Press Releases

Press Release

U.S. Department of State-Sponsored Fulbright Scholars Launch “Professors Beyond Borders” to Assist with Sustainable Development Projects Around the World

First Two Projects to Include Rebuilding Schools in Haiti and Providing Support in Thailand

WASHINGTON, DC, April 26, 2010—Today, a new 501(c) 3 organization named Professors Beyond Borders was launched during a half-day session at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Conceptualized by a group of U.S. Department of State-sponsored Fulbright New Century Scholars, the mission of Professors Beyond Borders is to create a network of highly-trained, academically oriented volunteers available to assist with specific projects related to sustainable development around the world. 

For its first on-the-ground project, scheduled to begin in August 2010, Professors Beyond Borders has established a partnership with in-country teachers, students and NGOs in Thailand. 

In addition, a Fulbright New Century Scholar who had already been researching and working in Haiti as part of his Fulbright experience is now working with Operation USA and Engineers Without Borders. This scholar has elected to connect these two NGOs with the newly formed Professors Beyond Borders to rebuild schools in Haiti.

Professors Beyond Borders was conceptualized at the Fulbright New Century Scholars VI orientation meeting in May 2009 in Potomac, Maryland. At that time, 35 scholars from 23 countries met as sub-groups according to their areas of expertise and interest.  One of the groups became known as the “water group,” and consisted of 10 scholars. This sub-group of scholars included experts in several academic disciplines, all united by the premise that water plays a central role in the global community’s public health, agriculture, sanitation, drinking water, environmental sustainability, and community development. As the group developed plans for a community development project in Thailand, it expanded its concentration beyond water to include other components of sustainable development such as education, agriculture, agricultural engineering, engineering, environmental sciences, health care, finance and economics. The "water group" soon began recruiting other colleagues from the Fulbright New Century Scholars Group.

To sustain the effort beyond the life of the Fulbright grant, as well as to tap the expertise of non-Fulbright grantees, the group conceived of a more formal organization that would allow it to raise private funds under the auspices of the independent non-profit organization, Professors Beyond Borders.

About Fulbright

The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program and is supported by the people of The Fulbright Program provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. 

Learn more about the Fulbright Program

About the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program

Each year, the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program brings together approximately thirty outstanding research scholars and professionals from the U.S. and abroad. Under the guidance of an appointed Distinguished Scholar Leader, Fulbright New Century Scholars engage in collaborative, multidisciplinary examination of a topic of universal concern and together seek solutions to critical issues affecting all humankind.  The Fulbright New Century Scholars Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Learn more about the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program


Slideshow: Professors Beyond Borders
IIE Experts

IIE experts on international education are available for interviews or speaking engagements.

Dr. Allan E. Goodman
President and CEO

Peggy Blumenthal 
Senior Counselor to the President