President Ono named chair, U.S. member of Fulbright Canada


President Santa J. Ono has been appointed chair of the board of directors of the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America, known as Fulbright Canada.

Ono is finishing a three-year term as a Canadian member of the board and will now serve another three years as a U.S. member, including a two-year term as board chair. His term as chair will run from Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2024.

Santa J. Ono
Santa J. Ono

“The board plays a vital role in overseeing the operations of the foundation and providing direction and support to management,” said David Cohen, U.S. Ambassador to Canada. “I am certain that with President Ono’s commitment to public service and his appreciation of and dedication to the ideals of the Fulbright program, he will continue to be a tremendous asset to this flagship program.” 

Ono will have a volunteer and uncompensated position at the foundation, which administers the Fulbright Program in Canada. The board has 20 members, equally divided between Canadian and U.S. citizens, and plays a vital role in overseeing the foundation’s operations and providing management direction and support. 

Fulbright has been an essential element of U.S. public diplomacy since 1946. The program is key in collective efforts to cultivate future leaders and promote mutual understanding through educational exchange.

“I’m so honored to be appointed chair of Fulbright Canada,” Ono said. “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to support the leaders and best minds from the U.S. and Canada as they strive to enhance mutual understanding, contribute to scholarship and public policy, and ultimately make the world a better place.


“The Fulbrights are among the most prestigious recognitions made in academia, alongside Rhodes, Truman, Marshall and Guggenheim. I am looking forward to working with Fulbright Canada to recognize and support individuals who will assume major leadership roles around the world in the future.”

Ono is the 15th U-M president. He began a five-year term Oct. 14. A recognized leader in higher education in the United States and Canada, he is an experienced vision researcher whose pioneering work in experimental medicine focuses on the immune system and eye disease.

At U-M, he also is a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences in the Medical School. He joined U-M from the University of British Columbia, where he served as president and vice chancellor beginning in 2016.


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