News & Events

17 September 2021

Commission appoints three new commissioners

Three new appointees to the Board of Commissioners will help grow and show impact in transatlantic education exchange.

The Commission's three new commissioners are Mukul Devichand, Professor Reverend Keith Magee and Paul O’Neill. The appointees bring knowledge and experience from a wide range of sectors, and join a team in which women make up nearly two thirds of board membership. The appointments come as the Commission seeks to grow and show impact in its mission to advance knowledge, promote civic engagement and develop compassionate leaders through education exchange between the peoples of the US and UK.

The board is comprised of 14 Commissioners, seven of whom are appointed by the US Ambassador to the Court of St James’s and six of whom are appointed by the Secretary of State at the UK Department for Education. One Commissioner is appointed by the Scottish Government.

Executive Director, US-UK Fulbright Commission, Maria Balinska, commented: “I’m enthused and honoured by the new additions to our board, increasing the diversity of talent and direction among our commissioners. Our new appointments will strengthen the US-UK relationship – which sits at the very core of the Commission’s purpose – with specific skillset relating to external engagement and US philanthropic fundraising.

Professor Reverend Keith Magee is Chair and Professor of Practice in Social Justice at Newcastle University and Senior Fellow in Culture and Politics at UCL Culture and Centre on US Politics. He has expertise as a bipartisan faith, race and policy advisor with US presidents, governors and congressional members. Magee commented: “I am delighted to be joining the US-UK Fulbright Board of Commissioners. It is my hope that my experience in diversity and philanthropy can further support the board’s commitment to creating a world where there are no obstacles to learning, mutual understanding and collaboration. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that we are building bridges, in the form of opportunities and exchanges, between the USA and the UK and beyond, as we begin to imagine a global democracy.”

Mukul Devichand is Editor of Audio Programing for The New York Times, a new role at the frontier of digital audio for the publisher. Mukul worked previously as Executive Editor of Voice + AI at the BBC, where he built up a large team across production, software engineering and design. Mukul said: “My lifechanging story with the Fulbright commission began in 2002, with the opportunity of a lifetime for an aspiring young Welsh journalist, to live and study reporting and film-making at Columbia Journalism School in New York. I return to the Commission, bringing my experience from the BBC, and now at the New York Times, with a focus on building on these organisations’ deeply held ethical values and finding new expression if them in the digital age. As a still proud South Wales Valleys boy, I’m particularly hoping during my tenure to help grow the opportunity we can offer to a globally focussed Wales. I’m excited about bringing my experience to the vital field of international education exchange, as it confronts a complex future.”

Paul O’Neill is the former Senior Advisor to the President and Chief Operating Officer for the Office of Advancement at Georgetown University. His experience includes working for the Executive Office of the President of the United States, as well The Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board. Paul said: “Joining the US-UK Fulbright Commission is especially meaningful for me at a time when the Fulbright Program calls for global citizens to tackle intractable problems resonates so deeply and with such urgency. Today’s global challenges of health, environment and justice, for example, were different or unknown 75 years ago, but how we address these challenges – through understanding and trust – is not different. I am so happy to have a part in advancing the Fulbright Commission's vision for a peaceful and prosperous world by serving on the Commission at this historic time.”