Exceptional and Strategic Exchanges

International educational exchanges are a long-standing American tradition with tremendous power to broaden and deepen relationships, which is exactly what J. William Fulbright envisioned when he established the Fulbright program almost 70 years ago. In his words, the Fulbright Program “aims to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.” 
Fulbright Finland is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious programs. Since its inception, over 5,000 Finnish and American students, scholars and professionals have participated in exchanges on topics ranging from education to neuroscience at institutions from the University of Eastern Finland to Harvard University. Alumni from the United States include poet Robert Creeley and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall. Finnish alumni include Academician of Finland Pirjo Helena Mäkelä, world-renowned designer Kaj Franck, and Ambassador and journalist Max Jakobson. Fulbright Finland consistently identifies distinguished leaders in their field to participate in its exchanges, weaving powerful academic ties and valuable research collaboration into an already robust bilateral relationship.
One example of Fulbright collaboration touches on a priority issue for the United States: the Arctic. The United States currently chairs the Arctic Council under the theme One Arctic: Shared Opportunities, Challenges, and Responsibilities, highlighting U.S. commitment to a well-managed Arctic, marked by international cooperation. In response to what is becoming a global issue, the Fulbright program established the Fulbright Arctic Initiative, which brings together top researchers from around the globe who focus on priority Arctic challenges linked to water, energy, health, and infrastructure. Early in 2016, Fulbright Finland will host an Arctic Symposium entitled Towards a Sustainable Arctic Future, which will enable the international cohort to present their research to academics, business leaders and policy makers gathered from all Arctic nations.
It is clear that the United States and Finland are deeply committed to broadening and deepening the bilateral relationship through exchanges, of which one indication is Fulbright Finland’s list of strong academic and corporate partners: the Centre for International Mobility, Nokia Foundation, Patricia Seppälä Foundation, Saastamoinen Foundation, Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and practically all Finnish universities. Their contributions ensure that Fulbright Finland’s exceptional and strategic exchanges will continue well into our shared future. We will seek further public and private partnerships from those who share in Senator Fulbright’s vision. There is no question in these trying times that a little more knowledge and a little more reason will truly help us all learn to live together in friendship 
and peace.

Charles C. Adams, Jr.

Ambassador of the United States
to the Republic of Finland
Honorary Chair of the Fulbright Center

Published in Fulbright Center News 2/2015