U.S. Embassy and Baltic American Freedom Foundation Celebrate Awards of Fulbright, Benjamin Franklin, & Baltic American Freedom Foundation Fellows

Riga, July 15, 2014 – Today, U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Mark Pekala will host a reception to honor the recipients of this year’s Fulbright, Benjamin Franklin, and Baltic American Freedom Foundation Fellowships.

This year, three students and three scholars from Latvia will receive Fulbright Fellowships to study and conduct research in the United States, two high school students will receive a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship to participate in a youth leadership seminar in the United States, and nine individuals will receive Baltic American Freedom Foundation fellowships to study, conduct research, participate in an internship in the United States, or to host a U.S. speaker in Latvia. (Please see the attached fact sheet for this year’s recipient names, affiliations, and U.S. host institutions.)

Recipients of the Fulbright Foreign Student Fellowship will undertake graduate studies at a U.S. university and Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship recipients will conduct research and lecture in the United States. The Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 300,000 participants worldwide with the opportunity to exchange ideas and observe each other’s cultures and political and economic institutions. Since 1991, the United States has offered Fulbright fellowships to 178 outstanding scholars and students from Latvia.

The Benjamin Franklin Fellowship recipients will participate in a four-week seminar for high school students from across Europe focused on leadership development and the fundamentals of U.S.-EU relations.

The Baltic American Freedom Foundation (BAFF) mission is to enrich the ties between the United States and Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, through education and exchange programs centering on economic growth and democratic processes. BAFF offers various scholarship opportunities in the United States to residents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Current American scholarship opportunities include: the Professional Internship Program for university students and recent graduates; the Graduate Scholarship Program for post graduate students; the Research Scholarship Program for professors and others in academia; and the Baltic-American Dialogue for educational institutions, government entities, and business groups. Sixty-five Latvians have received BAFF fellowships since 2011.

The U.S. Embassy encourages students, scholars, and professionals in Latvia to apply for 2015 fellowships. The deadline for the Humphrey Fellowship Program and the Fulbright Student Fellowship applications is September 2; the deadline for the Fulbright Scholars program is November 21. The deadline for BAFF scholarships is October 30, 2014 and April, 2015. Application forms and more details for Fulbright and Humphrey fellowships are available on the U.S. embassy’s website http://riga.usembassy.gov/ and for BAFF at http://www.balticamericanfreedomfoundation.org/.


Media representatives and photographers are welcome to attend the reception. Please contact the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Riga.

FACT SHEET: Fulbright, Benjamin Franklin and BAFF Grantees for Academic Year 2014-15

Fulbright Visiting Scholars:

  • Dr. Henrijs Kaļķis Associated Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Latvia. Dr. Kaļķis will conduct research on “Investigation of Ergonomic Stress in Contemporary Technological Work Environments” at Pennsylvania State University.
  • Mr. Andis Kudors, Executive Director of the Center for East European Policy Studies. Mr. Kudors will conduct research at Kennan Institute in Washington, DC. The theme of his research will be “The Russian Orthodox Church as a Promoter of ‘Traditional Values’ in the International Arena.”
  • Dr. Indriķis Krams, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Systematic Biology, Daugavpils University will conduct research at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. The theme of his research is “Finding Relationships between Vocal and Social Complexity in Birds and Humans.”

Fulbright Student Fellowship recipients:

  • Mr. Krišjānis Bušs, Senior Desk Officer and lawyer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will work towards his LL.M. in Law at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Mr. Olevs Nikers, Senior Desk Officer at the Ministry of Defense, will study for his master’s degree in Public and International Affairs at Texas A&M University in College Station.
  • Ms. Gunta Liepiņa, a professional dancer, will work towards her master’s degree in Fine Arts at the University of California in Irvine.

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows:

  • Mr. Rolands Indruškevičs, a student at Mērsraga Secondary School, will travel to Wake Forest University in North Carolina to participate in the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship (BFTF) program for high school students.
  • Ms. Lelde Gusta, a student at Ernesta Glika Alūksne State Gymnasium, will travel to Purdue University in Indiana to participate in the BFTF program for high school students.

BAFF Fellows:

For graduate studies:

  • Mr. Rolands Žīgurs will study Law at the University Of Southern California.
  • Ms. Agnese Bukovska will study Economics at Duke University.
  • Mr. Jānis Kreilis will study International Affairs at Columbia University.

For professional internships:

  • Ms. Līna Kārkliņa will focus on Non-Governmental Organizations.
  • Mr. Jānis Kreics will focus on Business, Economics and Finance.
  • Mr. Audris Locmelis will focus on Information Technology.
  • Mr. Antons Samoilovs will focus on Business, Economics and Finance.
  • Mr. Roberts Vazdiķis will focus on Engineering.
  • Mr. Reinis Znotiņš will focus on Business, Economics and Finance.