To promote international goodwill and mutual understanding, President Harry S. Truman signed the Fulbright Act into law on August 1, 1946, launching the framework for the Fulbright Program.
Franklin, a Presidential Medal of Freedom winner, author, historian, and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chair, went on his first Fulbright to the UK in 1954.
Future Fulbrighter Linus Pauling (pictured) won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the same year that six future Nobel Laureates received Fulbright awards: Milton Friedman, Philip Anderson, William Fowler, Niels Jerne, Roy Glauber, and Hannes Alfven.
Jeff Davis Duty, Jr. began his Fulbright in the United Kingdom at the London School of Economics. Later in his legal career, he successfully argued to allow guide dogs in the U.S. Supreme Court.
President John F. Kennedy signed the Fulbright-Hays Act, re-authorizing the Fulbright Program. The Act also enabled foreign governments to contribute funding to Fulbright programming.
Muhammad Yunus arrived in the U.S. from Bangladesh to study economics. The professor, social entrepreneur, and founder of Grameen Bank won the Nobel Peace Prize (2006) for microlending to reduce poverty.
Apollo 17 astronaut and 1958 Fulbrighter to Norway Harrison “Jack” Schmitt is the only scientist and the most recent person still living to have walked on the Moon. He was a NASA administrator, professor, and U.S. Senator (NM).
President Jimmy Carter created the Humphrey Fellowship Program, which brings professionals from developing countries to the U.S. for non-degree study, internships, and leadership development.
Distinguished Lecturer Grants Program created to celebrate Fulbright’s anniversary. Recipients include luminaries such as poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, who traveled on her Fulbright to Ghana in 1986.
Fulbright began in Eastern Europe in the 1940s and operated continuously during and after the Cold War. In 1992, new Fulbright agreements were signed with Bulgaria and Romania and in the 1990s, Fulbright Commissions in nations such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia commenced or expanded programming significantly.
Rita Dove, a U.S. Student to Germany in 1974-75, became the youngest and first African American U.S. Poet Laureate in 1993-95. She is also a Pulitzer Prize and National Humanities Medal winner.
The Fulbright Association, the U.S. Fulbright alumni group, awarded its first Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to Nelson Mandela for his work fighting apartheid in South Africa.
Fulbright alumni have long served in the U.S. Congress. The 110th U.S. Congress convened on January 4, 2007, with four Fulbright alumni serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Many Fulbrighters have engaged in public health projects. With the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships launched to promote clinical research in resource-limited settings.
Fulbright partners with the National Geographic Society to select and train Fulbrighters to spark broader conversations around globally significant themes.
Teacher Exchanges expand program offerings for primary and secondary teachers in the U.S. and 70 countries; nearly 11,000 teacher alumni have brought global perspectives to classrooms around the world.
The refreshed brand underscores Fulbright is for talented students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals from all backgrounds who seek to share knowledge and build diverse and dynamic networks.
Colville Norbert Young (Belize), Ashraf Ghani (Afghanistan), Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (Croatia), David Granger (Guyana), Alexander de Croo (Belgium), and Francisco Sagasti (Peru) lead their nations.
Fulbright marked 75 years with a range of activities celebrating the Program’s diversity and its positive impact on global and local communities. To see some of the highlights, read the Anniversary Year in Review and watch the 75th Anniversary Celebration at the Kennedy Center that was hosted by the State Department.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Department of State's flagship international education and exchange program.
Our mission is to shape a more positive vision for our communities and our world, and Fulbrighters are critical in helping us carry it into the future—one connection at a time.
Fulbrighters live and learn together with people of different cultures and become part of a global network that fosters mutual understanding between nations, advances knowledge across communities, and improves lives around the world.