U.T. Dallas’ Dr. Simon Fass Appointed to Roster Of Prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialists Program

Dr. Simon Fass, associate professor of public administration and political economy in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), has been named to the prestigious Senior Specialists Roster of the Fulbright Scholar Program, the U.S. government’s flagship program in international educational exchange.

As a result of his five-year appointment, Fass, whose work focuses on social, economic and political development in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, will visit universities overseas for periods of up to six weeks to lecture and conduct collaborative research in the fields of public administration and urban planning.

Only about 60 scholars in the United States now serve on the roster, an average of four individuals in each of the disciplines approved by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Senior Specialists receive travel expenses and an honorarium from the Fulbright program during the time they spend abroad, and the host universities usually provide lodging and meals.

“I feel very honored that I was selected,” said Fass, who joined UTD from the University of Minnesota in 1988. “For people in my field, international development, the Fulbright is the most prestigious award program we know. I hope to use the program to advance my research on social, economic and political development in several countries in the Third World and to work with my colleagues at educational institutions in these countries to deepen our understanding of the critical development issues of the day.”

Fass, who received his Ph.D. in urban planning from UCLA, has a richly diverse background, having worked as assistant director of a logging operation, a technical writer, an urban planner and a consultant to such organizations as the World Bank and the Haitian Conference of Bishops as well as an academician. He has published extensively in refereed journals and has written a book on Haiti.

Fass said that Haiti, Botswana and Chad were places where he likely would do some work as part of the Fulbright Senior Specialists Program.

The Fulbright Program was proposed to Congress in 1945 by then-freshman Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. In the aftermath of World War II, Fulbright viewed the program as a much-needed vehicle for promoting “mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.” Congress approved the program, and President Truman signed it into law in 1946. The program is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and its primary source of funding is an annual appropriation from Congress.

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