Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 29, 2014 -- The Fulbright Association announced today that the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding will be awarded to Dr. Hans Blix, who dedicated much of his life to controlling the spread of nuclear weapons and the capacity of nations to produce them. He is best known as Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency during a period of great tension in the Middle East. He is credited with reducing the threat of war in Iran and managing the potential for nuclear capabilities in Iraq. The Prize ceremony will take place at the Fulbright Association’s annual conference, to be held in Washington, DC on October 16-18, 2014, where Dr. Blix will be a featured speaker.
The Fulbright Prize, which includes a $50,000 award, is presented biennially to an individual or organization that has made extraordinary contributions toward bringing peoples, cultures, or nations to a greater understanding of others. The Prize was created to honor the Fulbright Program, the largest and most significant government supported educational and cultural exchange program in history, and to sustain the legacy of its creator, the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas.
In a time of increased international uncertainty, the unprecedented budget cuts of $30 million from the current administration threaten to weaken the resources available to support one of the most proven and impactful diplomatic and economic investments made by the U.S. and our international partners in the past seven decades. The State Department and others, who are influential in diplomacy, foreign relations, and the global marketplace, praise the Fulbright Program as the “flagship international academic exchange program” of the U.S. with a mission of promoting understanding between people of the world. Dr. Hans Blix exemplifies the power of this investment in his life’s work and success in reducing the threat of nuclear arms. Four previous recipients of the Fulbright Prize - Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, and Martti Ahtisaari - were late named Nobel Peace Prize laureates. (See list of Previous Laureates here.)
Dr. Hans Blix, currently serving as Honorary President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, exemplifies the renewed spirit of our alumni community and inspires us all to "dare to think and dare to act! " - the theme of our conference. Dr. Blix was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship at age 19 and has dedicated over six decades of his life to serving the international community. Dr. Blix is recognized for his lifelong work and tireless efforts to promote and improve international peace and security.
“It is a great honour for me to be awarded the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding,” stated Dr. Blix. “The world benefited enormously from Senator Fulbright’s wisdom and one would wish there were statesmen of his outlook and caliber today.”
In announcing the award, his Excellency, Alejandro Toledo Manrique, President of Peru (2001-2006) a member of the Selection Committee said, “We are proud to announce Dr. Hans Blitz as the winner of the Fulbright Prize, not only because of his exemplary leadership and impactful contributions in the international community, but also because of his special connection to the Fulbright Association. Dr. Blix is the second Fulbright Fellow to receive the Fulbright Prize in it's 20-year history. He is a shining example of a Fulbright alumnus who is actively contributing to the international community and making globally significant impacts.”
The conference and Prize event will provide the opportunity for a remarkable and inspiring gathering dignitaries and influencers in the global economy. Stephen Reilly, Executive Director of the Fulbright Association said, “As one of the world’s great public servants, we are honored to bestow Dr. Hans Blix with the Fulbright community’s highest honor, the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. Dr. Blix exemplifies the spirit of Fulbright and honors Senator Fulbright’s original vision for the Program. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient.”
The economic, cultural, and diplomatic impact of the Fulbright Program is recognized in 155 countries and attributed to achievements by over 50 Nobel Prize winners, 80 Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous Heads of State or Government. The Prize award ceremony and banquet will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on Friday, October 17, 2014 in Washington, DC.
About Fulbright Association
The Fulbright Association (FA) was founded in 1977 by U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright as the official U.S. alumni organization. The FA seeks to build upon and enhance the Fulbright international experience by promoting positive, collaborative engagement and diplomacy throughout the global community. The Fulbright program has seen 325,000 participants since its inception in 1946 with 122,000 U.S. participants. There are 8,000 grants awarded annually and 155 country partners. The FA is comprised of individual members, over 200 institutions, and 60 local chapter affiliates who commune with U.S. governmental partners, binational commissions and foundations in 50 countries, and U.S. embassies in more than 100 other countries. For more information or to register, visit http://www.fulbright.org or contact us at info(at)fulbright(dot)org.
Jennifer Oxley, Fulbright Association, http://www.fulbright.org, +1 (202) 621-8123, [email protected]