During the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program September, 2016 at the Institute of International Education’s Annual Gala, New York, The scientist and civic leader Dr. Dajani, received the inaugural IIE Global Changemaker Award.
The awards recognize the achievements of the individuals throughout their careers and highlight the impact the Fulbright program has had throughout its history in building relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and impacting local communities and the world. Dr. Dajani was a Fulbright scholar twice. Her research has focused on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer in ethnic populations. She is an Associate Professor at Hashemit Universty, Jordan and a strong advocate for the theory of biological evolution and of its compatibility with Islam. As such, She was a speaker at the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship symposium at the University of Cambridge and at the British Council ‘belief in dialogue’ conference, McGill University and MIT.
Dr. Dajani is a consultant to the higher council for science and technology in Jordan She has written in Science and Nature about Science and women in the Arab world. She is on the UN women Jordan advisory council. She has established a network for women mentors and mentees in the Arab world. and received the PEER Award for the model Three Circles of Alemat. She was chosen as one of the 20 most influential women scientists in the Islamic world 2014 and 12 among the 100 most powerful women in the Arab world CEO Middle East magazine list for 2015 and 2014.
In terms of serving the community, Dr. Rana has initiated a social innovation project called We Love Reading (WLR). We Love Reading exists to positively impact children throughout Jordan by creating a library in local neighborhoods, thereby actively encouraging each community to share in the experience of storytelling, and creating a life-long enthusiasm for each child to read and acquire knowledge. Starting in 2006 Dr. Dajani has trained 2100 volunteers how to read aloud and established 1100 libraries throughout Jordan. These libraries serve 12000 children. Her model has spread to more than 27 countries. Dr. Rana won the Synergos award for the Arab World Social Innovators in 2009, a membership to the Clinton Global Initiative 2010, the King Hussein Medal of Honor 2014. Also was nominated for “Ahel Alhimmeh”, an award hosted by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah for recognizing community volunteer efforts in Jordan in 2009.
The inaugural winners are prominent journalist and human rights activist Sergio Aguayo, the late Former Assistant Secretary of State Dr. William Bader, international education veteran Dr. John Bader, Emmy award-nominated National Geographic correspondent Dr. Mireya Mayor, reproductive and sexual health expert Dr. Purnima Mane, social innovator and literacy advocate Rana Dajani, university president and epidemiologist Dr. Harris Pastides, and noted philanthropist and former CEO of ADP, Josh Weston. They came from or went to Germany, Greece, India, Jordan, Madagascar, Mexico, and New Zealand as students or professors over the seven decades of the program.
“We applaud these Fulbright alumni not only for what they have achieved, but for their continued commitment to transform society and humanity through their work,” said Allan E. Goodman, president and CEO of IIE.
Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
As it marks its 70th Anniversary, the Fulbright Program continues to be agile and innovative in its approach to fostering people-to-people connections. Fulbrighters address critical priorities in all world areas while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States and the world. The program has supported or prepared participants to address the major global challenges of our time, from sustainable energy and climate change to public health and food security.
Today, the Fulbright Program awards approximately 8,000 grants annually. The Fulbright Program currently operates in over 160 countries worldwide, but it has operated in more than 180 throughout its lifespan. Program alumni include 33 current or former heads of state or government, 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Foundation Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
About the Institute of International Education (IIE)
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in providing international education strategies and program services. Our international approach to education—diverse, borderless, impactful—is a proven way for governments and companies to invest in global talent and solidify overseas relationships. We work with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions. IIE has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency eight years in a row, a distinction that less than 2% of U.S. not-for-profits achieve. CNBC also named IIE as a top charity changing the world in 2015.