Inspiring Caring Leaders Across Cultures  

Message from Executive Director

Sa-was-dee kha

The Thailand – United States Educational Foundation (TUSEF/Fulbright Thailand) was established under the agreement signed between the governments of Thailand and the United States of America on July 1, 1950. Since then, it has been the one and only bilateral agreement on education cooperation signed by the Thai government.

We value the vision of Senator J. William Fulbright, our founding father, that “International education exchange is the most significant current project designed to continue the process of humanizing mankind to the point, we would hope, that man can learn to live in peace-eventually even to cooperate in constructive activities rather than compete in a mindless contest of mutual destruction….we must try to expand the boundaries of human wisdom, empathy and perception, and there is no way of doing that except education”

Indeed, education exchange is the silent tool to promote peace and understanding. Fulbright Thailand along with other Fulbright Commissions all over the world are putting an afford to make this world the better place for everyone.

I joined Fulbright Thailand in October 2014 as the Executive Director but my connection with the Commission happened much longer than that. It started when I was at high school and joined the pen pal project for my English class. From that project, I had a few American friends and learned about their culture. Importantly, I heard from them for the first time about the Fulbright Program. In 2003, I decided to apply for the grant and became a member of the Fulbright Family. My own experiences emphasize how education exchanges and opportunities could change a person. I believe people at any age, gender, and backgrounds need an opportunity to broaden their horizons.

From a university lecturer and administrator to the Fulbright Thailand’s Executive Director, I see my role as something larger than grant administrator. It is human development, striking balance between academic, professional, and personal aspects of our Fulbrighters. It is also to promote education, internationalization and cross-cultures among our network and beyond. Importantly, I see the Fulbright Program as a mechanism to nurture young leaders who are open-minded, cross-cultural sensitive, critical, and adjustable. Within our capacity, we help our young generations realize their capacity and better contribute to the society. This is not an easy task but I believe in our soft power and in our Fulbrighters.

Over 67 years, there are more than 1,700 Thai and 1,000 American alumni who serve as cultural ambassadors and contributors in their own fields. Throughout these days, Fulbright Thailand also earned knowledge and expertise in grant administration, education internationalization, and cross culture. In this digital age, we are trying to make use of more technology to maximize our grant management capacity and knowledge management. My team and I are committed to keep moving forward to be a premier bi-national scholarship brand in Thailand bearing in mind Senator William J. Fulbright’s philosophy in promoting understanding and friendships across cultures.

We hope Fulbright Thailand is the answer for your choice of academic, professional, and personal betterment.

Benjawan Ubonsri
Executive Director, Fulbright Thailand (TUSEF)