J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Elects Laura Skandera Trombley as Chair, Jeffrey Bleich as Vice Chair for 2016

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 1, 2015


The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) elected Laura Skandera Trombley as Chair and Jeffrey Bleich as Vice Chair for 2016 at its annual election on November 12, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The 12-member Board was established by the U.S. Congress and is appointed by the President of the United States to oversee the worldwide Fulbright Program, which strengthens ties between the United States and other countries and equips participants with the skills needed to address global challenges. The Board selects participants, sets policies, and publishes an Annual Report on the program’s impact.

Dr. Laura Skandera Trombley succeeds Betty Castor, who served consecutive terms as Chair and Vice Chair. Trombley serves as the eighth president of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. Prior to leading The Huntington, she was president of Pitzer College for 13 years. Under her leadership, Pitzer College experienced a rise in national and worldwide recognition for academic excellence. Trombley is the author of five books, including Mark Twain's Other Woman. In December 2012, President Barack Obama named Trombley to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. She was reappointed in 2014 and serves as Vice Chair.

Jeffrey Bleich is a lawyer, diplomat, and educator. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013. He is a partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, where he leads the firm’s international practice, focused on cross-border disputes, trade, and high-stakes litigation. President Obama appointed Bleich to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in November 2014. Bleich previously served in the White House as special counsel to President Obama.

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 360,000 participants from more than 180 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Their one-year terms of office begin on January 1, 2016. For more information, contact Catherine Stearns, StearnsCL@state.gov, 202-431-1594 or ECA Press, ECA-Press@state.gov, 202-632-6452.