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Speakers and Panelists

Bill Ashcroft

Bill Ashcroft is a professor at the School of English, Media and Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a founding theorist of post-colonial studies, co-author of The Empire Writes Back, the first text to examine systematically and name this field of literary and cultural study. He is author and co-author of sixteen books, including four second editions, variously translated into five languages, and over 140 chapters and articles. He is on the editorial boards of ten international journals. He has been awarded a five year Australia Professorial Fellowship beginning in 2011 to work on a project entitled "Future Thinking: Utopianism in Post-colonial Literatures."

Benjamin Becker ('08)

Benjamin Becker is the President of the German Fulbright Alumni Association. He is currently pursuing his PhD in English Studies at the University of Cologne. From 2003-2009, he studied English and History in Bonn and Cologne. He spent his Fulbright year as a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Emory University in Atlanta, GA (from 2007-2008). It was during that time that Benjamin discovered his strong interest in intercultural, and especially transatlantic relations. Immediately upon his return to Germany, he joined the Fulbright Alumni Association and became quickly involved in its work – first as the Vice President Members and now as its President.

Edelgard Bulmahn

Edelgard Bulmahn is a member of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Economics and Technology of the German Bundestag. From 1998 to 2005 she served as Federal Minister of Education and Research and was responsible for important reforms such as the All-Day School Program, the Assistant Professorship, the Helmholtz Association’s Excellence Initiative, the Science Years, and the founding of the German Foundation for Peace Research. Edelgard Bulmahn studied Political Science and English Literature and initially worked as secondary school teacher. Since 2010 she is deputy chairwoman of the Atlantik Brücke e.V. .

Gil Cabarjal ('74)

Gil Carbajal, American Fulbrighter who received his grant in 1974/75 to Spain, is a Founding Member of the J. William Fulbright Alumni Association of Spain. As a Board Member he is responsible for the external relations of the association. A journalist by profession, he worked for more than 20 years in the National Radio of Spain´s International Broadcast in English . He also reported on Spanish current events for the Voice of America and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. At present, he works freelance specializing in cultural topics and tourism. He is a regular contributor to the Classical Singer Magazine.

Brent Goff ('95)

Brent Goff anchors the business news on Deutsche Welle-TV's live news program, Journal. Brent joined the business team at DW-TV in 2000. Prior to that he worked as a producer for CNN in Berlin and Washington.  He has also reported for Time Magazine in Germany and can be heard on numerous German radio stations offering analysis of US media and American business and foreign policy.

Rolf Hoffmann

Dr. Hoffmann, since 2004 Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin, studied biological sciences at Duke University (N.C., USA) and the University of Tübingen and received his doctoral degree in 1983. He worked as assistant professor of zoology at the University of Karlsruhe and later joined the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn as policy and program officer and later as deputy head of the Selection Department. Since 1991, he has gained extensive experience in higher education policy and management in different senior positions mainly with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Space Agency (DARA) and as Director of the German-American Academic Council in Bonn and Washington, D.C.
In 2001 Dr. Hoffmann was appointed Director of Germany’s new International Marketing Initiative, a joint effort of the Federal Government, the universities and DAAD for the international promotion of study and research in Germany. Until 2004 he also headed the German university marketing consortium GATE Germany with more than 100 member institutions. Rolf Hoffmann has been serving as a higher education and marketing expert for many national and international agencies in Europe and in the U.S.

Stanislaw Kluza ('99)

Stanislaw Kluza is the Chairperson of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority, since September 29, 2006.

Born in 1972. Graduated from Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) and awarded a Ph.D. degree in Economics in 2001. Scientific worker at the Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics. Areas of expertise: monetary policy, statistics, econometrics, macroeconomics, banking and economic situation research.

In 2006, second secretary of state and then the Polish Minister of Finance. He was gathering his professional experience as a chief economist and director of research department in Bank Gospodarki Zywnosciowej (2002-2006), in McKinsey & Company (1998-1999) and Unilever (1994-1998).

Stanislaw Kluza was granted a scholarship of the Foundation for Polish Science (1998). He was also awarded  the Fulbright scholarship at the Washington University in Saint Louis (1999-2000) and the scholarship of Dekaban-Liddle at the Glasgow University in Scotland (2001). Laureate of many awards: Diploma Top Ten SGH (1995), Chancellor’s award II degree for his Ph.D. thesis (2001/2002), Prime Minister's award for his Ph.D. thesis in the field of economics (2002).

Jürgen Kocka

Jürgen Kocka taught Social History at the University of Bielefeld
(1973-1988) and History of the Industrial World at the Free University
of Berlin (1988-2009). He was a Permanent Fellow of the Berlin Institute
of Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg) and president of the Social
Science Centre Berlin (WZB). He is Permanent Fellow of the Centre "Work
and Life Course in Global Historical Perspective" at the Humboldt
University Berlin and presently Visiting Professor of History at UCLA.
He has published widely in the field of modern history, particularly the
social, economic and cultural history of Germany and Europe as well as
comparative history of the 18th-20th centuries. His publications in
English include Facing Total War: German Society 1914-1918 (1984),
Industrial Culture and Bourgeois Society: Business, Labor, and
Bureaucracy in Modern Germany (1999) and Civil Society and Dictatorship
in Modern German History (2010).

John C. Kornblum

John Christian Kornblum is an American diplomat and businessman. He entered the American Foreign Service in 1964. Over the next thirty five years he served in Europe and at the State Department in Washington. Since 2001, he has established himself as an investment banker and international business consultant. He lives in Berlin.

Hassan Mekouar ('86, '73)

Hassan Mekouar is Professor of American Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University Mohammed V, Rabat. He was Dean of the same faculty and President of the University Mohamed I of Oujda in North East Morocco. With five or six published volumes, Hassan Mekouar is the most prolific Moroccan poet writing in English. The first volume of his trilogy The Future Remains was published in 1999, while the two other volumes came out respectively in 2000 and 2001. The Wings of the Walrus appeared in 2003 and in 2007 he published a double volume as Stories in (Very) Free Verse.

Houda Mezioudet ('07)


Houda Mezioudet earned a BA in English Language and Literatures at the University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia. She taught Legal English in the University of Tunis from 2001 to 2002. In 2003, she obtained a six-month scholarship from the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education to carry out a case study in the London district of Brixton, England as part of her MA dissertation research in black counter culture and was a visiting research associate at the University of East London, England. She earned an MA in British Cultural Studies at the University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia in 2005. In 2005-2006, she was a French language teaching assistant in two schools in Glasgow, Scotland as part of the British Council Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program and a part-time Arabic instructor at a private Muslim school in the same city. In 2006-2007, she worked as a professor of cultural studies, US and British studies and translation studies in the University of Tunis and the Central Private University in Tunis, Tunisia. She taught Arabic language at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA as part of the FLTA Program. She taught as an assistant professor of Cultural and Translation Studies, British cinema and phonetics from 2008 to 2010. Currently, she is engaged in the US Embassy in Tunis’s Access Micro-Scholarship Program teaching English language and US culture to underprivileged high schools students in Tunis.

Philip D. Murphy

Philip D. Murphy is the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Born in 1957, Ambassador Murphy is a native of the Boston, Massachusetts area. He graduated from Harvard University in 1979 with an A.B. in Economics and received an M.B.A. in 1983 from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Tammy, have four children, Josh, Emma, Charlie and Sam. From 1993-1997, Ambassador Murphy headed Goldman Sachs’ Frankfurt office, where he had oversight responsibility for activities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as well as in the then-emerging nations of Central Europe. From 1997-1999, Ambassador Murphy served as the President of Goldman Sachs (Asia). In all, he spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held a variety of top-level positions before becoming a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. After leaving Goldman Sachs, Ambassador Murphy served from 2006-2009 as the National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Ambassador Murphy has devoted substantial time over the years to civic, community and philanthropic affairs. He has served on boards and/or committees of the NAACP, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Center for American Progress, 180 Turning Lives Around and several programs of the University of Pennsylvania, among other entities. Additionally, Ambassador Murphy co-chaired a national task force on 21st century public education and chaired a task force on public sector employee benefits in his home State of New Jersey.

Svetlana Suveica ('09)

Svetlana Suveica is an associate professor in history at Moldova State University in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. She received her PhD from Al. I. Cuza University in Iasi, Romania in 1999, since then teaches courses in contemporary Romanian and East-European history and methodology, as well as MA courses in US history and society and US higher education at the American Studies Center in Moldova. The Center provides a unique interdisciplinary MA program in American studies. Dr. Suveica is a well-known researcher and her publications cover the debated topics in Bessarabian/Moldovan history. She is also involved in educational issues and took part in several international conferences dedicated to teaching and learning. Dr. Suveica is a former Fulbright senior fellow at Stanford University in California, USA (2009-2010).

Karsten Voigt

Karsten Voigt is a German politician (SPD). From 1976 to 1998 he was a member of the German parliament. From 1999 to 2010, he served as the "Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation" at the Foreign Office of Germany. He is a board member of the Atlantik-Brücke, an association which promotes German-American understanding.

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