Celebrating the Fulbright Program’s First 70 Years by Recognizing Alumni Achievement and Impact

At the Institute of International Education’s Annual Gala this week in New York City, IIE presented seven Fulbright alumni with the inaugural IIE Global Changemaker Awards in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program.

Fulbright, administered by IIE on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, impacting local communities and the world by providing innovative and inclusive educational exchange opportunities for current and future leaders.

The awards recognize the achievements of the individuals throughout their careers and highlight the impact the Fulbright program has had throughout its history. The inaugural recipients came from or went to Germany, Greece, India, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, and New Zealand as students or professors over the seven decades of the program.

In presenting the awards, Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of IIE, said, “We applaud these Fulbright alumni not only for what they have achieved, but for their continued commitment to transform society and humanity through their work. Their vision and their accomplishments are a fitting tribute to the impact and innovation of the Fulbright Program’s first 70 years.”

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world. IIE administers the Fulbright Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mark Taplin and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Mala Adiga (far right and far left) joined IIE in presenting seven notable Fulbright Alumni with IIE Global Changemaker Awards in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program. 

Sergio Aguayo
Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Mexico to United States, 1975

Sergio Aguayo, writer and professor at the Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México, is one of the most influential journalists and intellectuals in Mexico and is esteemed globally as a champion of democracy. As a recipient of the Foreign Fulbright Student grant, Sergio pursued a Master’s and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Inspired by grassroots civil rights activism in the United States, Aguayo founded multiple human rights NGOs, many of which are still key players in Mexico’s democratic and non-violent fight against political struggles. He established and led SEDEPAC, Civic Alliance, and the Mexican Human Rights Academy. Sergio has received a multitude of national and international awards for his academic and civic achievements, including the National Social Sciences Awards. He was named one of the Quién Magazine’s ”50 People who Move Mexico” by Grupo Expansión in 2012, and one of TIME Magazine’s “People of the Year” in 1997.

Dr. William B. Bader
Fulbright U.S. Student Program to Germany, 1953

There was no greater force in Dr. William Bader’s distinguished career than the Fulbright. He was in the first class of scholars to West Germany in 1953. He worked with Senator J. William Fulbright on the Foreign Relations Committee in the 1960s, and went on to oversee the Fulbright Program as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1999-2001. His career included leadership positions at the Ford Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, SRI International, the Eurasia Foundation, the National Defense University, and the U.S. Navy. His wife and Pomona College classmate, Gretta, sculpted prominent portraits of Senator Fulbright. With a doctorate from Princeton, Dr. Bader served on the faculties of Princeton, American, Georgetown, and the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and he wrote many books. Dr. Bader died in March and his remains will be buried, with full military honors, at Arlington National Cemetery.

Dr. John B. Bader
Fulbright U.S. Student Program to India, 1985

Dr. John Bader is the proud son of Dr. William and Gretta Bader, honored to continue their devotion to the Fulbright Program. His intensely educational year studying rural development in India on a Fulbright Scholarship inspired him to found the study abroad office at Johns Hopkins University and to coach over 100 successful applicants for the Fulbright and other prestigious fellowships and scholarships. Dr. Bader earned his BA from Yale University, and his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a Governmental Studies Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and held leadership roles at the UCLA Center in Washington DC, the Jon Corzine (D-NJ) Senate campaign, Marks Education and the Colonial Academic Alliance. Now Chief External Academic Relations Officer for the International Baccalaureate, he is the author of Taking the Initiative, a study of agenda-setting in Congress, and Dean’s List, a popular guide to college success.

Dr. Rana Dajani
Fulbright Foreign Student Program, Jordan to the United States, 2000; Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, Jordan to the United States, 2012

Twice a Fulbright recipient, Dr. Rana has become an influential female in the Middle East, as both a scientist and civic leader. She obtained a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Iowa and is currently Assistant Professor and Former Director of the Center of Studies at the Hashemite University, Jordan. Her research focuses on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer in ethnic populations in Jordan. She is a strong advocate of the theory of biological evolution and of its compatibility with Islam. On the broader horizon, Dr. Dajani has developed a community-based model and philosophy, “We Love Reading (WLR)”, to encourage children to read for pleasure for which she received the Synergos award for Arab world social innovators in 2009. In addition, Dr. Dajani is a consultant to the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Jordan, is on the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group in Jordan, and has been appointed a Higher Education Reform Expert by the EU-TEMPUS office, Jordan.

Dr. Purnima Mane
Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program, India to the United States, 1991

Dr. Purnima Mane is an internationally renowned expert on gender, AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health. Most recently, she was President and CEO of Pathfinder International, an international NGO. Dr. Mane was UN Assistant-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Program) of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) between 2007-2011. She held leadership positions in organizations such as UNAIDS, World Health Organization, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, and the Population Council in New York. Dr. Mane began her career in India working for over a decade and a half on public health and gender issues, while Associate Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She holds a doctoral degree from the TISS in women’s studies. Dr. Mane is founding editor of the journal, Culture, Health and Sexuality and serves as Member of the Board of Directors of several organizations.

Mireya Mayor
Fulbright U.S. Student Program to Madagascar

A daughter of Cuban immigrants, Mireya Mayor followed her unlikely dreams. After receiving a Fulbright grant to study wildlife in Madagascar, she has become a respected primatologist, National Science Foundation Fellow, and Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic Channel. On one of her expeditions to Madagascar, Mayor discovered a rare new species of mouse lemur, then believed to be the world’s smallest primate. Her discovery inspired the prime minister of Madagascar to establish a national park to help protect the new species, conserving the 10 percent that remains of the African island nation’s once vast forest. For more than a decade, Mayor has hosted wildlife shows, most recently the Nat Geo WILD series “Wild Nights With Mireya Mayor”, and starred in Mark Burnett’s “Expedition Africa” on History Channel. Mayor has been hailed as a “female Indiana Jones,” and an inspiration to young women interested in science and exploration.

Dr. Harris Pastides
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program to Greece, 1987

Dr. Harris Pastides is the 28th president of the University of South Carolina (USC). The son of working-class immigrants from Cyprus, Pastides was the first in his family to go to college, receiving his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany as well as a Master’s of Public Health and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University. In 1987, he conducted research at University of Athens Medical School as a Fulbright Scholar in Greece. He conducted award-winning work in public health and cancer research and served as a professor and department chair at UMass Amherst and as professor, dean and vice president at USC before becoming president. Leading by example, Pastides is an advocate for student engagement beyond the classroom through leadership, service learning, international experience, internships and undergraduate research, and spearheads efforts to increase university access and affordability. Pastides serves on many local, state, national and international boards.

Josh Weston
Fulbright U.S. Student Program to New Zealand

Philanthropist and retired business leader Josh Weston is the honorary chairman and former CEO of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Mr. Weston began his business career at J. Crew in 1955 as Executive Vice President, and subsequently joined Automatic Data Processing Inc (ADP), leading the company in a variety of capacities before being named Chairman and CEO in 1982. Weston holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from the City College of New York and received a Fulbright grant to earn a Master’s degree in economics in New Zealand. A tireless advocate of humanitarian efforts and philanthropy, Mr. Weston now dedicates most of his time leading various non-profit boards, and he gives back generously to the arts and science, refugee assistance, and international education. Even more laudable is his personal touch to giving back; he has made a habit of meeting recent refugees in the New York City area and helping them find jobs and homes through his network. He is also founder and Chairman of Safe Water Network, which operates 200 rural water stations in India and Ghana.