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John W. Ryan Fellowship

John W. Ryan Fellowship for International Education

The John W. Ryan Fellowship for International Education is awarded by the State University of New York to a prominent scholar, leader or practitioner whose contribution to international education is exemplary.

Fellows engage with the university in varying areas of specialization, each making a unique contribution to the core principle of the fellowship: international education can profoundly impact relationships among nations and our world as a whole.

The SUNY Office of International Programs coordinates the selection of the John W. Ryan Fellow and organizes the fellow’s activities throughout the SUNY community. Activities include speaking engagements, seminars, colloquia and other conversational formats for sharing and examining ideas related to the advancement of international education, as well as its role in global affairs. While primarily working with SUNY campuses, the fellow is also encouraged to participate in relevant activities throughout the state and country, engaging in international dialogue on a wide basis.

The fellowship was established in honor of Chancellor Emeritus John W. Ryan in 2004 and continues in his memory.

John W. Ryan Fellowship Recipients

2012-13 Recipient: Raif N. Shwayri, CEO, Al-Kafaàt Foundation, Lebanon

Raif Shwayri picRaif Shwayri is the CEO of Al-Kafaàt Foundation, having held various positions within the Foundation since 2001. Al-Kafaàt was started in 1957 to serve the disabled and socially disadvantaged populations in Lebanon. Today, the Foundation serves over 5000 students daily within 7 different centers, focusing on education and social welfare of the Lebanese people. In addition, the foundation houses Al-Kafaàt University (AKU).

Mr. Shwayri studied Mechanical Engineering at the American University of Beirut and at Kings College, University of London, and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Cardiff Business School, University of Wales. Mr. Shwayri published his first book in 2008, which chronicled the story of the founding of Al-Kafaàt by his father, Nadim. Using the medium of a novel, the book provides an opportunity for the story and mission of Al-Kafaàt to be told to a wider audience. Published in French, it is still in circulation (

   >> Learn more about the SUNY partnership with Al-Kafaàt.

2010-11 Fellow: Ambassador Robert Gosende

Robert Gosende picAmbassador Robert Gosende was the John W. Ryan Fellow in International Education during 2010-11 academic year. Amb. Gosende spent the year in residence at the School of Education at the University at Albany, where he taught and collaborated with students and faculty. His work focused on the crucial role that international education plays in the public diplomacy of our country and, specifically, how we can be more broadly engaged in this process through SUNY’s international programs.


2004-05 Fellow: Dr. Kemal Guruz

Kemal Guruz picDr. Kemal Guruz was the first recipient of the John W. Ryan Fellowship. During his year-long fellowship, Dr. Guruz gathered and analyzed data on international student mobility. A book based on this research, entitled Higher Education and International Student Mobility in the Global Knowledge Economy, was published by SUNY Press in 2008. The updated and revised second edition of the book was released in 2011.

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