U.S. Department of State and National Park Service Partner to Strengthen Fulbright Exchanges and Increase Global Environmental Awareness

Office of the Spokesperson

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the National Park Service (NPS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB), are pleased to announce the establishment of the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership.  The Fulbright Program and the National Park Service will combine efforts, resources, and ideas, to increase environmental and cultural awareness worldwide through Fulbright exchanges.  Today’s virtual signing ceremony to establish the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership was the inaugural event of the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary year.

The MOU establishing the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership was signed by Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior exercising the delegated authority of the National Park Service Director Margaret Everson, and Fulbright Board Chair Paul Winfree.  At its core, the new partnership will strengthen and deepen linkages between the Fulbright Program and the National Park Service, and encourage new collaboration.  The partners have also identified additional opportunities for Fulbright Program participants to study and gain professional experience within U.S. national parks and for U.S. National Park rangers to explore national parks systems around the world to advance NPS protection and conservation efforts at home.  Additionally, the partnership will create more opportunities for Fulbright students, scholars, and professionals, including Humphrey Fellows (a Fulbright activity), from around the world to learn about America’s treasure, its National Parks, during their Fulbright exchanges in the United States.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1946 and celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2021, the Department of State’s Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and people of other countries.  The Fulbright Program annually supports more than 8,000 students, scholars, artists, and professionals from the United States and more than 160 countries to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international challenges.  Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 participants with opportunities to make positive impacts on their communities and the world.

The Fulbright Program is administered by ECA, which designs and implements educational, professional, and cultural exchange and other programs that create and sustain mutual understanding with other countries necessary to advance United States foreign policy goals.

NPS’ mission is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Appointed by the President of the United States, the 12-member Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board was established by Congress to supervise the global Fulbright Program.  Representing diverse facets of American society, FFSB members select students, scholars, teachers, professionals, and others from the United States and abroad to participate in Fulbright and Humphrey Program exchanges, set policies, and guide the strategic vision of the Fulbright Program.

For more information, please visit eca.state.gov or contact ECA-Press@state.gov and NewsMedia@nps.gov.

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