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Dhaka Tribune

Miller lauds role of US Fulbright alumni in boosting friendship

Update : 29 Oct 2021, 06:07 PM

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller has appreciated the role of Bangladeshi Fulbright alumni in building bridges of friendship between the two countries.

“Through the Fulbright program, you cultivated long lasting friendships with students, scholars, and community leaders in the US and worldwide and you returned to Bangladesh and share your knowledge and ideas,” Ambassador Miller told Bangladeshi Fulbright alumni.

Renowned economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya (Fulbright Scholar, 2004) delivered the Fulbright Day keynote address on Thursday.

Ambassador Miller and Deputy Chief of Mission Helen LaFave joined hundreds of US government-funded exchange program alumni to celebrate the Fulbright program’s 75th anniversary through a two-day virtual conference. 

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Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof Md Akhtaruzzaman (Fulbright Scholar, 2002), joined the opening ceremony as the chief guest on Wednesday.

During the closing session, LaFave said international education exchanges benefit both the nations and peoples, boosting intellectual and cross-cultural capital. 

“They also become catalysts for professional networks and help prepare students to enter the global job market to address the world’s toughest challenges.”

Established in 1946 by Senator J. William Fulbright, the program is the US government’s flagship international academic exchange program that strengthens and expands people-to-people ties and educational linkages between the United States and countries around the world. 

The Bangladeshi Fulbright alumni community sought to celebrate this milestone by convening all US government exchange alumni through a virtual conference with the theme, “Impact: 75 Years of Global Actions, Opportunities, and Connections.” 

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More than 650 Bangladeshis have travelled to the US under Fulbright exchange programs and over 250 Americans have conducted research and/or taught in Bangladesh. 

Notable alumni include the renowned 20th century structural engineer and architect, Dr Fazlur Rahman Khan, who received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1952. 

The two-day  conference engaged over 4,000 Bangladeshi US government-funded exchange program alumni through 16 engaging sessions on topics such as climate change, agriculture, gender equality, higher education, science and technology, and an historical overview of US-Bangladesh diplomatic relations.

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