2016 European Fulbright Conference: Crossing Borders for Global Partnerships

Hotel Hilton Kalastajatorppa, Helsinki

This international conference brings together Fulbright leaders and cooperating agencies from both sides of the Atlantic to share best practices and plan strategy for future exchanges. The conference is funded by the U.S. Department of State and hosted by the Fulbright Center in Finland. Over 90 participants from over 40 countries will attend this unique conference. Fulbright Finland looks forward to sharing innovative ideas and midnight sun with the distinguished participants!

2016 European Fulbright Conference Program Booklet (Issuu)
Photos from the conference. (Facebook album)

Blue Fulbright Conference 2016 logo

Saturday, 18 June:

Fulbright Executive Directors arrive at the conference hotel

Pre-Conference Meetings

19.00 – 22.00 Welcome Dinner for Executive Directors
Host: Terhi Mölsä (ED, Finland)

Restaurant Meritorppa, Laajalahti cabinet
Hilton Kalastajatorppa, Seaside Wing

Sunday, 19 June:


DOS participants (including ECA and Posts) and cooperating agency representatives arrive at the conference hotel

Pre-Conference Meetings             

7.30 – 8.45 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Working Breakfast for Executive Directors from Arctic Countries
Moderators: Mary Kirk, Office Director, ECA/A/E, and Steve Money, Program Officer, ECA/A/E/EUR
Restaurant Oceana, Hilton London Cabinet

9.00 – 11.45 Working Meeting for Executive Directors, Session I
Moderator: Lonnie Johnson (ED, Austria)
Keltainen Sali (Yellow Hall)

11.45 – 12.45 Lunch for ED Meeting
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall)

12.00 – 13.45 Lunch for Migration experts
POC: Richard Mei, Branch Chief, ECA/A/E/EUR
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall)

12.45 – 13.45 Working Meeting for Executive Directors, Session II
Moderator: Lonnie Johnson (ED, Austria)
Keltainen Sali (Yellow Hall)

14.00 – 16.30 Working Meeting for Executive Directors, Session III
Conversation with Alumni and Grantees: Fulbright and Migration Issues
Keltainen Sali (Yellow Hall)
Moderators: Mala Adiga (Deputy Assistant Secretary, ECA/A), Mary Kirk (Office Director, ECA/A/E)

  • Arno Tanner, Project Manager, Finnish Immigration Service; Adjunct Professor, University of Helsinki; Fulbright Scholar Alumnus
  • Eugénia da Conceição-Heldt, Professor of International Politics at Technische Universität Dresden; Fulbright Scholar Alumna
  • Alex Stepick, Professor and Graduate Director, Department of Sociology, Portland State University; Fulbright Specialist

16.50 – 18.30 Meet your Fulbright Finland hosts at the lobby of the Seaside Wing of the Hilton Kalastajatorppa for the Taste of Finnish Midsummer

17.00 – 18.30 Meeting with Benjamin G. Ziff, Deputy Assistant Secretary (EUR/NB), U.S. Department of State, for DOS participants
POC: Jeffrey Reneau, PAO, Helsinki 
Merisali I (Sea Hall I)

17.00 - 19.00 Free Time/Cultural Activity for all other participants: 
Taste of the Finnish Mid-Summer Experience
Hotel pool/beach area

Find your local cultural guides wearing Fulbright Finland t-shirts.

19.00 – 21.00  Informal Welcome Reception with a Buffet Dinner for All Participants

Hilton Kalastajatorppa Garden (weather permitting) or Vanha Torppa

Monday, 20 June

8.00 Exhibition Area Opens: Showcase of Best Practices
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)

9.00 – 10:00 Conference Opening and Keynote Addresses
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)

Masters of Ceremony: Terhi Mölsä (ED, Finland) and Richard Mei (Branch Chief, ECA/A/E/EUR)

  • Matti Anttonen, Under Secretary of State, External Economic Relations, Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (remarks, pdf)
  • Mala Adiga, Deputy Assistant Secretary (ECA/A), U.S. Department of State (remarks, pdf)
  • Benjamin G. Ziff, Deputy Assistant Secretary (EUR/NB), U.S. Department of State (remarks, pdf)
  • Laura Skandera Trombley, Chair, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (remarks, pdf)

Morning Sessions and Discussions

10:00 – 11.00 Strategic Partnerships with National and Regional Governments: Commission and Post Country Best Practices
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Mary Kirk (Office Director, ECA/A/E)

  • The ETA Program in Turkey: Ersel Aydınlı (ED, Turkey)
  • Partnering with Ministries and Regional Governments in Spain: Alberto López San Miguel (ED, Spain)
  • Engaging the Government of Kosovo to Support Fulbright: Mark Naylor (APAO, Pristina)
  • Meeting and Exceeding Parity: Hana Ripková (ED, Czech Republic)
  • Regional Awards in France: Arnaud Roujou de Boubée (ED, France)

11.00 – 11.15  Coffee Break

11.15 – 12.30 Strategic Partnerships with Host Universities and the Private Sector: Commission and Post Country Best Practices
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Lonnie Johnson (ED, Austria)

  • University-Sponsored Awards and Distinguished Chairs in Finland: Terhi Mölsä (ED, Finland)
  • Partnering with the America for Bulgaria Foundation: Angela Rodel (ED, Bulgaria)
  • Fundraising to Develop Partnerships: Paola Sartorio (ED, Italy)
  • Engaging Hellenic Foundations: Artemis Zenetou (ED, Greece)

12.30 – 12.40 Group Photo

Ninety 2016 European Fulbright Conference participants in a group photo in front of the Hotel Hilton Kalastajatorppa

12.40 – 14.00 Lunch
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall)

12.40 – 14.00 Lunch for EDs
POC: Terhi Mölsä, ED, Finland
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall), separate tables reserved

Afternoon Sessions and Discussions

14.00 – 15.30 Reaching Diverse Audiences: Best Practices from the United States and Europe
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Robert Greenan (PAO, Vienna)

  • Diversity Outreach in the UK: Penny Egan (ED, United Kingdom)
  • Roma Outreach Initiatives: Károly Jókay (ED, Hungary)
  • Including Persons with Disabilities: Marcel Oomen (ED, Netherlands)
  • Reaching Non-Traditional and Underprivileged Populations: Reiner Rohr (Acting ED, Germany)
  • Working with Minorities in Estonia: Jane Susi (Cultural Assistant, Tallinn)
  • American Perspectives on Diversity: Marla Mazer (Senior Program Officer, IIE)

15.30 – 15.45 Coffee Break

15.45 – 17.00 Fulbright Crossing Borders
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Eric Jönsson (ED, Sweden)

  • Inter-Country Travel Grants: Stephanie Morimura (PAO, Bern)
  • Multi-Country Specialist Grants: Otília Macedo Reis (ED, Portugal)
  • Multi-Country Regional Grants: Rodica Mihaila (ED, Romania)
  • The Fulbright-Schuman Program: Erica Lutes (ED, Belgium/Luxembourg)
  • The Fulbright Arctic Initiative: Belinda Theriault (ED, Iceland)

17.00 - 17.30  Collecting Dinner Cruise Tickets from the Fulbright Conference Infodesk

17.00 – 18.30 Free Time

18.30 Bus departs from the Hotel Entrance to the House of the Estates

19.00 Reception with a buffet dinner hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture for all conference participants and special guests at the House of the Estates.
Address: Snellmaninkatu 9-11

Welcome remarks: Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Culture
Remarks: Mala Adiga, Deputy Assistant Secretary (ECA/A), U.S. Department of State

21.00 Bus departs from the House of the Estates to the Hotel

Tuesday, 21 June

Morning Sessions and Discussions

9.00 – 9.30 EducationUSA and U.S. Study Abroad: Innovative Approaches to Increasing Student Mobility
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Presenter: Heidi Manley (Deputy Director, ECA/A/S)

9.30 – 11.00 Strategic Partnerships with U.S. Embassies
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Patricia Bass (Program Officer, ECA/A/E/EUR)

  • Embassy Support for Commission Initiatives: Ray Castillo (PAO, Prague)
  • Embassy-Assisted Fundraising: Emilia Puma (PAO, Madrid)
  • Embassy Engagement with the Finnish Fulbright Board: Jeffrey Reneau (PAO, Helsinki)
  • Encouraging Embassy Priorities: Gloria Berbena (PAO, Rome)

11.00 – 11.15 Coffee Break

11.15 – 12.30 Parallel Roundtable Discussions:                                        

PAOs and Executive Directors from Commission Countries 
Facilitators: Mary Kirk (Director, ECA/A/E), Marie Mønsted (ED, Denmark), Todd Pierce (PAO, Athens)
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
PAOs / CAOs / FSNs from non-Commission Countries
Facilitators: Richard Mei (Branch Chief, ECA/A/E/EUR), Scott Righetti (Program Officer, ECA/A/E/EUR)
Keltainen Sali (Yellow Hall)

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall)

Afternoon Sessions and Discussions

14.00 – 15.00 Roundtable: Engaging Alumni
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Nora Hložeková (ED, Slovak Republic)

  • The Fulbright Friends Mentoring Program: Penny Egan (ED, United Kingdom)
  • TEDxFulbrightDublin: Dara FitzGerald (ED, Ireland)
  • Fulbright Alumni in Ukraine: Marta Kolomayets (Fulbright Office Director, Kyiv)
  • Alumni Events Calendar: Marcel Oomen (ED, Netherlands)

15.00 – 15.15 Coffee Break

15.15 – 17.00 Roundtable: Promoting the Program
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Petter Næss (ED, Norway)

  • Digital Asset Management (the Fulbright “Source”): Stephen Money (Program Officer, ECA/A/E/EUR)
  • Social Media and Communication Strategies: Angela Rodel (ED, Bulgaria)
  • Spanning a Vast Country: Joel Ericson (Fulbright Office Director, Moscow)

17.00 – 18.15 Free Time

18.15 Meet at the hotel lobby for a walk to the hotel pier (for guests who have purchased dinner cruise tickets)

18.30 – 21.30 Sightseeing Dinner Cruise outside Helsinki (optional) 
View the Suomenlinna Fortress Island (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Helsinki Kauppatori market place, coastal villas, the U.S. Embassy Innovation Center and the Ambassador’s Residence at Kaivopuisto Park, and renowned Finnish icebreakers while dining and networking.

Your hosts onboard:

  • Jeffrey Reneau, Fulbright Finland Board Vice-chair
  • David Yoken, Fulbright Finland Board Member
  • Terhi Mölsä, Fulbright Finland ED                                  

Guide: Kasper Mårtenson

Finn-Quiz (pdf)

21.30 Walk from the hotel pier back to the Hotel


Wednesday, 22 June

Morning Sessions and Discussions

9.00 – 11:00 Responding to a Changing Educational Landscape
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)
Moderator: Alberto López San Miguel (ED, Spain)

  • Scholar Program Innovations: Maria Crummett (Executive Director, CIES)
  • Student Program Innovations: Arthur Austin (Assistant Director, IIE)
  • Fulbright in an EU Context: Reiner Rohr (Acting ED, Germany)

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11.15 – 11.50 Closing Session: Platforms for Sharing Best Practices
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)

Moderators: Mary Kirk (Director, ECA/A/E), Terhi Mölsä (ED, Finland)

11.50 – 12.00 Closing Remarks: Ambassador Charles C. Adams, Jr.
Siirtomaasali (Colonial Room)

Exhibitions close

12.00 Lunch
Pyöreä Sali (Round Hall)

13.00 Departures


In the entrance area of the main conference hall (Siirtomaasali) there is an exhibition space where the participating organizations display information and materials regarding their best practices. The displays and materials cover a broad variety success stories and local solutions, outreach materials, sample publications, and small posters presenting unique programs and activities in Europe.

The exhibition area is a great place to meet over coffee during breaks in the conference program, and the representatives of the exhibiting organizations will be available during breaks to discuss the displays and provide further information. Given that the conference sessions themselves are limited in time and might not allow the speakers to share everything they wish to discuss about their specific topic, the exhibits will provide a forum to share additional materials about the session topic and continue the discussion. Do not miss the opportunity to share your best practices and to learn from your peers!

Background materials

(L. Johnson)

(L. Johnson)

Common abbreviations used at the conference:

APAO  Assistant Public Affairs Officer (U.S. Foreign Service)
CAO Cultural Affairs Officer (U.S. Foreign Service)
CIES Council for International Exchange of Scholars
DAS Deputy Assistant Secretary
DOS Department of State
ECA Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
ECA/A Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs
ECA/A/E Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of the Academic Exchange Programs
ECA/A/E/EUR Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of the Academic Exchange Programs, European and Eurasian Programs Branch
ECA/A/S Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Global Educational Programs
ED Executive Director
EUR/NB Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Office of Nordic and Baltic Affairs
IIE Institute of International Education
FSN Foreign Service National
LES Locally-Employed Staff
PAO Public Affairs Officer (U.S. Foreign Service)
POC Point of contact