Exchange Alumni

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On October 24, 2014, King Felipe VI of Spain will present the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program with the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, an annual prize awarded in Spain by the Prince of Asturias Foundation conferred on those whose scientific, technical, cultural, social, and humanitarian work “constitutes an outstanding contribution at the international level.” The Foundation recognizes the Fulbright Program “for enhancing and strengthening links and mutual understanding between the world’s citizens.”

The King, who is an honorary Fulbright alumnus, will present the award at a ceremony in Oviedo, Spain. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will accept the award on behalf of the Fulbright Program. Two members of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, Chairman Tom Healy and former Ambassador Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon, as well as Senator Fulbright’s widow, Mrs. Harriet Fulbright, will be among the honored guests at the ceremony.

We’re thrilled to receive the International Cooperation Award and to join the ranks of amazing past winners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), theInternational Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Photo Credit: 1,2


Pumpkin fritters over here.

(via huffingtonpost)


Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman-Hughes, 1972 and 2014

(Photo credit: Dan Bagan)


Check Out What Happened Last Week at the BLM: October 13-17, 2014

News and Events

Last week, the Federal land management agencies that make up the National Wilderness Preservation System signed an agreement that will guide interagency collaboration and vision to ensure the continued preservation of nearly 110 million acres of the most primitive of public lands. The 2020 Vision: Interagency stewardship priorities for America’s National Wilderness Preservation System will guide the BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Forest Service. The document outlines interagency work and partnerships with non-government organizations for the management of wilderness. Read the press release.

On Oct. 14, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell joined BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis, U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and James Risch, local stakeholders and ranchers to see first-hand efforts to conserve the sagebrush habitat that supports wildlife, outdoor recreation and other economic activity throughout the West. Jewell, Ellis and Crapo toured the Browns Bench/China Mountain region of southern Idaho and some areas that were devastated by the 2007 Murphy Complex Fire. Burning more than 600,000 acres, much of it important habitat for the greater sage-grouse and other sagebrush-dependent species, the fire was the largest rangeland fire since 1910. Federal, state and local partners are working to restore the area by reseeding sagebrush, combatting cheatgrass and other invasive species, and altering fire regimes and creating fire breaks to limit the damage from future fires. Read the press release.

Social Media Highlights

On Sept. 3, 1964 President Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, making the United States the first country in the world to define and designate wilderness areas through law. Last week, wilderness partners, stewards, educators, students and researchers gathered in New Mexico for the National Wilderness Conference. The conference capped a month-long observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.  Check out posts on My Public Lands Tumblr and photos on My Public Lands Instagram  and Twitter with hashtag #Wilderness50.

On Oct. 15, the BLM and partners celebrated National Fossil Day at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.  The group welcomed “Junior Paleontologists” to a day of hands-on scientific activities.  Check out posts on My Public Lands Tumblr and photos on Twitter with hashtag #NationalFossilDay.

Internal News Features

In recognition of National Fossil Day on Oct. 15, a part of Earth Sciences Week, the BLM’s internal blog featured a story by BLM Paleo Intern Hannah Cowan about a dinosaur excavation. Read the story, republished externally on the My Public Lands Tumblr.



Image description: The White House goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Learn more about how early detection can save lives.
Photo from the White House.


Image description: The White House goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Learn more about how early detection can save lives.

Photo from the White House.


Rivers no longer burn and people have brighter smiles because of a law passed in the United States on this day in 1972.  


Greenland 2012: Chasing the Light by Zaria Forman

Artist Zaria Forman creates large-scale, realistic landscapes using only chalk pastels. 

"In August 2012, I led an Arctic expedition up the NW coast of Greenland. Called "Chasing the Light," it was the second expedition the mission of which was to create art inspired by this dramatic geography. The first, in 1869, was led by the American painter William Bradford. My mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but did not live to see it through. During the months of her illness her dedication to the expedition never wavered and I promised to carry out her final journey.

These drawings were inspired by this trip. Documenting climate change, the work addresses the concept of saying goodbye on scales both global and personal. In Greenland, I scattered my mother’s ashes amidst the melting ice.”  

Forman donates a percent of all sales to, a global climate movement. 

The Fulbright Arctic Initiative —-> If you love the arctic as much as this talented artist, you should definitely check it out!  The Fulbright Arctic Initiative will support approximately 16 participants for advanced research and collaborative study for an 18-month period in 2015-2017, coinciding with the United States’ chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The participants will be selected through an open, merit-based competition. Eligible participants will be from the United States and the other Arctic Council member states (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Russia).

(via smartgirlsattheparty)

How often do you reconnect with old friends? When you participate in a U.S. government-sponsored exchange program, it isn’t a one time experience, you make friends for life. 

Ten years ago, young emerging European leaders from across the continent crossed the Atlantic to participate in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a professional exchange program designed to foster lasting relationships and strengthen U.S. engagement around the world.  A decade later, these influential European leaders now have among their ranks Members of Parliament, editors-in-chiefs of leading newspapers, and high-ranking policy advisors.  And still, they find time each year to come together to build upon the IVLP experience that initially brought them together.

So this October, like every year since 2004, the group reunited. They typically get together in a different European city, but to honor the 10-year anniversary, they decided on a United States reunion.  Eleven of the original 15 travelers came to Washington D.C. this month to recreate the exchange experience.  During their four-day reunion in Washington, the group discussed the impact of their program with Members of Congress, participated in a forum on European Perspectives on the Transatlantic Relationship, met with other professional counterparts, and reconnected with some of the original host organizers and “citizen diplomats” they met 10 years ago. 


To mark World Food Week, take a look at these beautiful images and stories from around the world taken by the World Food Programme’s head photographer Rein Skullerud.