News Release

U.S. Department of State and National Park Service Partner to Strengthen Fulbright Exchanges, Increase Global Environmental Awareness

A man wearing a dark green polo with an insignia patch poses next to a large sign with the National Park Service logo on it.
Joseph Mayombo, Deputy Communications Director for the Gabon National Park Service while on a professional Fellowship at Grand Canyon National Park.

Photo courtesy of Loretta McKenney/Williams-Grand Canyon News.

News Release Date: January 14, 2021


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the National Park Service (NPS) of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) announce the establishment of the Fulbright-National Parks Partnership. 

The Fulbright Program and the NPS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on January 13 to combine efforts, resources, and ideas to increase environmental and cultural awareness throughout the world through Fulbright exchanges. The virtual ceremony was the inaugural event of the Fulbright Program’s 75th anniversary year.  

“This program aligns with the NPS goal to form partnerships to exchange best practices that support and promote conservation of cultural and natural heritage across the globe,” said Margaret Everson, Counselor to the Secretary, exercising the authority of the National Park Service Director. “Participants will gain insight on a wide range of disciplines, from biological monitoring to archeological investigation to community outreach, that will provide lasting benefits for them and their parks.”  

The partners have identified opportunities for Fulbright Program participants to study and gain professional experience within U.S. national parks. In addition, U.S. National Park Service employees will have opportunities to experience park operations throughout the world in an effort to advance protection and conservation efforts at home and internationally. 

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1946 and celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2021, the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international academic exchange program, designed to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and other countries. The Fulbright Program annually supports more than 8,000 students, scholars, artists, and professionals from the United States and more than 160 countries to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international challenges. Since its inception, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 participants with opportunities to make positive impacts on their communities and the world. 

The Fulbright Program is administered by ECA, which designs and implements educational, professional, and cultural exchange and other programs that create and sustain mutual understanding with other countries necessary to advance United States foreign policy goals.

The NPS mission is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The NPS cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout the country and the world.

Appointed by the President of the United States, the 12-member Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board was established by Congress to supervise the global Fulbright Program. Representing diverse facets of American society, FFSB members select students, scholars, teachers, professionals, and others from the United States and abroad to participate in Fulbright and Humphrey Program exchanges, set policies, and guide the strategic vision of the Fulbright Program.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: January 14, 2021