The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Senator from the state of Arkansas,  J. William Fulbright.

Senator Fulbright’s vision was to use the military surplus of World War II to fund international educational and cultural exchanges for students and scholars.

The Fulbright Act of 1946, signed by President Harry Truman, established the Fulbright Program worldwide. In 1961 the Fulbright-Hays Act was signed by President John F. Kennedy.

The Fulbright Program is implemented under policies and guidelines established by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which consists of 12 members appointed by the President of the United States.

The Fulbright Program is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. State Department, with the assistance of Binational Commissions and Foundations, in 49 countries and through the US Embassies services around the world, in a total of more than 160 countries.

Day-to-day supervision of the program is provided by the Institute of International Education (IIE)
an agency that assists Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies in the administration of the Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs.