Washington, D.C. | June 14, 2017 | 7:00pm-10:00pm



Host – Priyali Sur
Priyali Sur is an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker reporting on social and development issues with a focus on gender rights. Ms. Sur’s most recent work has involved reporting on the refugee crisis from Greece and Eastern Europe. She has highlighted the plight of women refugees and advocated for the need to build a social safety net and empower them through vocational skills training for a smoother integration into mainstream society. Ms. Sur started her career as a television journalist for India’s leading English news channel CNN IBN, winning three national awards for her reporting. She also spent time in Washington, D.C on a Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey fellowship. Ms. Sur is a contributing writer for the US Women’s Media Center where she works on Gloria Steinem’s reporting project. Ms. Sur has completed her Masters in International Public Policy at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University and is based in Washington, D.C.


Ari Beser
Ari M. Beser is the grandson of Lt. Jacob Beser, the only U.S. serviceman aboard both bomb-carrying B-29s. He is traveling through Japan with the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship to report on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the fifth anniversary of the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima. Using photo essays, videos, and articles, Beser will give voice to people directly affected by nuclear technology today, as well as work with Japanese and Americans to encourage a message of reconciliation and nuclear disarmament. His new book, “The Nuclear Family,” focuses on the American and Japanese perspectives of the atomic bombings.

Kimberly Burge
Kimberly Burge is author of The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu (W.W. Norton, 2015), about girls growing up in post-apartheid South Africa, which was named a Top Ten book for the Amelia Bloomer Project by the American Library Association’s Social Responsibility Roundtable, and a top book of 2015 by Foreign Policy Interrupted. Her writing has also been featured in The Atlantic, Salon, and The Huffington Post. She is a narrative journalist and contributing writer for Sojourners, a longtime activist, and a Fulbright Scholar to South Africa. She lives in Washington, DC.

Janet Echelman
Janet Echelman is an artist who defies categorization. She creates experiential sculpture at the scale of buildings that transform with wind and light. The art shifts from being an object you look at, to a living environment you can get lost in. Using unlikely materials from fishnet to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create artworks that have become focal points for urban life on four continents.

Oonya Kempadoo
Oonya Kempadoo grew up in Guyana and has worked and lived in various Caribbean islands and currently resides in Grenada. A creative writer and novelist, she also works freelance as a researcher and consultant in the arts, private sector, with youth and international organizations, focusing on social development. Oonya is a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence and Creative Writing instructor for academic year 2013-2014, with two community colleges in Connecticut, USA. She is an advisor to Caribbean literacy dedicated non-profit, Hands Across the Sea and co-founder of the Grenada Community Library & Resource Centre.

Elizabeth Munoz
Elizabeth Munoz holds a BMus in voice performance degree at EAFIT University in Colombia. As a singer, she has been part of different vocal ensembles in the City of Medellín-Colombia, Cedar Falls and Morgantown-United States, with the latter Performing at the Lincoln Center in New York City. During 2014 and 2015, she was part of the Arcadia Chamber Choir under the baton of the conductor Cecilia Espinosa. In 2016, she made her debut in the XXII International Season of Zarzuela and Opera 2016 Of the city of Medellín, performing the title role of the Zarzuela Dona Francisquita. Elizabeth is an active Fulbright Fellow, and is currently completing a MMus in Classical voice performance at Aaron Copland School of Music- The city University of New York, under the advice of renowned soprano Rose Marie Crouse.

Kelly Richardson
Kelly Richardson grew up in Berkeley, California. She majored in Spanish at UC Berkeley, and minored in Theater, with an additional emphasis in Dance. She performed in many on-campus productions and competed for the UCB Triathlon Team and trained at The Ailey School for dance in New York City. After college, she moved to Brazil and joined a local circus, where she performed as an aerialist and acrobat, and as the sole non-Brazilian performer in the tent. There, she learned her third language: Portuguese. The inspiration for her film, WITHOUT A NET, came from her experience with an outreach program offered to children and teenagers living in the slums in the vicinity of the circus, and she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to produce it. The film was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, screened in numerous film festivals domestically and internationally, and won several awards.

David J. Smith
David J. Smith’s work spans the fields of peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and civic and global education. He has over 30 years’ experience as an educational consultant, lawyer, family, business, and community mediator, college professor, trainer, senior program officer and manager, and author. David supports educators, youth, and professionals in developing institution-wide initiatives and student activities promoting civic, conflict, and peacebuilding awareness. He works with groups and individuals in need of career and conflict coaching, mediation, and conflict engagement assistance. He has consulted with nearly 400 colleges around the U.S. and has given over 600 talks on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and international education.

Prof. Bernt Wahl
Bernt Rainer Wahl is a mathematician, mentor, entrepreneur, and author. He served as CEO of Factle Corporation, Datahunt, and Dynamic Software, and is part of the UC Berkeley faculty. He teaches engineering, and serves as an Industry Fellow at the Center of Entrepreneurship and Technology and an Executive in Residence at the Skydeck. In 2002, he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Malaysia. Wahl was an early pioneer in the fields of chaos and fractal geometry. He authored Exploring Fractals (1994) and co-authored The Fractal Explorer (1991).


United States Capitol Visitor Center

Orientation Theater North (map)

June 14, 2017

7:00 PM to 10:00 PM




Shaz Akram – licensee/curator

Kristina Hahn – co licensee/curator

Munir Sayegh – Director Communications and Marketing

Miguel Cruz – Director, Film Production

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams – Director, Media/Press

Julianne McCall – Advisor

David Troy – Speaker Coach

Nate Mook – Speaker Coach

Local organizing team: National Capitol Area Chapter

Sean Anderson – President

Cris Ramon – Vice President

Volunteers: – Irina, Janice, Amy and Blake

Fulbright Association Staff



Kristina Hahn