The John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship is for New Zealand organisations and institutions to bring eminent Americans to New Zealand on high profile visits. Awards valued at up to NZ$30,000 are granted on an occasional basis.
Following the death of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963 it was felt in New Zealand that a memorial to this highly respected and popular United States President should be established. The Prime Minister, Keith Holyoake, announced on 26 November that The John F. Kennedy Memorial Fund would be established as a permanent memorial to the life and work of the President. In a statement to the press on 12 December the Prime Minister announced Mrs Kennedy’s approval of the plan, and appealed for public contributions. Ultimately £15,000 was raised publicly and when added to the initial New Zealand Government contribution of £15,000 gave a total of £30,000.
Until May 1973 the Trust was administered by the New Zealand Department of External Affairs/Ministry of Foreign Affairs in consultation with the Prime Minister of the day. Difficulties in identifying suitable candidates for the Fellowship meant that the Board of the NZ-US Educational Foundation (Fulbright New Zealand) was asked to become the Board of Trustees of the Fellowship.
The fund was established “for the purpose of bringing eminent Americans to New Zealand for speaking and teaching engagements in honour of the late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy”. Those invited are chosen for their capacity to contribute towards a closer understanding between the peoples of the United States and New Zealand, and their ability to illuminate the ideals and purposes to which John F Kennedy dedicated his life.
There have been 17 John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellows in the years the Fellowship has been operational. The first Fellow was Theodore C Sorrensen who had been an assistant to President Kennedy and had worked closely with him. The second Fellow was Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court. Subsequent Kennedy Fellows have come from the fields of architecture, civil rights, foreign policy, literature, history, education and economics.
|Past Kennedy Fellows|
|1966||Theodore C. Sorenson||Former Assistant to President Kennedy|
|1968||Thurgood Marshall||Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States|
|1971||Hugh N. Jacobsen||Fellow of the American Institute of Architects|
|1974||Joseph L. Rauh, Jr||Civil Rights Lawyer|
|1976||Harlan Cleveland||Director of International Affairs, The Aspen Institute|
|1978||Tom Bradley||Mayor of Los Angeles|
|1980||O. B. Hardison, Jr||Director, Folger Shakespeare Library|
|1983||Daniel J. Boorstin||Librarian, Library of Congress|
|1987||Alan M. Dershowitz||Professor of Law, Harvard Law School|
|1988||Paul Volcker||Former Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System|
|1989||Mary Hatwood Futrell||President, National Education Association|
|1990||Joseph S. Nye, Jr||Director of Centre for International Affairs, Harvard University|
|1992||Robert A. Scalapino||Robson Research Professor of Government Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley|
|1995||John Lewis Gaddis||Distinguished Professor of History, Ohio University|
|1999||Robert Reishauer||Senior Fellow in Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution|
|2007||Frances Hesselbein||Chairman of the Board of Governors, Leader to Leader Institute|
|2008||Joseph E. Stiglitz||Economist|
|2012||Thomas L. Friedman||Columnist, The New York Times; and Author|
- be a US citizen; and
- have some public profile in the US and be widely recognised for excellence in their field.
- Candidates must be prepared to come to New Zealand for minimum of ten days and to visit at least three New Zealand cities including Wellington for the purposes of delivering public addresses and meeting with key people in their field of expertise;
- An individual cannot be offered more than one John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship in their lifetime.
The Board of Fulbright New Zealand calls for proposals from New Zealand organisations to identify prominent Americans who would be suitable for this fellowship and who will come to New Zealand for speaking and teaching engagements.
Applications must be made in writing, in the required format, at least six months before the proposed visit. Enquiries should be made to Mele Wendt, Executive Director of Fulbright New Zealand. The application format is available from the Executive Director.
For further information about the John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellowship, contact our Programme Manager for this award, Stefanie Joe – email@example.com / 04 494 1507