Our History

In this section you can learn more about the Senator Fulbright and the commission he helped create.

Senator J. William Fulbright

J. William Fulbright

J. William Fulbright was born on April 9, 1905 in Sumner, Missouri.

He was educated at the University of Arkansas where he was awarded the B.A. degree in Political Science in 1925.

He then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where he received an M.A. degree.

When Fulbright returned to the United States, he studied law at George Washington University in Washington, DC. 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 where he was a lecturer in law and, from 1939 to 1941, president of the University of Arkansas, at the time the youngest university president in the country.

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 the House adopted the Fulbright Resolution supporting an international peace-keeping machinery encouraging United States participation in what became the United Nations, and this brought national attention to Fulbright. 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. This program has had extraordinary impact around the world. There have been more than 370,000 Fulbright grantees and many of them have made significant contributions within their countries as well as to the overall goal of advancing mutual understanding.

In 1963 Walter Lippman wrote of 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."

He received numerous awards from governments, universities, and educational organizations around the world for his efforts on behalf of education and international understanding. In 1993 he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.

Senator J. William Fulbright died on February 9, 1995 at the age of 89 at his home in Washington, DC.

You can read more about the senator and his publications by visiting this link.

The Binational Fulbright Commission

Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan binTalal, the Jordanian American Commission for Educational Exchange (JACEE), also known as the Binational Fulbright Commission (BFC), opened its new offices in a villa, commonly referred to as the "Fulbright House", in Amman on December 8, 1994.


The original sign and logo of the Fulbright Commission in 1994

This Commission was created by a Bilateral Agreement signed in May 1993 between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the United States of America,with funding provided yearly by both nations.


Mr. Alain McNamara (Executive Director 1994-2020) greeting His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan binTalal at the Fulbright House

The Binational Fulbright Commission is an independent, non-profit, binational organization responsible for the administration of prestigious grants awarded on a competitive basis to Jordanians and Americans. This Commission is led by a binational board of four Jordanians and four Americans with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the American Ambassador serving as the Honorary Co-Chairs.


His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan bin Talal signing the Binational agreement in 1994

The Binational Fulbright Commission administers the prestigious 75 year old program. The Fulbright program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Jordan by awarding grants and fellowships to Jordanian students, teachers and scholars to study, teach, lecture and conduct research in the United States and to American academics to engage in similar activities in Jordan. These grants are offered, Kingdom-wide, on a rigorously competitive basis with grants awarded to individuals selected on the basis of academic excellence and professional qualifications.


Few other opportunities enrich one's personal life and career, as does a Fulbright award. Living in a different culture, forming lasting friendships with colleagues in Jordan and in the United States and sharing new horizons are all part of what has come to be known as the "Fulbright experience".


The term "Fulbright Program" encompasses a variety of exchange programs, including several types of individual and institutional grants. Almost all of these programs receive financial contributions or cost-sharing from our Jordanian and American partners.

What benefits do Jordan and the United States reap from this investment? American Fulbrighters return from Jordan to improve scholarship and teaching, and to promote a better understanding about Jordan and the rest of this rich region. They leave behind lasting contributions to research,curricula and educational pedagogy and other peoples' understanding of who Americans really are. Jordanian Fulbrighters enrich American educational institutions with their scholarship and different points of view. On returning to Jordan, they serve as capable interpreters of, not apologists for, American perspectives.

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