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4/23/2014 » 5/20/2014
The 2014 Fulbright Film Festival

Board of Directors
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Founding Honorary Chairman

J. William FulbrightJ. William Fulbright was born on April 9, 1905, in Sumner, Missouri, and died on Feb. 9, 1995, at the age of 89. He entered politics in 1942 and was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, entering Congress in January 1943 and becoming a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In September of that year, he gained national attention when the House adopted the Fulbright Resolution supporting international peace-keeping machinery. In November 1944, he was elected to the U.S. Senate and served there from 1945 through 1974, becoming one of the most influential and best-known members of the Senate.

His legislation establishing the Fulbright Program slipped through the Senate without debate in 1946. Its first participants went overseas in 1948, funded by war reparations and foreign loan repayments to the United States. The Fulbright exchange program’s impact around the world is demonstrated by the more than 300,000 Fulbright grantees who have participated.Many have made significant contributions within their countries and advanced the goal of increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries throughout the world.

In 1949, Senator Fulbright became a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. From 1959 to 1974, he chaired the committee, becoming its longest serving chairman in history.His Senate career was marked by some notable cases of dissent. In 1954, he was the only Senator to vote against an appropriation for the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which was chaired by Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. He lodged serious objections to President Kennedy in advance of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.Senator Fulbright was also a powerful voice in the chaotic times of the war in Vietnam, when he chaired Senate hearings on United States policy and conduct of the war.

In 1963, Walter Lippmann wrote of Senator Fulbright: "The role he plays in Washington is an indispensable role. There is no one else who is so powerful and also so wise, and if there were any question of removing him from public life, it would be a national calamity."

Senator Fulbright was educated at the University of Arkansas and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1925. He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and received a master’s degree.He studied law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.During the 1930's, he served in the Justice Department and was an instructor at the George Washington University Law School. In 1936, he returned to Arkansas to lecture in law. From 1939 to 1941, he served as the president of the University of Arkansas and was at that time the youngest university president in the country.

Senator Fulbright was of counsel to the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells) after leaving the Senate.He encouraged the founding of the Fulbright Association and remained active in support of the international exchange program that bears his name.

In 1993, President Clinton presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Senator Fulbright at the Fulbright Association’s 88th Birthday Tribute Dinner in his honor. He received many other awards from governments, universities, and educational organizations around the world for his efforts on behalf of education and international understanding.


Board of Directors

President - John Vogel

John Vogel

A partner at Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, DC, Mr. Vogel is a principal in the firm’s business group and specializes in international corporate finance.  Mr. Vogel has spoken and written on a variety of international financial issues and trends, including the increasing utilization throughout the world of Islamic financing for infrastructure projects.  

Mr. Vogel received his Bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University and earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Mr. Vogel was a Fulbright Scholar in Brussels, Belgium in 1968, where he was a stagiaire at the European Union and served as an assistant to the EU’s chief legal counsel.  While serving at the European Union, Mr. Vogel worked closely with economists and lawyers in the area of harmonization of corporate and tax laws within the European Community.  Mr. Vogel served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association’s National Capital Area Chapter.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Association since 2009, and was previously Treasurer of the Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.


Vice-President - Mary Ellen H. Schmider

Dr. Schmider previously served as Executive Director of the Fulbright Association in 2012 as transition leadership. During her tenure, she developed a new staff, initiated the development of a more robust technology platform to serve  members and Chapters, worked with the Board to develop the bi-annual J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding awarded to Doctors Without Borders at the Library of Congress in September, Fulbright Commissions, and State Alumni in the UK and Europe to plan the 35th Annual Conference of the Association. Dr. Schmider held two Senior Fulbright Lecturer Awards: to China in 1997, and Macedonia in 2005-6. 

As Graduate Dean Emerita from the Minnesota State University Minnesota, she served as Chair of the Minnesota Humanities Commission. She holds the BA, magna cum laude, from St. Olaf College, the M. A. in English and American Literature from the University of Southern California, and the Ph. D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.


Treasurer - John F. Ausura

Founder of Capital Resolution, Inc., a firm that provides interim management and operations improvement services,  Ausura has more than 25 years’ experience as a senior executive in Fortune 100 and mid-cap companies, with special expertise in designing and executing strategies that enhance value for creditors and shareholders and in returning distressed and underperforming companies to long-term health. A Certified Turnaround Professional, Ausura has played major roles in successful turnarounds. His corporate experience includes CertainTeed Corporation, General Foods, Campbell Soup, PNC Bank, Godiva Chocolates, Day Runner, Outsource International, Talent Tree, Bell Sports, and Airwalk International. He has held interim and permanent positions as chief executive officer, president, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer, among others. Ausura earned his MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton. He was a Fulbright fellow in Germany in 1975.


Director - Jerome M. Cooper

Jerry Cooper

Jerome M. Cooper, FAIA, a founding principal, is Chairman of COOPER CARRY, INC., a 52 year-old architectural firm with offices in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, D.C., New York, and Newport Beach, CA. Mr. Cooper received the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology. As the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, he studied at the Universita di Roma in 1957 in Rome, Italy. In 1997, he returned to Rome as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy.

His long-standing involvement with professional associations includes the American Institute of Architects (Fellow); Atlanta Chapter, AIA (Past President); and South Atlantic Region, AIA (National Director).In addition, he has been a member of various AIA Task Forces: the National Task Force on Long Span Design, the National Task Force on Ethics, and the National Task Force on Re-certification and Registration. Mr. Cooper has been honored with the Bernard B. Rothschild Award, the highest award granted by the Georgia Association AIA, as well as the Ivan Allen Award for Community Service. He has also served as a Trustee of the National Building Museum and currently is a member of the National Fulbright Board in Washington DC. Under Mr. Cooper's direction, Cooper Carry has received over 100 design awards, including 19 from the American Institute of Architects. In 1987, under his leadership, the firm received the Silver Medal for Design Excellence from the Atlanta Chapter AIA.


Director - Kim David Eger

Mr. Kim David Eger is President & CEO of Eco Smart Shutters, a Georgia-based company that provides energy efficiency upgrades through dynamic shading devices for the residential and commercial markets. His firm introduced solar-powered rolling shutters with wireless remote controls to the southeast, harnessing the sun to create shade and reduce energy consumption needs. Eco Smart Shutters has been awarded government contracts for both breathable security gates and hurricane shutters. The common thread between various business ventures in which he’s involved is a focus on common sense Sustainability that can both lower cost and reduce the carbon footprint of his clients. Kim also serves on the board of directors of the Fulbright Academy, in their Executive Committee and as their Treasurer.

Mr. Eger has over fifteen years of experience in the Lawn & Garden (L&G) market in the U.S. and Europe. He was previously CEO of ASB Greenworld, Inc. and served as the only non-German board member of the parent company ASB Gruenland, GmbH.

Mr. Eger began his career with the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany, responsible for Trade and Investment policy. His 1992 Fulbright was to the University of Cologne, where he studied political science and economics. After his Fulbright, he went on to earn an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), studying in Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC. Kim is fluent in German and French and proficient in Italian.


Director - Pauline M. Eveillard

Pauline Eveillard

Pauline Eveillard is Senior Program Associate at World Monuments Fund, an international non-profit organization dedicated to historic preservation, where she manages preservation projects, the international travel program, and the young members group. After earning her BA in Art History at Tufts University, she spent a year in Tunisia in 2005-2006 as a Fulbright fellow, where she studied ancient Roman mosaics and visual culture. In 2008 she applied the research completed during her Fulbright Fellowship to her Master’s thesis at the University of Chicago.

Ms. Eveillard is dedicated to raising awareness of the Fulbright program and Tunisia through working at World Monuments Fund, volunteering for One To World and New York Needs You, and starting an online retail business selling Tunisian products. Further, Ms. Eveillard has volunteered on a panel to discuss her Fulbright experience with first-generation college students. Ms. Eveillard plans to enhance participation of Fulbright alumni in the New York City area.


Director - Robert W. Helm

  Rob Helm is a partner and deputy chairman of Dechert LLP. He is a leader of the firm's financial services practice group, whose lawyers work in 19 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.   Rob represents some of the world's leading investment management firms, their funds and boards of directors. He also has consulted with foreign governments on various aspects of financial regulation and writes and speaks frequently on legal and financial topics.  

Rob was a Fulbright-Hays Direct Exchange Fellow to Italy in 1982-83. He was an Attache' de recherche at the European University Institute from 1983-84. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Law School. He and his wife, Mimie, have two daughters, both students at the University of Virginia. Rob is a member of the Life Guard Society of Mt. Vernon and serves on the finance committee of the Maryland Province of the  Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).

Director - Keisuke Nakagawa

K Nakagawa

As a Fulbright fellow to Bangladesh in 2004, Mr. Nakagawa spent nine months piloting a health insurance program for the rural poor. Since returning to the United States, he has been actively involved in the National Capital Area Chapter (NCAC) of the Fulbright Association. He was elected to NCAC’s executive board in 2006, served as treasurer in 2007-08, and as president in 2008-09. During his term as president, the chapter held over 30 events including social activities, community service, and a gala at the Swedish Embassy.

Mr. Nakagawa is passionate about strengthening the Fulbright community at the local, national, and international levels. He is interested in empowering Fulbright Association chapters and coordinating with sister alumni associations around the world to share best practices and to foster a more connected global network of Fulbright alumni. He is also interested in encouraging young Fulbright alumni to get more involved in chapter activities and to take leadership roles in the Fulbright Association. Mr. Nakagawa  left his position as a policy analyst at the Congressional Budget Office two years ago to begin study at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University in 2004.


 Director - H. Andrea Neves

Professor emerita of education at Sonoma State University, Dr. Neves received her doctorate in education from Stanford University in 1984. Born and reared in California,  Neves completed her undergraduate education in Mexico D.F. Mexico and received a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Latin American studies.. Neves studied cultural anthropology and early childhood education on a full scholarship from the Mexican American Education Project and received her master’s degree in social sciences from Sacramento State University.  Neves has  taught at the American School Foundation secondary school in Mexico City and the Stanford University School of Education. In 1997 and in 2002 Neves received Fulbright-Hays fellowships to study issues of globalization in the education systems of Tanzania and of Uganda. She is a member of the board of the Sonoma State University Academic Foundation, the advisory board of the Stanford University School of Education, and the Board of Trustees of Opera San José.

Director - Philip Rakita

Dr. Philip Rakita is Chair of the Board and Managing Director of Armour Associates, with offices in North Carolina and France. He is a senior executive with more than thirty years of international experience in the chemical and related industries. For eighteen years he held various management positions in fine and specialty chemicals and plastics for the Elf Aquitaine Group. He also served as CEO of Syrgis Performance Products, LLC, a privately held $50 million diversified group of specialty chemical companies. He has lead numerous successful projects in new business development, technology assessment and transfer, divestitures and acquisitions. He has worked and lived in France, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States and has extensive experience with multinational technical and cultural interfaces within organizations. Prior to his industrial career he was Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota, and Senior Fulbright Visiting Professor at Moscow State University (USSR). 


Director - Ramesh Ramakrishnan

Dr. Ramesh Ramakrishnan is Secretary of the Board and the Director of Molecular Biology at Fluidigm Corporation, in South San Francisco, since 2005, and has spent an equal amount of his life in the USA and India. He has more than 15 years of R&D experience in commercial settings, and is passionate about science and the scientific process. He is currently involved in projects involving single cell "Omics" using microfluidic technology. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the China Medicinal Biotech Association. He was also a Member of the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme ( DPFS) Expert Group, Cambridge, UK. He earlier developed oligonucleotide expression and SNP microarrays for the pharmaceutical marketplace, when he worked with Motorola Life Sciences, as the Section Manager. As a Research Scientist at Vysis, Inc., he worked on developing multi-fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) probes to examine chromosomal aberrations. He loves West Coast Jazz and Chicago-style blues, originally hails from Bangalore (now Bengaluru) in south India, and attended Bishop Cotton Boys' School there. He was a Fulbright scholar from India in 1985-86 in Genetic Engineering, at Georgetown University, and completed his 1990 with a degree from the University of Poona, India. He also has a Masters degree in Biochemistry from the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University of Baroda, and an M.Phil. in Zoology from the University of Poona, both in India.


Director - Robert Ruminski

Dr. Robert Ruminski is a researcher and entrepreneur in Poland. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Szczecin, Poland, Faculty of Management and Economics, Department of Banking and Comparative Finance. He is also a Development Manager, Proxy and the main shareholder in INPRO LLC, one of the leading suppliers of comprehensive property management services and real estate consultancy to investors, property owners, tenants and developers. Dr. Ruminski has served as an expert within the European Union Program, evaluating numerous business ventures, enterprises and GOs applying for the EU funds. He is the former CEO of the Department of Culture, Science and National Heritage in the province of West Pomerania. His 2009-2010 Fulbright grant was to Loyola Marymount University’s College of Business Administration in Los Angeles, where he did research on entrepreneurial finance and banking. In his work and research, he has collaborated with universities and organizations supporting small business in Europe and the United States. He earned his doctorate from the University of Szczecin, Poland, and his MBA from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (O), Germany. Dr. Ruminski is passionate about strengthening the Fulbright community at the local, national, and international levels. He is interested in coordinating with alumni associations around the world to share best practices and entrepreneurial spirit. 


Director - John Sargent

John Sargent

 Dr. John Sargent is one of the Founders of BroadReach Healthcare and has extensive experience in developing, implementing and managing large-scale healthcare programs in the US and the developing world. As a Founding Partner he is involved in the creation and execution of the Company’s strategy, business development, client project delivery and key internal projects. Since the founding of BroadReach, he has been involved in all major aspects of the company’s strategy, business development and work including the creation of the company's first HIV/AIDS treatment program in South Africa, establishment operations there, and serving as the company's first Country Director until late 2006. He also established the company's operations and projects in other countries including Kenya, Namibia, China and Switzerland.

While at BroadReach, Dr. Sargent has worked on and led a variety of healthcare projects including strategic planning, development of public private partnerships, health systems strengthening, management and leadership training programs, and community mobilization and patient education programs for government, multi-lateral funding and assistance agencies, global NGO's and multi-national organizations. For pharmaceutical clients he has created market development strategies to increase access to those at the bottom of the pyramid and has evaluated distribution systems in various African countries. He is frequently called upon to speak at conferences and to advise governments, multi-national companies and donors and has been recognized with awards such as Devex's 40 Under 40 Leaders in international development.

Before founding BroadReach, he served as Senior Director and National Practice Leader at the Advisory Board Company - a Washington DC, USA based healthcare research, consulting firm, and think tank. Prior to this, he served as a management consultant within the New York office of APM/CSC Healthcare, a leading US healthcare consulting firm. Dr. Sargent received his BS in Biology from Dartmouth College, his master's degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology as a Fulbright Scholar from Oxford University, and his MD from Harvard Medical School.


Director - Herma Williams

Dr. Herma Williams is the former  Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Fresno Pacific University from 2006 to 2010.  Before going to California, she served as Associate Provost at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. During her career, she has been deeply committed to strengthening faculty scholarship and promoting student research. Williams has published one book and authored numerous articles and papers. She is in high demand as a speaker and is very active in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Southern Illinois University and her Ph.D. from Iowa State University. Dr. Williams completed post-doctoral studies in Higher Education and Policy at Harvard University and was named a Kellogg Foundation and Ford Foundation fellow. As a Fulbright Scholar, she directed a program designed to strengthen academic excellence for students of color at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.


Director - Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh

Dr. Gwendolyn Willis-Darpoh is a senior researcher in the Human and Social Development Program at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). In 2004-2005, she was an Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) Education Policy Fellow.

With more than 35 years of experience in the field of education across various settings, Dr. Willis-Darpoh has worked with at-risk youth in Washington, D.C. and learning disabled students in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She received gubernatorial appointments to the statewide Maryland Advisory Council on Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders (2000-2003) and to the Maryland Advisory Council on Mental Hygiene (1999-2002), as well as being appointed by Maryland's state superintendent to the Achievement Initiative for Maryland's Minority Students steering committee (AIMMS) and to the K-16 Workgroup and State Leadership Team. Dr. Willis-Darpoh was a tenured Associate Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she traveled to Nigeria (1988) and Germany (1997) as a Fulbright Scholar. She continues to have a deep interest in international education, particularly in developing, sub-Saharan African countries with a deep commitment to furthering the efforts of the Fulbright Association. Gwendolyn earned a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, a M.Ed. from the American University, and a B.S. from Virginia State University.