Keegan Glennon

Norwegian Project Support, 2020

Keegan is working towards a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, focused in development, sustainability, and cultural change at the University of Oslo. She plans to use her Project Support award to fund a research project surrounding a recent decision by the Norwegian government to allow mining  waste dumping into a protected national salmon fjord. Upon her return to the US, Keegan plans to work in a policy or research position to help develop sustainable solutions to environmental issues.

Fulbright Legacy Lectures, 2020

In its 10th year, the usual lectures were replaced by a virtual panel discussion, in the midst of challenges to institutions of higher learning doe to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fulbright Legacy speaker Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California, was joined by UK university leaders to discuss the timely topic of “Higher Education and the Public Good.” The wide-ranging discussion reflected on the results of a dedicated IPSOS Mori global survey on public attitudes towards higher education and covered topics from inequality and student debt, to international collaboration and alternative models of university education.

A video of the lecture is available on the Fulbright Commission’s website.

Esti Durahsanti

Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award, 2020 

Since her arrival in 2003, Esti’s interpersonal skills and leadership has provided the foundation for the Consulate’s public diplomacy programming and serves as an example of excellence for all Consulate employees.  Her extensive knowledge and experience with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), women empowerment, disability rights, LGBTQ issues and trafficking in persons have driven Surabaya to create cutting-edge programming with broad impact.  In just one example, Esti partnered with a local TEDx organization to amplify a speaker program on Astrophysics to reach thousands more across the Indonesian archipelago.  Countless young women wrote to share how the event inspired them to pursue higher education in the United States as well as STEAM-oriented careers.

Felicity Aziz

Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Career Achievement Award, 2020

Over a 40-year career, Felicity Aziz, Deputy Director of the American Center, Jerusalem,has managed Center operations and staff, while serving as the liaison to some 35 grantee organizations. The Mission relies on her advice regarding women’s empowerment and economic development, religious affairs, innovation and entrepreneurship, climate and environmental issues, rule of law, good governance and peripheral communities.  Felicity has successfully informed and influenced generations of Israel’s future leaders, current influencers and professionals through her deep understanding of her community, her knowledge of how to use public diplomacy tools to their fullest extent and her determination to make a positive difference in the lives of her fellow citizens.

Ali Al Ghadban

Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Career Achievement Award, 2020

Ali Al Ghadban, Cultural Assistant, U.S. Consulate General Jeddah, has supported the entire U.S. Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with his stellar work in exchange and alumni programs over thirty-five years of service.  His connections across Saudi Arabia run deep and he continually leverages his vast network of contacts to strengthen U.S.-Saudi ties through education and cultural exchange and deepen connections with the next generation of Saudi leaders.

Ivanka Ponikvar

Gill Jacot- Guillarmod Career Achievement Award, 2020 

For most of the nearly three decades that Slovenia has been an independent nation, Ivanka Ponikvar, Education and Professional Exchanges Specialist, U.S. Embassy Slovenia, has been the Embassy’s most respected exchanges interlocutor.  Known for her compassion, around-the-clock attentiveness to detail and commitment to participant satisfaction, she deftly navigated a changing political and economic landscape to recruit the nation’s most promising educational and professional exchange participants. Ivanka owes her success to creating and maintaining the Embassy’s most productive and mutually-beneficial relationships by discerning the right balance, qualifications and temperaments of successful participants.  She has steadily increased the Embassy’s network of policy and opinion-makers who have advanced US interests in measurable ways.

Helena Vagnerova

Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Career Achievement Award, 2020

Helena Vagnerova, Senior Member, Established Opinion Leader Team, U.S. Embassy Prague is a living legend within Embassy Prague and has mentored generations of Foreign Service Officers and local staff. She has mastered every aspect of public diplomacy, from brainstorming to carrying out policy-relevant, impactful programming. She can single-handedly draft Front Office memos and remarks for the Ambassador, while managing a panoply of logistical, budgetary and bureaucratic issues. In doing so, she personifies how cultural programs advance US security, economic, and policy objectives, as well as the critical role cultural outreach plays in strengthening the bonds between the two countries. During Secretary Pompeo’s historic speech at the Czech Senate in August 2020, he cited Helena’s work on the PKF Prague Philharmonia’s concert at the Ambassador’s Residence as an example of U.S.-Czech friendship and solidarity.

Anna Bodgan

Finnish Project Support, 2020

Anna Bodgan is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Global Politics and Communication at the University of Helsinki. She plans to use the Roth-Thomson Award to support her research project on the spread of misinformation in the discussion of politics online. Upon her return to the U.S., Anna plans to apply her studies to a position in international affairs.

Kayleigh Anderson

Finnish Project Support, 2020 

Kayleigh Anderson is researching the experiences of indigenous Sami women through a feminist lens as part of her graduate program in gender studies at the University of Turku. With the Roth-Thomson Award, she will extend her stay in Finland and expand her research to include questions of cultural appropriation and the Sami people. Upon her return to the U.S., Kayleigh plans to continue her studies through graduate programs in Women and Gender Studies and Indigenous Studies.

Ben Orozco

Swedish Project Support, 2020

Ben Orozco (University of Wisconsin, Madison), an artist specializing in neon and glasswork,is studying under Tommy Gustafsschiöld, Sweden’s only neon craftsman at The Glass Factory in Boda Glasbruk. Ben will use the Roth-Thomson Award to acquire the supplies, materials and tools needed for a solo exhibition that will highlight American neon and Swedish glass techniques and traditions. Upon returning to the U.S., Ben plans to teach neon and glasswork in New York City as a way to share his experiences in Sweden and continue exchanging ideas with other artists.