On February 26, Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher hosted a breakfast in honor of the Executive Director and ten members of the Board of Directors of the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission. The meeting was the first occasion for the Ambassador in her capacity as the United States’ Honorary Chairman of the bilateral commission to meet the distinguished group which included representatives of science, business, and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The Ambassador emphasized the importance of the Fulbright program for positioning Poland to be one of the world’s leaders in science, technology, and innovation. Commenting on Poland’s impressive brain power, she saluted the Board for their strategic decision to increase exchange opportunities in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).
She expressed hope that Polish researchers’ and scholar’s exchanges in America would continue to help Poland better commercialize its ground-breaking scientific ideas and innovation. The Ambassador also congratulated the Board on the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright program in Poland, calling it integral to deepening people-to-people ties today and in the future.
Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world. It was conceived by Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 and aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, scientific, and cultural exchange. So far, over 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists have participated in the program from over 160 countries. In Poland, the Fulbright Program has offered scholarships since 1959 owing to the generous and committed joint financial support of both the USA and Poland. Since its conception, nearly 3,000 Poles have participated in the program. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, arts and science, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Worldwide, Fulbright alumni have won 60 Nobel Prizes and 86 Pulitzer Prize while 37 Fulbright alumni have served as heads of state or government.
As noted above, in 2019 the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission is celebrating its 60th anniversary. The U.S. and Poland currently fund the Fulbright program at over $2.5 million annually, with balanced contributions from both countries.