Monday, October 31, 2016

A note from Richard Arndt on the Fulbright Association

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Fulbright Association’s appreciation of Woody Demitz’ advice, downplayed by Woody’s modesty, has prompted FA president Nancy Neill to award volunteers a title—Senior Fellow (sounds like the International Executive Service Corps retired execs from business, NGOs and the professions for longer foreign assignments). While titles mean little, FA’s idea may appeal to retirees and spouses.

Dr. Arndt image from

FA’s appreciation of Woody reminds me to share my own experience. Since 2011, I have watched FA rebuild after two decades of drift. My most stimulating assignment came from chairing the 5-continent selection committee for the bi-annual Fulbright Prize for International Understanding (2014 to Hans Blix, 2016 to Richard Lugar). FA celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Act this year at its conference at George Washington U, 10-13 November. Two or three hundred alumni and two dozen foreign Commission Execs are expected, among others.

Every USIA-PD vet had something to do with Fulbrighters, in my case, dozens of US and foreign alumni and Commission-member friends. The rebuilders of FA anticipate many special needs: conference management; Congressional and State Department relations; US membership recruitment through universities, regional chapters, or alumni from Counntry X; public speaking, e.g. to some of the 60 FA US chapters; relations with foreign FAs; website management; FA library-documentation help; assistance to FA board-members, staffers or junior fellows with specific needs. To remind: FA has a potential US membership of over 70,000, globally perhaps 400,000.

Anyone interested in undertaking a part-time commitment is urged to contact chief staffer Shaz Akram (her email:, telephone: 202-775-0725).

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