Ruth Simmons

Ruth J. Simmons

1967 Fulbright U.S. Student to France

Dr. Ruth Simmons is the president of Prairie View A&M University and a former president of Smith College and Brown University, with a lifelong passion for cross-cultural understanding and showcasing Black excellence in academia. When she was named president of Smith College in 1995, she became one of the first African American women to head a U.S. college or university and created the first women’s college engineering program in the United States. When she became president of Brown in 2001, Simmons was the first African American president of an Ivy League institution. At Brown, going on to earn Time Magazine’s accolade as America’s Best College President. As a student, she received a scholarship at Dillard University, an Historically Black College and University in New Orleans, before traveling to Lyon, France as a Fulbright student of French language and culture. Returning to the United States, she earned a Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University. Simmons has served in many capacities in her career: as a professor and dean at the University of New Orleans, provost of Spelman College, and vice provost of Princeton University. In cooperation with Santander Bank, she established Brown International Advanced Research Institutes to convene a rising generation of scholars from developing countries to address pressing global issues. For her teaching, advising, and leadership, she has received more than 30 honorary degrees and many other prominent awards, including CBS’s Woman of the Year, the National Urban League Achievement Award, the President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal, the Foreign Policy Association Medal, the Fulbright Association’s Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Simmons to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Paul Winfree headshot

Paul Winfree

Chair, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board

Paul Winfree is Director of Economic Policy Studies, Acting Director of the Center for Data Analysis, and the Richard F. Aster Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. His research focuses on public finance and US economic history, especially the history and political economy of U.S. fiscal policy. He is author of a book on the evolution of economic and fiscal policy from colonial America to the present, The History and Future of the Budget Process in the United States (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). His research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Hill, and many other publications. Before rejoining Heritage in 2018, Winfree served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, and Director of Budget Policy. He was also formerly senior staff on the Senate Committee on the Budget. 

The Honorable Antony Blinken

United States Secretary of State

Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people over three decades and three presidential administrations. He served as Deputy Secretary of State for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor. During the first term of the Obama Administration, he served as National Security Advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. During the Clinton Administration, he served as a member of the National Security Council (NSC) staff, including two years as the Senior Director for European Affairs, the president’s principal advisor on the countries of Europe, the European Union, and NATO. He also spent four years as President Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter, and he led the NSC’s strategic planning team. From 1993 to 1994, he was a Special Assistant in what was then called the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Now he is proud to lead the department where he got his start nearly 30 years ago. Outside of government, he has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He is a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 to 2002. Before joining government, he practiced law in New York and Paris. He was also a reporter for The New Republic magazine and is the author of Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis. He attended grade school and high school in Paris, where he received a French baccalaureate degree with high honors, and he is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School.

Featured Alumni

Julie Dash (1991 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the United Kingdom) is an American film and television director, writer, and producer. Her 1991 film Daughters of the Dust was the first full-length film directed by an African American woman to have a wide theatrical release in the United States.

Andrew Hevia (2015 Fulbright U.S. Student to Hong Kong) is a Cuban-American filmmaker. He was a producer on the Academy Award-winning film Moonlight and is an associate producer on the new Princess Diana biographical film drama Spencer.

Edward Albee (1964 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the Soviet Union) was an American playwright best known for his plays The Zoo Story, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He won three Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, two Tony Awards for Best Play, and a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

John Lithgow (1967 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom) is an American actor, writer, musician, and poet who has received two Golden Globes, six Emmys, three SAG awards, and two Tony Awards, and was nominated for two Academy Awards and three Grammys. He is known for his roles on popular television shows including 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dexter, and The Crown, as well as films including The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, and Footloose.

Wallace Shawn (1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to India) is an American actor, playwright, and author known for his roles in My Dinner with Andre, Clueless, and The Princess Bride.  He is also a prominent voice actor featured in the Toy Story franchise and other Pixar films.

Wolf Kahn (1962 Fulbright U.S. Student to Italy) as a German-born American painter and printmaker known for his combination of Realism and Color Field.  His work appears in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as the Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Dale Chihuly (1968 Fulbright U.S. Student to Italy) is an artist known for his innovations in the field of blown glass, especially his large scale, site-specific sculptures. His work has been exhibited in public spaces and museums around the world.

Stefan Sagmeister (1986 Fulbright Student from Austria) is an Austrian graphic designer and typographer who has designed album covers for leading artists in the music industry including Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Jay-Z, Aerosmith, and others, winning him two Grammy Awards.

Emily Mason (1956 Fulbright U.S. Student to Italy) was an abstract painter and printmaker. She was a longtime teacher of art at Hunter College in New York City and exhibited her work throughout the United States.

Sheena Rose (2014 Fulbright  Student from Barbados) is a visual artist whose multi-disciplinary works have been featured in the Havana Biennial, Venice Biennial, and Jamaica Biennial, as well as museums in the United States and around the world. She has designed public art projects including bus shelters in Des Moines, Iowa and a mural at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C.

Milton Glaser (1952 Fulbright U.S. Student to Italy) was a celebrated American graphic designer whose designs included the I ♥ NY logo and the logos for DC Comics and Brooklyn Brewery. He was the co-founder of New York Magazine and the first graphic artist to receive the National Medal of the Arts.

Mary Ellen Mark (1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Turkey) was a photographer whose work documented the women’s liberation movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, as well as diverse cultures around the world. Her photographs appeared in Life, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. She received three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism awards, the World Press Award for Outstanding Body of Work, and three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Aaron Copland (1950 and 1964 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, and Germany) was a preeminent American composer and conductor who was known as the “Dean of American Composers.” His works include Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Fanfare for the Common Man.  His musical scores for movies and ballet won him an Academy Award and a Pulitzer Prize.

Philip Glass (1964 Fulbright U.S. Student to France) is a prolific American composer and founder of the Philip Glass Ensemble. Regarded as one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century, he has written critically acclaimed operas and symphonies as well as three Academy Award-nominated film scores, all in his minimalist style.  He was a 2018 Kennedy Center Honoree for his lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts.

George Walker (1957 Fulbright U.S. Student to France) was a composer and the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his work Lilacs. He was the recipient of numerous awards including two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fromm Foundation commission, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award.

Julia Wolfe (1991 Fulbright U.S. Student to the Netherlands) is an American composer who won a Pulitzer Prize for Music for her work Anthracite Fields. She has also received the Herb Alpert Award in Music and was a MacArthur Fellow.

Jin Hi Kim (2017 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Vietnam) is a Korean American composer and performer who introduced the komungo, a Korean zither, in both traditional and electric forms to American contemporary music.  She is a Guggenheim Fellow and has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center as well as at international festivals and venues.

Renee Fleming

Renée Fleming (1984 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany) is one of the most accomplished American operatic sopranos, a musical stateswoman, and an advocate for the powerful connection between music and health. A four-time Grammy Award winner, she is a Kennedy Center Honoree and the recipient of France’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, and Sweden’s Polar Music Prize, and is a member of England’s Royal Academy of Music.

Katherine Dunham(1986 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Brazil) was an American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist who is credited with transforming American dance by bringing African and the Caribbean influences into the American dance world.  She founded and directed the Katherine Dunham Company and introduced the Dunham Technique for teaching dance.

Garth Fagan (1996 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Australia and New Zealand) is a Jamaican American modern dance choreographer who is the founder and artistic director of Garth Fagan Dance. His choreography has been featured at the Dance Theater of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Limón Dance Company.  He received a Tony Award as well as Drama Desk, Laurence Olivier, Astaire, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his groundbreaking work in the Broadway Musical The Lion King.

Sylvia Plath (1955 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom) was a dynamic and influential poet, novelist, and writer best known for her poetry collections The Colossus and Other Poems, and Ariel, as well as her novel The Bell Jar. She won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

George Seferis (1968 Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Greece) was a poet and statesman who was the first Greek recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. He had a long and successful diplomatic career, retiring as the Royal Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom. His resistance to the military government in Greece made him a national hero.

Maya Angelou (1986 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Liberia) was a poet and civil rights activist who authored autobiographies, essays, poetry, plays, movies, and television shows. She wrote 36 books, including her influential work I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

John Steinbeck (1963 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to the Soviet Union) was an author of scores of works including East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, and The Grapes of Wrath, which won the Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his realistic and imaginative writings and keen social perception.

Eudora Welty (1954 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the United Kingdom) was a short story writer, novelist, and photographer whose novel The Optimist’s Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. She is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

N. Scott Momaday (1973 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the Soviet Union) is a Kiowa novelist, essayist, and poet. He became the first Native American to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for his work House Made of Dawn. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the National Medal of Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

John Updike (1973 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Ghana and Nigeria) was a novelist, literary critic, and poet who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He is best known for his “Rabbit” series of novels, which chronicle the life of a fictional middle-class American.

Chinua Achebe (1987 Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Nigeria) was a Nigerian novelist, poet, and critic who is regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern African literature. The author of 20 books, he is best known for his first novel Things Fall Apart. He was a recipient of the International Booker Prize.

Gish Jen (2002 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to China) is a writer and speaker who is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received a Guggenheim fellowship.   She has published short stories including “Birthmates,” and novels including Typical American, Mona in the Promised Land, The Love Wife,  World and Town, and The Resisters.

Jonathan Franzen (1981 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany) is a celebrated novelist and essayist whose novel The Corrections won many honors, including a National Book Award. His other novels, including Freedom and Crossroads, have cemented his reputation as one of the most widely discussed and critically acclaimed modern American novelists.

Featured Alumni

Maria Ressa (1986 U.S. Student to the Philippines) is a Filipino-American author, journalist, longtime CNN reporter, and co-founder and CEO and President of the digital media company, Rappler. Recognized for her work to support a free press, she was named a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Megha_Rajagopalan

Megha Rajagopalan (2010 Fulbright U.S. Student to China) is an international correspondent for BuzzFeed News. She was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for her work reporting on Uighur internment camps in Western China.

Daniel Alarcón (2001 Fulbright U.S. Student to Peru) is a journalist and novelist who writes about Latin America for The New Yorker and serves as Assistant Professor of Journalism at Columbia University. He is the co-founder, host, and executive producer of NPR’s Radio Ambulante and was named a 2021 MacArthur Fellow.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on October 19, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.

Jim Sciutto (1993 Fulbright U.S. Student to Hong Kong) is Anchor and Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN. He has authored several books, reported from 50 countries, and was the senior foreign correspondent for ABC News, based in London, UK. He also served as the Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

Barbara Crossette United Nations Correspondent, The Nation Former Correspondent,

Barbara Crossette (1981 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to India) is the United Nations Correspondent for The Nation. She previously wrote on international affairs and was the UN bureau chief for The New York Times. She is the author of several books on Asia, and won the George Polk Award in 1992 for her coverage of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi .

Karen Attiah 2019 Journalist of the Year, National Association of Black Journalists

Karen Attiah (2008 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ghana) is a columnist and the former Global Opinions editor for The Washington Post. She won the George Polk Award for her writing about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. She was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Mary Ellen (Meg) Greenfield (1952 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom) was the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the Washington Post editorial page and a Newsweek columnist who chronicled the major events that shaped the second half of the 20th Century. For more than 30 years she wrote about topics such as politics, civil rights, nuclear strategy, and military preparedness, calling on government to pursue far-sighted policy and bipartisan solutions.

David Bradley Chairman, Atlantic Media

David Bradley (1977 Fulbright U.S. Student to the Philippines) is the Chairman of the Atlantic Media Company, whose holdings include The Atlantic, Quartz, National Group, and Government Executive Media Group. He is the founder of the Corporate Executive Board and the Advisory Board Company.

Doug Mitchell 2020 Online News Association Community Award Winner

Doug Mitchell (2007 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Chile) is the founder of NPR’s “Next Generation Radio” and the 2020 Online News Association Community Award Winner. He has led and advised training and mentoring projects including the National Association of Black Journalists Media Institute and serves as the Board Chair of the Center for Collaborative Journalism.

The United States Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, and its members have sustained that support for the past 75 years. Today, thanks to Congress, Fulbright continues to develop future leaders representing the talent and diversity of all U.S. states and U.S. territories, and of partner countries around the world.

Featured Members of Congress

Senator Patrick Leahy

Vermont

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

13th District of California

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota

Congressman Tom Cole

4th District of Oklahoma

1977 Fulbright U.S. Student to the United Kingdom

Senator John Boozman

Arkansas

Congressman John Sarbanes

3rd District of Maryland

1984 Fulbright U.S. Student to Greece

Former Congresswoman Nita Lowey

7th District of New York

Fulbright alumni are addressing environmental challenges through their work at the local, national, and international levels. By contributing to environmental policy, advancing research and conservation, and sharing environmental science with non-scientists and local communities, Fulbright alumni are empowering citizen scientists and inspiring others to safeguard the environment and create a more sustainable future.

Introductory remarks provided by:

Andrea Dutton

Dr. Andrea Dutton (2020 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to New Zealand) is a renowned sea level and climate change expert, geology professor, and the recipient of back-to-back Fulbright U.S. Scholar and MacArthur Foundation Fellowship awards. Her research has taken her to the Seychelles, the Bahamas, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, and most recently to New Zealand through the Fulbright Program where she conducted research at Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre, analyzing models and geologic records of Antarctic ice sheets for paleoclimatology research. This research helped to better understand the contribution of ice sheets to sea-level change and predict future changes caused by global warming. Committed to spreading the word about sea level and climate change via NPR, TEDx Talks, Fulbright lectures, and articles in Rolling Stone, Dutton’s mission is to ensure that her research moves far beyond the lab. She speaks passionately about combating glacial ice melt and sea level rise, while acknowledging the immediacy of the crisis. Dutton continues this work as a professor of geology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she nurtures students and builds new relationships with colleagues in the Department of Geoscience. After graduating from  Amherst College, she taught science at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights, New York, and then pursued master’s and doctoral degrees in geological sciences at the University of Michigan. 

Read Andrea Dutton’s profile.

Featured Alumni

Gillian Bowser (2014 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Peru) is an ecology research scientist and faculty member in the Natural Resource Lab at Colorado State University who has dedicated her career to empowering citizen scientists to protect, manage, and preserve parks impacted by climate change. During her Fulbright at National Agrarian University – La Molina she focused on communicating the impact of glacial retreat in Huascarán National Park’s mountain wetlands to faculty and students.  

Read our profile.

GuðmundurIngi Guðbrandsson (2005 Fulbright Student from Iceland) is Iceland’s Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, where he is leading a comprehensive plan to reduce the country’s emissions, aiming for carbon neutrality in 2040, and pursuing policies of global collaboration to address the complexities of climate change. He earned his master’s in environmental management at Yale University during his Fulbright. 

Read our profile.

Nicole Kanayurak (2018 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholar) is an Inupiaq from Utqiaġvik, Alaska, the northernmost point in the United States, who works at the municipal level to prioritize indigenous and traditional practices and community involvement in wildlife management. As a Scholar in the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, she carried out comparative research in Iceland on communications infrastructure, food security and sustainable economies.

Abby McBride (2017 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to New Zealand) advocates for the conservation of marine life by using the arts to engage the public and inspire individuals to be part of the solution, calling herself a “sketch biologist.” On her Fulbright in New Zealand, she used National Geographic’s digital platforms to share images and experiences on social media and blogged about New Zealand’s efforts as a world leader in seabird conservation.  

Kevin McLean (2016 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow to Malaysia and Ecuador) is an ecologist who uses digital media to communicate complex research concepts and engage the public in the journey and wonder of science, as the Associate Director of Research Talks and Outreach at iBiology. On his Fulbright, he split his time between Malaysian Borneo and the Ecuadorian Amazon, studying canopy wildlife and producing digital media for National Geographic Voices to introduce a digital and local audience to canopy ecology and conservation.   

Elena Perez (2017 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ecuador) is the Ocean Action Agenda lead at the World Economic Forum. As a Fulbrighter, she worked with the residents of the Galápagos Islands to develop effective outreach and education to reduce the use of disposable plastics that contribute to marine plastic pollution, recognizing the vital role that the local community plays in conservation. 

Fulbrighters help find solutions to complex problems in science and public health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Fulbright alumni have contributed to scientific innovation, vaccine research, and national health responses, applying their academic knowledge to the public health crisis . These alumni use the lessons learned and connections made through Fulbright to make positive impacts on public health and science.

Introductory remarks provided by:

Sarah Staton

Dr. Sarah Staton (2009 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ecuador) is an educator and science policy expert, focused on empowering science and technology innovators globally, especially women and underrepresented groups. Her office at the State Department is responsible for the promotion and protection of American scientific leadership and uses science, technology, and innovation to advance American foreign policy interests. While in Ecuador as a Fulbright U.S. Student in chemistry, Staton collected airborne proteins to help develop a non-invasive environmental health monitoring system. Her work resulted in a joint publication with her host institution, the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Returning to the United States, Staton earned her Ph.D. in bioanalytical chemistry from Arizona State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory. She began working with the U.S. Department of State through the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology Policy Fellowship. She served as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador in 2012 and is currently serving as a 75th Anniversary Fulbright Alumni Ambassador. 

Featured Alumni

Norma Cuellar (2019 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Peru) is a professor in the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama and former president of the U.S. National Association of Hispanic Nurses, as well as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Transcultural Nursing. With a research focus on health disparities and workforce diversity, she is a champion for understanding the impact of cultural diversity in healthcare to make sure underrepresented communities are included. She was a Fulbright Specialist in Peru, working to improve healthcare outcomes for Peruvians, and she is passionate about connecting nurses in the United States and Peru.  

James Dorbor Jallah (2006 Humphrey Fellow from Liberia) is a public servant, educator, social entrepreneur, and development professional who has dedicated his life to Liberia’s development and the advancement of humanity. He was appointed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia to serve as the head of the National Taskforce during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and he was later responsible for all non-medical aspects of the national response. After holding a wide range of leadership positions within Liberia’s public sector, he currently serves as the Country Representative for the Carter Center in Liberia with a focus on strengthening mental health. From 2006-2007, he was a Humphrey Fellow at MIT’s Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies. 

James Orbinski (2016 Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Canada) is a medical doctor, a humanitarian practitioner and advocate, a best-selling author, and a leading scholar in global health who believes in actively engaging and shaping our world so that it is more just, fair, and humane. As International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) he represented the organization in humanitarian emergencies around the world, and in 1999 he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF. He served as a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine, before returning to Canada as the inaugural Director of the Dahdaleh Institute of Global Health Research at York University in Toronto.  

Nektarios Paisios (2007 Fulbright Science and Technology Fellow from Cyprus) has a firsthand understanding of the everyday obstacles that visually impaired people encounter in today’s modern world, as a computer scientist who is blind. He received a Fulbright Science and Technology award to pursue his Ph.D. in computer science at New York University, as well as a Google Lime Scholarship for Students with Disabilities. He now leads a team at Google working on technology accessibility for the visually impaired, determined to help others overcome the inaccessibility of visually presented information, barriers to mobility, and the lack of equal access to mobile phones and other electronic devices.  

Jessica Phan (2019 Fulbright U.S. Student to Portugal) is an M.D.-Ph.D. candidate at Harvard Medical School and a National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholar. She was on her Fulbright in Portugal studying the neurobiology of methamphetamine addiction when COVID-19 emerged. Although she returned early due to the pandemic, once back in the U.S., she assisted with early 2020 COVID-19 testing and analysis in her community in Los Angeles, and then joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda as a research fellow.  

Charlotte Summers (2013 Fulbright Visiting Scholar from the United Kingdom) is an academic critical care physician at Cambridge University with a passion for translating basic science into therapies for critically ill patients. She holds several leadership and specialized positions within Cambridge University Hospital and has spent the past year working in the fight against COVID-19, both in the hospital and as part of planning the UK’s National Health Service response to the pandemic. She was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco.  

Benjamin tenOever (2015 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Distinguished Chair to France) is a professor of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine and Director of the Virus Engineering Center for Therapeutics and Research (VECToR) at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York whose expertise in the molecular biology of virus infection places him on the cutting edge of COVID-19 research and response. As a prominent virologist, he has been involved in an international consortium to develop vaccines and antivirals against COVID-19, which included continued collaboration with his Fulbright host, the Institut Pasteur in Paris.  

The Fulbright Program has provided exchange opportunities for current and future public servants and community leaders in the United States and in partner nations, developing their leadership skills and inspiring a desire to serve their countries and communities. Fulbright alumni work towards positive change through government and public service, creating a more prosperous and peaceful future.

Introductory remarks provided by:

Hammad Hammad business headshot

Hammad Hammad (2008 Fulbright U.S. Student to The Netherlands) is a U.S. diplomat and educator who has served at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and at U.S. embassies and offices in Venezuela, Tunisia, and Mexico. He currently serves as an Alternate Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies in Rome. He most recently served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State. Hammad has also taught courses in international relations and U.S. diplomacy as a State Department Rusk Fellow Practitioner-in-Residence at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. As a Fulbright student in the Netherlands, he studied the differences between American and European approaches to ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, focusing on Palestinian refugees. Hammad also completed a master’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at the University of Utrecht. He is the co-founder and president of Inspire Dreams, a non-profit organization that draws upon academics, athletics, and the arts to promote alternative methods of self-expression for Palestinian refugees. He holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in international politics from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 

Featured Alumni

James Anderson (2018 Fulbright U.S. Student to Canada), Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, served for 11 years in the U.S. Air Force and as an intelligence officer at U.S Air Forces Central Command prior to his Fulbright in Canada. He was a Visiting Fulbright Fellow in Canadian-American relations at the Centre for International and Defence Policy, concurrently working toward a second master’s degree at Queens University, Ontario. He founded the University of South Carolina’s Veterans Alumni Council and has served as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador, hoping to inspire other veterans and people of color to apply to the Fulbright Program. 

Eileen Decker

Eileen Decker (2018 Fulbright U.S. Specialist to Iceland), president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, has had a varied career in public service specializing in public safety and homeland security issues, including serving as Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles and U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. She has also been a law professor at the University of Southern California, University of California, Los Angeles Law School, and Pepperdine Law School and served as a law clerk in the Central District of California. As a Fulbright Specialist in cybersecurity law and policy, she traveled overseas to lecture and consult on issues of importance to foreign institutions and governments.

Nadia Ramirez Dominguez (2014 Fulbright U.S. Student to South Korea), a U.S. Foreign Service Officer currently serving as a vice consul in Argentina, realized the power of public diplomacy when she volunteered to teach English to North Korean defectors while serving as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in South Korea, drawing on her own experience emigrating from Colombia. Inspired to pursue a career in the U.S. Foreign Service, she received a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship to pursue a master’s in public administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

Na Eng (1999 Fulbright U.S. Student to Zimbabwe) is an Emmy Award-Winning journalist who is currently Communications Director at the McKnight Foundation. On her Fulbright program in Zimbabwe, she created an impactful documentary that was screened at the 2001 New York African Film Festival. During her two decades as a journalist, she earned an Emmy and numerous other national awards as a producer for the weekly public affairs show NOW on PBS and the documentary unit at CNBC. She is using her storytelling talents as a senior leader of the McKnight Foundation, which grants $100 million annually to advance a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. 

Read our profile

Austan Goolsbee

Austan Goolsbee (2007 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to the United Kingdom) is an American economist, professor, and writer who served as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and as a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet before returning to the University of Chicago to teach the next generation of economists at the Booth School of Business. He serves on the Economic Advisory Panel to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, leads the Economic Intelligence practice at 32 Advisors, and is an economics consultant to ABC News. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London. 

Yoko Kamikawa (1988 Fulbright Student from Japan), currently serving as Japan’s Minister of Justice for the third time, has held leadership roles under several different Japanese administrations and was elected five times to Japan’s House of Representatives. She was Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs in the cabinets of Presidents Shinzō Abe and Yasuo Fukuda. After earning a degree in international relations from Tokyo University, she came to the United States as a Fulbrighter to earn a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

Thomas Pickering (1954 Fulbright U.S. Student to Australia) advanced diplomacy and mutual understanding around the world during a diplomatic career that spanned four decades before retiring with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest title in the U.S. Foreign Service. After earning a second master’s degree on his Fulbright to Australia, he served in the U.S. Navy and then at the U.S. Department of State, where he held numerous senior positions, including Ambassador to El Salvador, India, Israel, Jordan, Nigeria, Russia, and the United Nations. In 1997, he was appointed as Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the third-highest post in the Department of State. 

Read our profile.

Javier Solana (1966 Fulbright Student from Spain), currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution and president of the Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics in Barcelona, is a Spanish and European diplomat who has used his professional career in academia and government to advocate for international cooperation among European nations, the United States, and the world. He was Foreign Affairs Minister of Spain, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and Secretary General of the Council of the European Union. As a Fulbright Student in 1966, he completed his doctorate in physics at the University of Virginia, where he taught physics classes and conducted research while serving as president of the Association of Foreign Students.  

Fulbright alumni have had an impact on the arts that spans disciplines and generations. Some Fulbright arts alumni are household names, while others are rising talents, working in creative fields including the performing arts, journalism and writing, architecture and public art, and visual arts. These artists have inspired and connected individuals and communities across the world, and their works and legacies demonstrate the power and importance of the arts in today’s world and through the ages.

Featured Alumni

Rita Dove

Rita Dove (1974 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany) is a Poet Laureate of the United States whose poetry has earned her honors including the Pulitzer Prize, The National Medal of Arts, the National Humanities Medal, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal, and whose teaching and writing has inspired generations of students. Her public roles and performances have done much to spread the word about poetry and increase public awareness of the benefits of literature, and she has been a professor at the University of Virginia since 1989. She was a Fulbright student at the Universität Tübingen in Germany early in her career, after graduating summa cum laude from Miami University of Ohio and earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa.  

Watch An Evening of Poetry with Rita Dove.

Renee Fleming Headshot

Renée Fleming (1984 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany), one of the most celebrated sopranos in modern history, has expanded on her brilliant career performing in opera, concerts, recordings, theater, film, and at major public occasions, by becoming a leading advocate for research and broader application of discoveries at the intersection of music, health, and neuroscience. As Artistic Advisor-at-Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, she has spearheaded a collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, with the participation of the National Endowment for the Arts, to advance the field of arts and health. A Fulbright award early in her career enabled her to study German and begin developing a mastery of the music of Mozart and Strauss that would lead to international acclaim. A four-time Grammy Award winner, Fleming is known for bringing new audiences to classical music and opera, and she is the only classical artist ever to have performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. As a musical stateswoman, she has sung at distinguished occasions including the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Beijing Olympic Games, President Barack Obama’s inaugural celebration in 2008, the Brandenburg Gate concert commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, and, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Among Fleming’s numerous awards are the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist, Germany’s Cross of the Oder of Merit, and the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the highest order of merit in France. In collaboration with leading scientists and educators, her Music and the Mind program explores childhood development, cognitive neuroscience, evolution, music therapy and the impact on healthcare, the impact of music education, the future of music in medicine, and the role of music in creating community. 

Learn more about Renée Fleming.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2009 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany) is an OBIE Award-winning playwright, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and 2016 MacArthur Fellow whose seven plays touch on complex issues around identity, family, class, and race, often using history to comment on modern culture. A graduate of Princeton University and New York University, he wrote his first play while working as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker before receiving a Fulbright award to study in Berlin, where he wrote his next two plays,  An Octoroon and Appropriate. He is currently a master-artist-in-residence at the MFA Playwriting program of Hunter College, CUNY, and a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin.  

Daniel Libeskind (1985 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Finland) is an architect, professor, and urban designer who has made his mark on public spaces around the world with community-focused designs for public buildings that encourage people to reflect on history and common humanity. He evokes cultural memory with his work, from Berlin’s Jewish Museum to the master plan for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. He taught architecture for 16 years and was a professor of architectural theory at the Helsinki University of Technology on his Fulbright in 1985, before founding Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina. 

Roger Rosenblatt

Roger Rosenblatt (1965 Fulbright U.S. Student to Ireland) is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning author, essayist, and playwright who speaks and writes frequently about the art and craft of writing, free speech, and the power of books. He has been a longtime essayist for Time Magazine and PBS, and is currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University. He was a Fulbright student in Ireland and became the youngest dean in the history of Harvard, where he earned his Ph.D., before he began writing professionally as a literary editor and editorialist for The New Republic. His literary work has been published in 14 languages.  

Watch Roger Rosenblatt: The Writing Life.

  

Fulbrighters shape future generations through teaching, research, and educational leadership. Alumni have made an impact working in classrooms and communities, sharing knowledge with the next generation and connecting underrepresented communities with educational opportunity.

Featured Alumni

Jennifer Chavez-Miller (2014 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program to Finland), a global educator-explorer who was named the 2020 National Geographic Educator of the Year, is passionate about exploratory, student-centered teaching and incorporating global education into the classroom, a practice she explored during her Fulbright experience in Finland. After 21 years teaching elementary and middle school, she became a full-time faculty member in the Education Department of Central New Mexico Community College in 2020 to devote herself to educating the next generation of teachers.   

Ronald Crutcher (1972 Fulbright U.S. Student to Germany) is a national leader in higher education, a distinguished classical musician, and an accomplished administrator who is known for his active promotion of accessible, affordable, and inclusive higher education institutions, both for students and administrators. As the president of the University of Richmond in Virginia, he led the university in becoming a charter member of the American Talent Initiative, whose goal is to increase socioeconomic diversity in higher education. After his Fulbright to Germany, he taught and was an administrator at German and U.S. institutions, including serving as president of Wheaton University. He also performs internationally as a renowned cellist. 

Rana Dajani (2000 Fulbright Student from Jordan and 2012 Fulbright Visiting Scholar from Jordan) is both a renowned biochemist and an impactful literacy advocate in Jordan, as well as a proud mother of four, a social entrepreneur, and a human rights defender who is working to raise the health, educational, and social status of women and children in the region. She is a professor of biology and biotechnology at Hashemite University and simultaneously promotes literacy in 60 countries through her nonprofit, We Love Reading. She pursued her Ph.D. in molecular biology on a Fulbright at the University of Iowa, and more than a decade later she was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Yale University, crediting Fulbright with inspiring her and her family to share their own culture and learn from other cultures in order to take the best of each and incorporate it to make a better world for everyone.  

Joan T.A. Gabel (2018 Fulbright-Nehru International Educational Administrators Program to India) is the president of the University of Minnesota and former provost of the University of South Carolina, with a focus on the public higher education mission, ethical governance, and women’s leadership. She has received numerous research, service, and teaching awards, including the Fulbright International Education Administrators (IEA) Award to India, and has been recognized for leading the response to COVID-19 and to racial justice movements. She is advancing equity and impact at the University of Minnesota, where she led the development of the first system-wide strategic plan, emphasizing equity and diversity, and driving research and solutions to impact the world.  

Jaime Saavedra (1990 Fulbright Student from Peru) is the Global Director of Education at the World Bank and a fierce advocate for using education to fight poverty and inequality worldwide. As Peru’s Minister of Education from 2013-2016, he led the charge to overhaul the nation’s school system and significantly increased the national standard of education for all Peruvians, with a focus on rural and low-income communities. His global perspective, forged during his Fulbright at Boston University, has shaped his leadership of the largest financer of education in more than 80 developing countries and his consulting work with other international organizations.  

Jessica Stovall (2014 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program to New Zealand) is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford and a vocal advocate for racial equity in education. As a high school English teacher for more than a decade, she traveled to Wellington, New Zealand to partner with schools that are succeeding in closing the academic achievement gaps between white and Māori students. She developed racial equity training on the diverse Chicago-area campus where she taught English and developed cultural exchanges between students from the United States and New Zealand. She was featured in “America to Me,” a docuseries  directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams, as a champion for providing equitable education for all students.