The US Government’s Fulbright Program is one of the world’s most prestigious and widely-known academic exchange programs. The main goal of the Fulbright Program, initiated in 1946 by Senator J. William Fulbright, is to strengthen the basis for peace by strengthening mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of partner countries around the world. Student and faculty exchanges at the highest possible level of academic excellence are the principal means employed by the Fulbright Program to achieve this goal.
The Fulbright Program aims to bring a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.
Senator J. William Fulbright
The United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF), established by the Governments of the United States and Israel in 1956, is responsible for the administration of Israel’s participation in the Fulbright Program.
In the years since USIEF’s establishment over 1,200 US citizens and over 1,500 Israelis have taken part in a variety of Fulbright exchanges. US alumni have made their mark primarily in the academic world. Israeli Fulbright alumni fill leading roles in academia, in government, in medical and social services, and in literature.
Prominent Israeli Fulbright-Israel Alumni
Professor Aharon Barak, former President, Supreme Court
Professor Aaron Ciechanover, The Technion, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
Professor Menahem Megidor, former President, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Professor Ilan Chet, former President, Weizmann Institute of Science
Professor Itamar Rabinovich, President, Tel Aviv University; former Ambassador of Israel to the United States
Professor Aharon Ben-Ze’ev, President, University of Haifa
Professor Yair Orgler, former Chairman, Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
Professor Yehuda Danon, Founding Director, Schneider Children’s Hospital; former Chief Medical Officer, Israel Defense Force
Professor Yuli Tamir, President, Shenkar College; former Member of Knesset and Minister of Education/Labor
Prominent US Fulbright-Israel Alumni
Dr. Alan Leshner, Executive Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Professor David Dobkin, Dean of the Faculty and Chair, Computer Science, Princeton University
Professor Felix Bloch, Standford University, 1952 Nobel Laureate in Physics (deceased)
Mr. E. Ethelbert Miller, poet, author, and editor, and Director, African American Resource Center, Howard University
Professor Barbara Weinstein, University of Maryland College Park, former President, American Historical Association
Professor Melvin Ely, College of William & Mary, 2004 Bancroft and Beveridge Prize winner
In addition to its main mission, administration of the Fulbright Israel exchanges, USIEF carries out a number of complementary activities:
USIEF’s EducationUSA Educational Counseling Center provides accurate, comprehensive, current, and unbiased information on post-secondary educational opportunities in the United States. The Center’s services cover the entire range of options, from one-year technical courses, English language programs and distance learning, through associate and bachelor’s degree programs, and up to post-graduate programs leading to professional degrees in law and medicine and MA and PhD degrees in all disciplines.
USIEF’s Fulbright-Israel conference program provides a platform for appearances by US Fulbright Fellows and other US guests and by Israeli Fulbright alumni. The program includes special lectures and symposia on a wide variety of topics. A major theme within the program is higher education policy and the development of higher education systems.
During the 2005/2006 academic year, a special program of events was carried out to mark the 50th anniversary of the signature of the US-Israeli agreement on the establishment of USIEF and the beginning of US-Israeli Fulbright exchanges.
USIEF’s policies and program of activities are set by USIEF’s Board of Directors. The Ambassador of the United States to Israel, Mr. Daniel B. Shapiro, is the Honorary Chairman of the Board, while Mr. Dan Vilenski, former Chairman of the Board of Applied Materials Israel, serves as the Board’s Chairman. The other Members of the Board are:
- Ms. Hilary Olsin-Windecker, Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs, Embassy of the United States
- Ms. Michele Dastin-van Rijn, Cultural Affairs Officer, Embassy of the United States
- Mr. William Grant, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the United States (Alternate Member)
- Ms. Ingrid M. Kollist, First Secretary, Science, Environment and Technology Affairs, Embassy of the United States (Alternate Member)
- Dr. Shlomo Nass, Attorney and Certified Public Accountant
- Professor Hana Wirth-Nesher, Tel Aviv University
- Mr. Raphael Gamzou, Deputy Director General, Cultural and Scientific Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ms. Anita Mazor, Director, Department for Cultural and Scientific Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Alternate Member)
- Mr. Martin Peled-Flax, Director, Department for US-Israel Political Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Alternate Member)
- Dr. Yoram Blachar, Former President, Israel Medical Association
- Professor Yeshayahu Talmon, Planning and Budgeting Committee, Council for Higher Education
USIEF’s program of activities is implemented by a eight-member staff, headed by Executive Director Dr. Neal Sherman.