, inclusion, and universal design worldwide. We are both interested in building the pipeline of leaders through the Fulbright Program and accelerating leadership from those who have shown great progress in their fields. The Fulbright Program has been critical in increasing the number of people with disabilities in international exchange globally.”

The Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

A woman in a lab coat with gloves on explaining something to another woman, also in a lab coat.
To help develop more effective cholera vaccines, 2012 Fulbright-Fogarty Fellow to Bangladesh Dr. Brie Falkard has studied the human immune system response.

The Fogarty International Center at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), led by director Dr. Roger I. Glass, a 1967 Fulbright U.S. Student to Argentina, is dedicated to advancing the NIH mission by supporting and facilitating global health research conducted by U.S. and international investigators, building partnerships between health research institutions in the United States and abroad, and training the next generation of scientists to address global health needs.  

In 2011, the Fulbright Program and the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health created the Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health. This promotes the expansion of public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. Some 42 Fulbright-Fogarty Fellows have made a difference in Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, China, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Peru, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia post-program. Their research areas include Sickle Cell Anemia and Malaria infections in children, parasitic infections in Brazil, the use of HIV self-testing kits in China, and tuberculosis in urban spaces. 

A fulbrighter helps a woman with a medical machine.
As a 2012 Fulbright-Fogarty Fellow in Peru, Navid Shams (left) worked to improve long-term outcomes in ICU patients. He also helped train his Peruvian colleagues to use sophisticated machines like the lung measurement machine pictured.

The Fogarty International Center reflects: “The Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health brings together our organizations’ unique strengths in research, global health, and international partnerships and has allowed both organizations to extend the scope and reach of its individual programs. The fellowship also makes a difference through its support of research in priority health areas of the host countries and its strengthening of international research collaborations, in addition to training the next generation of global health researchers. We sincerely appreciate our partnership with the Fulbright Program and look forward to seeing how our continued commitment impacts the global health landscape moving forward.”

The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that “uses the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.” Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching three million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories, and content.  

In 2013, the Fulbright Program partnered with National Geographic to create the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling FellowshipThis program enables young professionals to research, explore, and promote conservation through science, technology, and storytelling. Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of National Geographic Society, reiterates the importance of this critical collaboration, stating, “The National Geographic Society is proud to have partnered with the U.S. Department of State to fund storytelling projects on globally relevant issues since 2013. We believe that storytelling has the power to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. The Fulbrighters selected for this program have undertaken in-depth explorations of our world’s many cultures, shared their observations with global audiences, and shown how truly interconnected we all are.”

U.S. National Park Service

Since 1916, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has been entrusted with the care of American national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, NPS safeguards these special places and shares their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year. In January 2021, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the U.S. Department of the Interior’s NPS, and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced the establishment of the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership. The Fulbright Program and the National Park Service have pledged to combine efforts, resources, and ideas to increase environmental and cultural awareness internationally through Fulbright exchanges. 

The virtual signing ceremony to establish the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership was the inaugural event of the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary year. The Fulbright Program celebrated National Parks Week by showcasing Fulbright involvement as visitors and staff at National Parks through its own celebration: Protecting the Planet Day. Activities included Fulbright Impact in the Field: Climate Change and Environmental Justice, which convened scientists, researchers, and other professionals involved in combating climate change; and Explore Crater Lake National Park with Fulbright Specialist John Duwe, who hosted an exploration of Crater Lake National Park and an introduction to the U.S. National Park Service. “This program aligns with the NPS goal to form partnerships to exchange best practices that support and promote conservation of cultural and natural heritage across the globe,” said Margaret Everson, Counselor to the Secretary, exercising the authority of the National Park Service Director. “Participants will gain insight on a wide range of disciplines, from biological monitoring to archeological investigation to community outreach, that will provide lasting benefits for them and their parks.”  

The National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) were established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, yet its holdings date back to 1775, capturing the sweep of the past, from slave ship manifests and the Emancipation Proclamation to journals of polar expeditions and photographs of Dust Bowl farmers. In 2021, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board signed a memorandum of understanding to support archival science education, conservation, and research. The Fulbright-National Archives Heritage Science Fellowship will connect visiting Fulbright scholars with National Archives leaders to conduct cutting-edge research in NARA’s state-of-the-art Preservation Lab to translate theory into practice. 

“We are pleased to partner with the State Department and the Fulbright Program, and to welcome our first-ever Fulbright Heritage Science scholar to the National Archives,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “As the lead U.S. government agency in archival science, research, preservation, and conservation, this initiative is a great way for the National Archives to continue to advance and support collaborative research and academic engagement, and to help shape future leaders from around the world in these fields.” 

The Next 75 Years

A testament to the strength of mutual understanding, Fulbright Program partnerships have been instrumental to ensuring the success of the program and its mission. We look forward to building a shared future through Fulbright impact, for the next 75 years.