U.S. Mission to ASEAN Announces First Recipients of U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Program

JAKARTA.  U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David L. Carden announced today the first seven Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholars selected through the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.  The Visiting Scholars will join a distinguished group of Fulbright alumni known for their contributions to government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, and education.

“Congratulations to the first U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholars,” stated Ambassador Carden. “The scholars’ projects are great representations of ongoing areas of focus in ASEAN, and we wish them well in their research at universities in the United States.”  The selected Visiting Scholars’ areas of research include climate change, food security, public health, U.S.-ASEAN political relations, monetary policy, and law.

Candidates representing all 10 ASEAN member states submitted applications under the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative and proposed research projects on issues that are central to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship. A review panel that included officials from the U.S. Mission to ASEAN, the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives and the ASEAN Secretariat, then made recommendations to the Presidentially-appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for consideration.

“People-to-people connectivity is a high priority for ASEAN,” remarked Deputy Secretary General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Alicia dela Rosa Bala, “I warmly congratulate the first Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Visiting Scholars on their selection. We are very pleased with the creation of the Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Program and welcome the connections that will be made by these Scholars.”

A reciprocal Fulbright Specialist component will award grants to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals, in select disciplines, to engage in short-term collaborative two to six week projects with peers at host institutions in ASEAN countries, that focus on ASEAN priority topics or on the ASEAN-U.S. relationship.

The Fulbright U.S.-ASEAN Initiative was announced by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at last year’s U.S.-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and marks over 35 years of friendship and cooperation between ASEAN and the United States.

The first cohort of awardees:

  • Ms. Siti Salwah Saim, senior Brunei government officer;
  • Mr. Faisal Nurdin Idris, Lecturer at the State Islamic University Jakarta in Indonesia;
  • Dr. Phouphet Kyophilavong, Assistant Professor at the National University of Laos;
  • Dr. Hla Soe Tint, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Health in Myanmar;
  • Dr. Charmaine Galos Misalucha, Assistant Professor at De La Salle University in the Philippines;
  • Dr. Chatchawan Jantasuriyarat, Assistant Professor at Kasetsart University in Thailand;
  • Ms. Ly Phuong Nguyen, Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright and is sponsored by the United States Department of State in partnership with governments around the world. It is the United States’ flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Approximately 318,000 Fulbright Scholars – 120,000 from the United States and 198,000 from other countries – have participated in the Program since its inception over sixty years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually, and operates in over 155 countries worldwide.