Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

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That Knock on a Congressman’s Door Could Be a Fulbright Scholar

Jun 8, 2017
In The News

Former Fulbright scholars are not the type to shy away from a fight. Their ranks include dozens of Nobel and Pulitzer prizewinners, geniuses recognized as MacArthur Foundation fellows, and almost 60 foreign Fulbrights who went on to become heads of state…. Now, the program’s funding is facing what its alumni association calls an existential threat from a 47 percent cut proposed by the Trump administration, one of many sharp reductions in the State Department budget. And over 100,000 former Fulbright scholars, among them several members of Congress, are being asked to lobby for not only full funding but also a small increase…. Among the more effective lobbyists for the Fulbrights are the three members of Congress who themselves are alumni…. “The symbolism of what the Fulbright program has meant over many years, decades now, is something we need to hold on to and preserve,” said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who studied law and politics in Greece on a Fulbright scholarship and signed a letter urging House appropriators to keep its funding strong…. “One of the important ways of exercising soft power is public diplomacy. Within the public diplomacy realm, you can’t find a program that is more critical, more successful or more respected than the Fulbright Program.”

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