J. William Fulbright was a prominent and gifted American statesman of the 20th century. His unequaled contribution to international affairs and his tenure as the longest serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee distinguished his political career of over thirty years in the United States Congress. He had profound influence on America’s foreign policy, and his vision for mutual understanding shaped the extraordinary exchange program bearing his name.

With the support of the United States government and through binational partnerships with foreign governments, the Fulbright Scholarship Program sponsors US and foreign participants for exchanges in all areas of endeavor, including the sciences, business, academe, public service, government, and the arts and continues to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

His legislation establishing the Fulbright Program passed the Senate by unanimous consent in 1946 and drew strength from the United States’ national commitment to develop post war leadership and engage constructively with the community of nations. The first participants in the Fulbright Program went overseas in 1948, funded by war reparations and foreign loan repayments to the United States. To date, this program has had extraordinary impact around the world.

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