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Tom Healy
Tom Healy is a writer, poet, and chairman of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, which oversees the Fulbright program worldwide. He was appointed to the Fulbright board by President Barack Obama in 2011. Healy teaches at New York University and is currently a visiting professor at the New School. His book, What the Right Hand Knows, was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. He served as the president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and was awarded the 2006 New York City Arts Award by Mayor Michael Bloomberg for leading rebuilding efforts for the downtown arts community after 9/11. His life partner, Fred Hochberg, is the chairman of the United States Export-Import Bank. Visit him at Follow him on Twitter @tphealy.

Entries by Tom Healy

As Much Power as a Word: Fulbright and Soft Power

(0) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 11:36 AM

When I was trekking in Nepal a few years ago, I came down from the ice and snow of the Himalayan high peaks to the Khumbu Valley, where the great Tengboche monastery stands. As my friends and I trekked down from the Everest region into the warmth of spring, whole...

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The Shipwreck of Pandora: Finding Hope in Science

(2) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 12:35 PM

Strange things sometimes happen over lunch.

A few weeks ago, for example, on June 11th, I was having lunch with the Fulbright Science and Technology Fellows in Washington, D.C. whom I told some strange things.

My mind wasn't in the humid Washington basin, but off the coast of...

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Magpies and Wild Things

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2013 | 11:14 AM

Do you know what a magpie looks like? You don't find them here in Washington because it's too warm. They like Colorado and London. But who doesn't?

A magpie looks like a crow in a tuxedo. Black head and shoulders, white wings and belly. You have to watch...

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Remembering Senator J. William Fulbright

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 2:17 PM

If Senator J. William Fulbright were still with us, he would be turning 108 today.

That's a lot of candles.

But with a powerful legacy like his -- his legislative achievements, his anti-war activism that inspires so many today, and, of course, the world-famous Fulbright Program -- he...

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The Smell of Jasmine, the Calm of the Crowd

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 3:14 PM

Do you know what a jasmine flower looks like? If you close your eyes, can you see it? Can you smell it?

It is the ancient smell of calm. The cool beauty of the night. You know the jasmine flower only opens after dark, when the sun sets and...

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Seeing Fire in the Clouds: On the 2013 TED Wish Prize Winner

(9) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 2:26 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Last night, as I listened to Dr. Sugata Mitra, TED's 2013 Wish Prize winner, discuss his experiments in education that lead to the invention of...

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The Storm Demon, Father of All Monsters

(1) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 6:21 PM

The power is (mostly) back on. But it's winter, it's cold, so we need to conjure fires, stories to warm ourselves around the hearths of our damaged, but healing city. I want to tell the story of a monster. The father of all monsters, in fact, according to Greek mythology.

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Fulbright and the Giant Brain

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2012 | 2:57 PM

I want to take you back in time. To 1947.

Jackie Robinson signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African-American player in professional baseball.

Marlon Brando stars on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire.

The first mobile phone is invented. The Polaroid instant...

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What Will We Say to Each Other?

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2012 | 12:58 PM

A few months ago, I returned from a very moving trip to Egypt. One of the privileges I had while I was there was the chance to teach some high school and college classes. I talked about the subject of poetry and politics, poetry and protest.

In one class,...

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Fulbright Scholars: Sharing the World Through Storytelling

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 1:40 PM

This past spring I was in a place called Chellah, in the hills on the outskirts of the city of Rabat, overlooking the Bou Regreg River, which opens out into the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Chellah is the site of an ancient Roman port town called Sala Colonia, founded...

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