Asean scholars enter Fullbright program


TO further strengthen the relationship between the United States government and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (Asean), nine US-Asean Visiting Scholars were chosen to be part of the Fullbright scholarship program.

The announcement was made by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the US-Asean Ministerial Meeting on July 10 that marks over 36 years of friendship and cooperation between the country and region.

Through the Fulbright US-Asean Initiative sponsored by the US Department of State, the scholars from the Southeast Asian nations will join a distinguished group of Fulbright alumni known for their contributions to science, economics, education, and maritime security.

Candidates representing the 10 member-states submitted applications under the initiative and proposed research projects on issues that are central to the US-Asean relationship.

The review panel included officials from the US Mission to Asean, the Asean Committee of Permanent Representatives and the Asean Secretariat, who made recommendations to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board members for consideration.

The named candidates are: Dr. Sopheak Rey, researcher at Institute of Technology of Cambodia; Dr. Wahyu Pandoe, program director at Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology in Indonesia; Dr. Zulkifli Hasan, senior lecturer at Islamic Science University of Malaysia; Dr. Poe Poe, professor at Yangon University in Myanmar; Dr. Jay Batongbacal, assistant professor at the University of the Philippines; John Paul Cruz from the Institute on Disability & Public Policy in the Philippines; Dr. Subadhra Rai, senior lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore; Dr. Nlin Arya, Lecturer, at Mahidol University in Thailand and Ha Ngan To, lecturer at Hanoi University in Vietnam.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by late US Senator J. William Fulbright and is sponsored by the US Department of State in partnership with governments around the world. It is the US flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and the people of other countries.

Approximately 318,000 Fulbright Scholars, with 120,000 from the US and 198,000 from other countries have participated in the program since its inception over 60 years ago. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 new grants annually, and operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

For more information about the US Mission to Asean, visit, or e-mail at


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