Alumni Advisory Council

Louisa Harding-Edgar

Louisa Harding-Edgar

AAC Chair

Louisa Harding-Edgar is a GP and academic clinical fellow. During her Fulbright year in 2016/17 she completed a masters at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Her studies provided the knowledge and qualifications to get back into academia after completing clinical training. The experience also helped her to develop a human rights approach to tackling health inequalities, which informs her academic work. She now works at a GP practice in the Gorbals and does research into early diagnosis of lung cancer in primary care at the University of Glasgow. She has enjoyed continuing to expand her network through Fulbright and as chair of the Alumni Advisory Council she is delighted to lead council efforts to support the Commission, particularly as it works to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. She also hopes to increase opportunities for current grantees and alumni to connect through events, both online and in person.

Richie Adams

Richie Adams

AAC Member

Richie undertook a Fulbright policing scholarship in 2014 at George Mason University, Virginia when he was serving with Police Scotland. Richie had responsibility for the creation and delivery of the Code of Ethics for Policing in Scotland. He travelled America meeting officers and academics from different departments and federal agencies, learning about ethical approaches to US policing. This shaped his thinking and enhanced his work in Scotland. Richie’s Fulbright experience provided opportunities for collaboration with American colleagues. He continues to work with several policing organisations in areas including use of force and decision making. The Fulbright scholarship also gave Richie’s family an opportunity to experience American life. His children enjoyed American school and Richie joined a pipe band. Watching ice hockey became a family favourite. Now season ticket holders at Edinburgh’s ice hockey club, Richie and his family regularly chat about the great experiences they enjoyed and the memories made as a consequence of Fulbright. 

Lauren Allison

Lauren Allison

AAC Member

Lauren specialises in public diplomacy and technology with a focus on enhancing how organizations engage with their stakeholders in productive and innovative ways. Trained as a public diplomacy professional at the University of Southern California as a Fulbright Postgraduate Awardee, Lauren has served an executive for organisations bringing technology and people together, including as CEO of #techmums – a non-profit that supports mothers in learning about and using technology – and as Executive Director of Sulby Media – a strategic content and public diplomacy agency. In addition to her Public Diplomacy Masters, Lauren holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from The University of St Andrews in conjunction with L’Institut des Études Politiques de Paris, and studied at the Centre for Comparative Conflict Studies at Singidunum University, Belgrade. For her research and work, Lauren received awards from the Philanthropic Education Organization and the British Universities North America Club. In addition to serving on the UK Fulbright Alumni Advisory Council, she is also a Fulbright application reader. 

Zahaan Bharmal

Zahaan Bharmal

AAC Member

Zahaan Bharmal read Physics at the University of Oxford. His early career was spent as a Civil Servant on Whitehall and at the World Bank, where he worked on a range of domestic and international policy issues, including the education commitments agreed by the G8 at Gleneagles. In 2005, he won a Fulbright scholarship to Stanford University where he earned an MBA. Studying in Silicon Valley sparked Zahaan's passion for technology. For the last thirteen years he has worked for Google. He was previously Chief of Staff to the company’s global Chief Marketing Officer based in California, and is currently Senior Director of Strategy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Outside work, Zahaan is passionate about inspiring the next generation of young scientists. He writes for The Guardian and conceived YouTube Space Lab, a global science competition for which he was awarded one of NASA's highest civilian honours, the Exceptional Public Achievement Medal.

George Greenbury

George Greenbury

AAC Member

George Greenbury is a Fulbrighter, Teach First Ambassador, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. George holds an MA in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Cambridge, an EdM in School Leadership from Harvard University (where he completed his Fulbright in 2015), and a PGCE and MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Warwick. George is currently Head of Religious Studies at Epsom College. Before this, he was Principal Intern at Community Charter School of Cambridge and Head of Faculty at Grace Academy Darlaston. George’s interest in the Alumni Advisory Council concerns how it can work to build a more dynamic community of Fulbrighters in the UK.

Natasha Hessami

Natasha Hessami

AAC Member

Natasha Hessami is a 2019/20 Fulbright alumna, having completed her MSc in Social Policy Research with Distinction at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. Her dissertation explored the retraumatizing effects of hostile immigration policy for asylum seekers in Scotland, and made a case for compassionate and community-oriented policy and practice.  Her Fulbright year facilitated a discipline shift – from Biochemistry and Mathematics to Policy – allowing her to dive deep into welfare policy and better understand the factors which shape social needs and varying ways in which societies have responded to these. While at Strathclyde Natasha volunteered as her course representative, worked as an equity and diversity research assistant, and explored Glasgow via her bike. Natasha currently lives and works in Glasgow as a Researcher at Dartington Service Design Lab, a UK-based organisation focused on bringing evidence and people together to design and improve children's services. She continues to bring a racial justice and equity-oriented lens to her work. 

Arlene Holmes-Henderson

Arlene Holmes-Henderson

AAC Member

Arlene is a Senior Research Fellow in Classics Education at the University of Oxford. She held the Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar Award in 2013/14 as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hawai’i. She researched the resurgence of the Hawaiian language in schools and communities with the aim of returning to Scotland to make recommendations for Gaelic education in policy and practice. During her cultural and educational exchange, she met academics, policymakers, teachers, community elders and activists both in Hawai’i and on the mainland. Living in Honolulu provided her many memorable Fulbright moments: walking along Waikiki beach at sunset, watching professional hula dancing, visiting the Maunakea astronomical research observatories, seeing active volcanoes, speaking to families from the ‘forgotten’ island of Ni’ihau and attending a Hawaiian birthday luau with 350 people. The Hawaiians say that you don't have to live in Hawaii – or even be Hawaiian – to embrace the Aloha Spirit. Aloha is what remains with Arlene from her Fulbright experience, as well as a love for volleyball and tropical flora!

Portia Owusu

Portia Owusu

AAC Member

Portia Owusu, PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Africana Studies at Texas A&M University. In 2015/16, she was a Fulbright Researcher at the University of Kansas. Her most memorable experience during that year was sitting behind Toni Morrison (her favourite writer) and eavesdropping in on her conversation with Angela Davis! The biggest impact of the Fulbright Award for her is the lifelong friends and connections made with people from around the world. Portia’s interest in the Alumni Council is to help build the Fulbright programme as diverse and inclusive community.

Sanjay Prasad

Sanjay Prasad

AAC Member

Sanjay Prasad is Professor of Cardiology at Imperial College and a Consultant Cardiologist based in London. His main interest is trying to work out causes and early diagnostics of heart failure. His Fulbright scholarship was to Harvard between 1991 and 1993. He previously sat on the Fulbright Selection Committee for three years.  His ongoing collaborations with the US – including with colleagues he first met in Boston during his Fulbright years – are fundamental to his research work. This has reinforced that the work of the Fulbright Commission is not to foster one or two years of study abroad, but to build strong lasting relations. Sanjay is a committed educator and passionate about fostering mutual understanding. 

Raegan Sealy

Raegan Sealy

AAC Member

Raegan Sealy is a British writer, singer, performer and advocate based in New York City. Raegan was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2015. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetry from The New School and a Bachelor of Arts from De Montfort University. Raegan’s 2019 TED Talk was delivered entirely in verse and to a standing ovation. Raegan’s work challenges stigmas around trauma narratives, and empowers others to own their stories. She has supported Ice-T, Shane Koyczan, Kae Tempest and Judah & The Lion, and performed around the world in a plethora of venues ranging from classrooms to stadiums, including New York Central Park Summer Stage, The Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia. Raegan was the recipient of the P.E.O International Peace Prize in 2016 and was a Women’s International Leadership Fellow and Resident Fellow at the International House of New York from 2015 to 18. Her non-profit project, Sound Board NYC, was featured by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation in 2017, and she was selected as a Fulbright NY Alumna-in-Residence in 2019. 

Ade Solanke

Ade Solanke

AAC Member

Ade Solanke is an award-winning British-Nigerian playwright, screenwriter, and academic. She is the artistic director of Spora Stories, creating plays and films about the African diaspora. She has an MFA in Film from the University of Southern California where she was a Fulbright Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa International Scholar, and Association of American Women Scholar. Her work includes her acclaimed debut play 'Pandora's Box', which won a Best New Play nomination in the Off West End Theatre Awards and was shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s biggest literary award. Her latest play, The Court Must Have a Queen, premiered at Hampton Court Palace. Her forthcoming drama, Phillis in London, explores Phillis Wheatley, the enslaved teenage prodigy who in 1773 published the first book in English by an African. Ade's written for The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Times Literary Supplement, The Voice and BBC Radio 4. She lectures in Creative Writing. Her Fulbright experience gave her invaluable insights into American life and study, and wonderful friends and relationships. Her alumni role allows her to reciprocate the US hospitality she enjoyed and continue to support increasing understanding between cultures.