News & Announcements
Bloomberg Welcomes New York Grantees
01 December 2016
The Commission welcomed 10 new grantees to New York City on the 15th November, in an event hosted by Board member Jennifer Diamond. The evening featured former New York City mayor and CEO, Michael Bloomberg, in conversation with Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the topics of education and the role of the Fulbright Programme. Diamond remarked that Mayor Bloomberg and President Haass’s attendance, “demonstrates the draw of the Fulbright community” and that she hoped that the evening would be “an impetus for our alumni and friends to connect and collaborate more closely in the future.”
50 British and American alumni attended the event, as well as Fulbright’s Executive Director Penny Egan, and several Commission Board members and current grantees. Current grantee Raegen Seely wrote and recited a poem about the importance of the Fulbright programme, underscoring how the proramme’s mission connected all those in attendance. Traditionally, few events have taken place in the United States. In fact, this welcome event was the first US-UK Fulbright Commission event in the US in over 5 years. But US-based alumni and grantees can look forward to more events in the near future: the Commission is currently organizing a number of events across both the US and UK to celebrate the Commission’s 70th anniversary in 2018.
For further information on upcoming events, please visit the Fulbright Calendar.
Fulbright at 70: Meeting New Challenges
15 November 2016
Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson, Alumni Advisory Council member, recently attended the 70th birthday celebrations of the Fulbright Programme in Washington, DC. Her report on the event can be found below:
I was delighted to attend the 70th birthday celebrations of the Fulbright Programme in Washington, DC. More than 350 Fulbrighters from 40+ countries came together to consider ways in which the Fulbright programme could meet new challenges. The conference schedule was packed with keynote speeches from senators, congressmen, ambassadors, university presidents and company executives. Presentations I particularly enjoyed were:
The Fulbright program at 70: the politics of history, memory and advocacy
Challenges and achievements in the Americas
Global Health: what is to be done about the zika virus?
Diverse Women in Leadership (Harriet Fulbright was a guest)
Fulbrighters shared their research projects and findings via the roundtable session on the final day. During this session, I spoke about the language education research I conducted during my Visiting Professorship in Hawaii as the Scottish Studies Scholar. Current UK Fulbrighter Suzanne Clandon also presented her research into dance education as part of this knowledge exchange initiative.
A reception was hosted at the World Bank headquarters to mark this important milestone in the Fulbright Association’s history. The Fulbright awards ceremony and banquet were held in the Hall of the Americas, inside the Organisation of American States. This black-tie event gave Fulbrighters the opportunity to meet each other and chat about their cultural exchanges in a convivial setting.
The conference ended with a private tour of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Asian art, where our experience of the Turquoise Mountain exhibition was enriched by personal testimony from an Afghan Fulbrighter, currently studying in the USA.
The conference was an edifying and stimulating experience. If you’d like to attend the next Fulbright Association conference, details will be available in Spring 2017.
Donation From Alum Will Fund Impact Research
1 November 2016
We are incredibly grateful to alumnus Jim Weight (Harvard 1988-89) whose recent £10,000 donation will make it possible for us to measure whether and how leadership capabilities may have been developed through the Fulbright programme awards. This is the first major gift from an alum in the Commission’s recent history and will make a profound difference in our ability to demonstrate the value of the Fulbright scholarship programme. The research study will begin early next year in conjunction with Henley Business School's Centre for Engaging Leadership.
We interviewed Jim recently to learn more about how Fulbright impacted his life and his desire to give back - read the full interview here.
Third Year of Fulbright 1-1 Kicks Off
1 October 2016
Another year of the Fulbright 1-1 programme is successfully off and running! After an informative UCAS "bootcamp" to share best practices with both the students applying to university this year and their mentors, the mentors had an opportunity to meet face to face with their mentees to go through personal statements, think about interview preparation and discuss career aspirations as well. Thanks again to the U.S. Embassy London for funding this programme and to all the alumni serving as mentors.
2016 Eccles Centre Lecture: Sir Nigel Sheinwald and Gabrielle Rifkind in Conversation
8 September 2016
Thanks to the Eccles Centre at The British Library for hosting another fantastic lecture during this year's orientation programme for arriving American Fulbrighters. Open to alumni as well, the lecture was a fascinating disussion between Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former British Ambassador to the US as well as the Commission's new Chair of the Board of Commissioners, and Gabrielle Rifkind, Director of the Middle East Programme at the Oxford Research Group. With their wealth of experience to draw on, they debated the effectiveness of hard and soft power used by the UK and the US in both a historical and current context. That led to a lively Q&A session with the audience, with some particulary pointed questions asked by the new Fulbright scholars. We hope to have a podcast of the discussion available soon!
Michael Ignatieff Delivers 2016 Legacy Lectures
11 July 2016
The Commission was delighted to have Professor Michael Ignatieff give the 2016 Fulbright Legacy lectures last month. This annual lecture series is hosted in partnership with three universities - The University of Edinburgh, King's College London, and Pembroke College, Oxford - and made possible by support from the Lois Roth Endowment.
At each lecture, Professor Ignatieff spoke on the effects of the European refugee crisis in the context of sovreignity, rights and citizenship. You can watch his lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford on their website.
Civil Service Networking Effort Launched by Alumnus
26 April 2016
If you have received a Fulbright award and currently work in the UK civil service, you are invited to join the new Civil Service Fulbright Alumni group that is being setup by Ben Rattenbury, Fulbright alumnus (Columbia 2011-12) and Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The initial goal of the group is to serve as a connector, expanding alumni's contacts within the civil service, one of the country's biggest employers. The group is aiming to hold its first informal meeting this in May or June. More details are available here or please contact Ben directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or get involved.
Fulbright Alum Named a White House Innovation Fellow
1 February 2016
Fulbright alumnus Justin Koufopoulos was recently named a 2016 – 2017 White House Presidential Innovation Fellow. White House Presidential Innovation Fellows work at the highest levels of government with top civil servants and change-makers to tackle some of the United States' greatest challenges. Justin was a Fulbright – Leeds University Scholar from 2012 – 2013, where he built an online community for asthma patients and studied the effect on medication compliance. Justin is also a co-founder of the Fulbright 1:1 mentoring programme we offer in conjunction with the Sutton Trust.
White House Appoints Alumna to the US Holocaust Memorial Council
27 January 2016
On 11 January 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Ethel Brooks to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Dr. Brooks was born in Rochester, New Hampshire, and is an Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University.
From 2011 to 2012, Dr. Brooks was a US – UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of the Arts London. Her research focused on her project, Visual Practices, Cultural Production and the Right to the City: Romani Gypsies as Cosmopolitan Others, which explored Romani histories of the city through the prism of struggles over urban space, land tenure and cultural production in London and its surrounding areas.
Fulbrighter Appointed To Citizens Commission on Islam
5 November 2015
Kawsar Zaman has been appointed a Commissioner on the Citizens Commission on Islam, Participation & Public Life. The Commission is to be chaired by the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament, The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP. The two-year commission will consider the extent to which the state, civil society, business and related institutions and sectors have allowed Muslim communities to full participate in the life of British society. Public hearing sessions will take place across the country over the next year. Kawsar will also chair the commissions Young Leadership Group.
Kawsar was a Fulbright scholar in 2013/14 for the LLM at Harvard Law School. Before this, he read for the BCL at Oxford (OCIS Scholar) and LLB Law at the London School of Economics graduating with a First as a 2 Hare Court Scholar. In between studies he has worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, House of Commons and the Department for Education. In 2009, Kawsar was a Global Fellow of the Prime Minister. He was recently awarded the Muslim News Malcolm X Young Person of the Year Award 2015 and is currently a Trainee Solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP.
Kawsar is looking to increase awareness of the commissions work amongst civil society, business and political institutions. For further information, contact Kawsar Zaman at email@example.com
Entrepreneurial Alumni Speak at Annual Lecture
25 March 2015
Alumni and guests had the opportunity to hear from not one but three of our amazing alumni at this year’s annual lecture. Held at the University of Notre-Dame’s London campus near Trafalgar Square, the lecture was chaired by the Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP and featured talks by Greg Marsh and Anna Maybank.
Read more about the event here.
New 2015-2016 Alumni Advisory Council Voted In
18 March 2015
We are very pleased to announce that the slate of members for the 2015-2016 Alumni Advisory Council was unanimously confirmed by alumni votes. Thanks to all of you who voted! The new Council is a great mix of "veteran" members, who served on the previous Committee of the BFSA, as well as a several alumni who will be serving for the first time and will bring a fresh perspective to the group. All members are eager to get started and will be particularly focused on how to build a greater sense of community amongst all alumni.