In Memory of Kofi Annan (1938-2018)

In Memory of Kofi Annan (1938-2018)


The Fulbright community mourns the death of Kofi Annan, the 2001 recipient of the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding.

The Fulbright community, represented by the Fulbright Association, mourns the death and celebrates the life of Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and Fulbright Prize Laureate. Awarded every two years, the Prize honors world figures and institutions that have advanced the mission of Senator J. William Fulbright and the Fulbright Program: to promote peace through mutual understanding and respect.

Says Association president Manfred Philipp, “When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan accepted the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding in December of 2001, we had just undergone the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. We remember Kofi, our friend and the world’s friend, with the words he spoke at the Fulbright Prize ceremony. He said that the answer to 9/11 is ‘more democracy, not less; more freedom, not less; more development aid, not less; more solidarity with the poor and dispossessed in our world, not less.’ We mourn his passing.”

The Prize has a distinguished history of laureates, beginning in 1993 with Nelson Mandela of South Africa. Among the Laureates, four of whom have later become Nobel Peace Prize recipients, are Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Corazon Aquino, Mary Robinson, Doctors without Borders, Bill and Melinda Gates—and others whose lives of service are beacons to all. Kofi Annan received the award in 2001 for his extraordinary commitment, displayed throughout his distinguished career, to the peaceful cooperation of peoples across borders and cultures.

“Kofi Annan was a hero to the Fulbright community, a diplomat, humanist and peacemaker. Fulbrighters around the world have lost a role model and a champion for peace,” says Association executive director John Bader.

Laureates are nominated by the members of the Fulbright Association and chosen by a distinguished, though anonymous, international selection committee. More on the Prize at

The Fulbright Program is the world’s most comprehensive and prestigious exchange program of students and scholars, sending Americans to and welcoming internationals from 165 countries.

The Fulbright Association is the official alumni organization of the program, representing over 120,000 American grantees. Founded in 1977, the Fulbright Association is an independent non-profit based in Washington, DC, with 52 chapters in 38 states. Its mission is to advocate for the Fulbright Program and promote international education. More at

CONTACT: John Bader, Executive Director, 202-775-0725,

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