Join the global Fulbright community to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright Program. Since 1946, the program has been building bridges between the United States of America and other countries. It connects people and institutions, supporting knowledge transfer and cultural understanding. We are grateful that Fulbright Austria was among the first commissions that joined the program in 1950 to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the peoples of other countries. In this global Fulbright anniversary editorial, I would like to take the opportunity to remind us of the bigger framework in which Fulbright Austria works as a binational commission.
The US government, in partnership with over 160 countries, oversees the Fulbright Program to create exchange opportunities for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, community workers, and professionals of all backgrounds. Within the US Department of State, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) directs and manages the Fulbright Program. Nongovernmental organizations such as the Institute of International Education (IIE) and World Learning, Inc. assist as cooperating partners in the US.
Outside the US, 49 binational commissions, including Fulbright Austria, manage the program. These commissions are jointly funded by the US and partner governments. Funding for the Fulbright Program comes from US citizens and the taxes they pay to the US government. In addition, partner governments like Austria and their taxpayers contribute significantly to the respective program.
A key institution in the Fulbright universe is the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). The FFSB is appointed by the US president and was established by the US Congress to supervise the global Fulbright Program. The FFSB sets the program policies and approves all the nominated candidates for the Fulbright student, scholar, and teaching assistantship programs from the US and partner countries.
Since 1946, more than 400,000 alums have shared the Fulbright experience and continued to foster mutual understanding as cultural ambassadors even after they have returned to their home country. Fulbright alums include 39 heads of state or government, 60 Nobel Laureates, 75 MacArthur Fellows, and 89 Pulitzer Prize winners. We are proud of the more than 10,000 alums of Fulbright Austria-managed programs—6,000 Fulbright alums and over 4,000 USTA alums—who are part of this diverse and active network. If you want to connect with the global Fulbright community, sign up for the Fulbrighter app, an online networking platform for current program participants and alums. In the spirit of 75 years of collaboration and knowledge transfer, let us reconnect with our Fulbright friends and continue to create meaningful impact together. As Marcus Aurelius once put it, “You’ve been made by nature for the purpose of working with others.”