About Us

educational and cultural exchanges
between the U.S. and Slovakia

Photo by Eva Klanduchová

About the Commission

The J. William Fulbright Commission for Educational Exchange in the Slovak Republic is a binational, non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between the people of the United States of America and the Slovak Republic through educational and cultural exchanges.

The Commission was established by an executive agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Slovak Republic in 1994 ( 319/1994 Coll.) The subsequent agreement signed in 2005 ( 198/2005 Coll.) was amended in 2017 ( 303/2017 Coll.). In 2017, the Slovak authorities started issuing national visas to Fulbright scholarship recipients and their dependents who have been exempted from visa fees since.

The main responsibility of the Commission is to administer grants and scholarships for U.S. nationals to study, research, or lecture in Slovakia and for Slovaks to do the same in the United States.

Since the establishment of the Fulbright Commission in 1994, over 360 Slovak awardees have had the opportunity to study, teach or conduct research in the U.S and nearly 400 American students, scholars, and professionals have been awarded Fulbright grants in a variety of academic fields in Slovakia.

The role of the Commission is to identify and select the best candidates in both countries and engage them in academic exchanges within the highest standards of the Fulbright Program. Furthermore, identify fields in which mutual cooperation is desirable to further development and increase expertise in particular fields, extend activities by establishing and supporting cost sharing programs with participating institutions, spread awareness and provide information about study and research opportunities in the United States.

In addition to the administration of the Fulbright Program, the Commission is the only official institution in Slovakia certified to provide accurate, comprehensive, and current information about studies in the U.S. through its educational advising center EducationUSA, which is part of the worldwide educational advising network of the U.S. Department of State.

The Fulbright Commission is jointly funded by the government of the United States and the Slovak Republic. The U.S. government contributes over 60 percent of the overall budget and the Slovak Government contributing nearly 40 percent.

The Fulbright Commission is governed by the Board of the Commission consisting of eight members, four Slovak citizens and four U.S. citizens, who represent academia, business, diplomatic and other professional fields. The U.S. Ambassador to Slovak Republic and the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic are the Honorary Co-Chairpersons of the Board.

Commission Staff

Lýdia Tobiášová

Executive Director


Lýdia Tobiášová assumed the position of the Executive Director at Fulbright Commission in June 2020. She holds an MA. and PhD. from the Faculty of Law, Comenius University in Bratislava. During her professional years, she served on different positions in academia and civil service. She was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminal Law in 2007-2015, teaching criminal law courses and publishing in law journals and textbooks. She has been awarded with several scholarships abroad, including Fulbright Scholar Program at Fordham Law School in New York City and Pittsburgh University School of Law as a recipient of Ruth Crawford Mitchell Fellowship. She acted as a Vice-Dean for International Relations and Erasmus Mobility Coordinator in 2011-2015. In 2015, Lýdia joined the Slovak Ministry of Defence as a legal adviser at international law department focusing on international law, international humanitarian law and law of armed conflict, and was engaged in several professional courses with Defense Institute of International Legal Studies in Newport, Rhode Island, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. As a proud Fulbright Alumna she also served as a Board Member at Slovak Fulbright Alumni Association in 2018-19.

Zuzana Kopčanová

Program and Study Officer, EducationUSA Adviser


Zuzana Kopčanová is the Fulbright Program Officer for the programs covering Slovak and US students, as well as Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship and Weiser Professional Development Award. Her portfolio also includes recruitment for the SUSIs programs and managing EducationUSA Slovakia by providing advice, support, and counseling for students who are considering studying in the United States. Zuzana graduated with a Master’s degree in Translation and Interpreting Studies with specialization in English and German language and culture from Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra. Before joining Fulbright Slovakia in March 2019, Zuzana managed the American Center in the State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica. She is an alumna of the International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State’s professional exchange program.

Dáša Tako Velichová

Program Officer


Dáša Tako Velichová joined the Slovak Fulbright Commission in 2013 as the Fulbright Program Officer. She administers the Fulbright U.S./ Slovak Scholar Program, including the Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence Program. She is in charge of the social media channels and webpage administration. Dáša coordinates communication and marketing activities promoting Fulbright Slovakia. She is also a member of EducationUSA advising team. Dáša graduated with a Master’s degree in European Studies from the Faculty of Social and Economic Studies, Comenius University in Bratislava. During her studies she participated in Erasmus Program where she understood the importance of international and cultural exchange. Therefore, she enjoys working with and supporting candidates and grantees from different fields.

Denisa Domaracká

Finance Officer


Denisa Domaracká joined the Fulbright Commission in November 2021 as the Finance Officer. She is responsible for management and coordination of financial operations. In cooperation with the executive director, she is also responsible for the management of Commission´s financial budget. She is the contact person for the communication regarding finance and taxation authorities. Denisa holds an MA. and PhD. degree from the Economic University in Bratislava. Before joining the Fulbright Commission, Denisa held several positions in the field of accounting and audit.

Board of the Commission

The binational Board of the Commission oversees the operation and activities of the Commission.

The Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic appoints Slovak members of the Board, one of whom is a representative of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and one of whom is a representative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. The U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic appoints American members of the Board, two of whom shall be officers of the United States Foreign Service in the Slovak Republic. Both serve as Honorary Co-Chairpersons of the Board. The remaining members of the Board are drawn from the educational, corporate, and professional communities in both countries.

The Board has the responsibility for setting long term goals and priorities of the program, program activities, selection and nomination of grantees, and coordination of finances of the Commission.

Honorary Co-Chairpersons

Gautam RANA

U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic

Ján HORECKÝ

Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic

U.S. Members

Alan DYKSTRA

Freelance Consultant and Educator

Tara HALL

Deputy Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Embassy in Slovakia

Tamara STERNBERG-GRELLER – Treasurer

Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Embassy in Slovakia

Linda STEYNE

Lecturer at the Department of British and American Studies
Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava

Slovak Members

Jozef BÁTORA

Professor at the Department of Political Science
Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava

Daniela OSTATNÍKOVÁ - Chairperson

Professor and Head of the Institute of Physiology
Medical School, Comenius University in Bratislava

Jana TOMKOVÁ

Director of the Department of Cultural Diplomacy
Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Marcel VYSOCKÝ

General Director of the Division of Institutions of Higher Education
Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic

Program Administration

The Fulbright Program is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State (ECA) under policy guidelines established by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB) with the assistance of binational commissions and foundations in 49 countries, U.S. embasies in more than 100 other countries and cooperating agencies in the United States. ECA is responsible for the U.S. government's overseas educational, cultural and informational programs.

The FFSB, composed of 12 educational and public leaders appointed by the President of the United States, formulates policies for the administration of the program, establishes criteria for the selection of candidates and selects candidates nominated for awards.

Binational commissions and foundations develop priorities for the program, including the numbers and categories of grants. In a country without a commission or foundation, the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy develops and supervises the Fulbright Program. Currently, 49 commissions are active, most of which are funded jointly by the United States and the respective government. Each commission or foundation has a board, composed of Americans and citizens of the participating nations.

Cooperating Agencies

The Institute of International Education (IIE)

Responsibilities include recruitment and screening of U.S. applicants competing for awards, placement of some foreign grantees, day-to-day supervision and support of grantees, provision of orientation material, management of pre-academic training and enrichment programs, and outreach to universities and other educational institutions in the United States.

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)

Division of IIE, conducts the preliminary selection of American lecture and research scholar applicants and assists in day-to-day administration of the exchange program for research scholars and lecturers from outside the U.S.

Funding

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the United States Congress. A number of host country governments also contribute substantially to the Fulbright Program in their countries.

In addition, private sponsors worldwide are a vital and necessary source of support to the Fulbright Program.

Host institutions in the United States and throughout the world also contribute through cost-sharing and through indirect support such as salary supplements, tuition waivers, housing assistance, and other means.

Partners

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

The Fulbright Commission in Slovakia strives to ensure that its efforts reflect the diversity of Slovak and U.S. societies. The Commission seeks and encourages the involvement of people from diverse backgrounds in all its grants, programs and other activities and in its workforce and workplace. Opportunities are open to people regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, and we encourage those from traditionally underrepresented communities to apply. The Commission is committed to fairness, equity and inclusion.

Privacy Statement

The Fulbright Commission operates in compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is aimed at protecting the personal information of individuals who are data subjects in the European Union or whose personal data is processed by a European Union organization.

Annual Program Reports

for media purposes and promoting Fulbright Slovakia, you can download the logo here

Contact

J. William Fulbright Commission

Panenská 29

811 03 Bratislava