Martha Loerke has designed and managed international academic opportunities for students and scholars in repressive societies for over 25 years. She started her career in 1988 at the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, where she facilitated Senior Fulbright Fellowships for Bulgaria, what was then Czechoslovakia, and Hungary. In 1991, Loerke launched and managed the Institute of International Education’s awards under the Muskie and Freedom Support Act Program for the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union.
Since 1994, Loerke has designed and implemented dozens of programs within the Open Society Foundations network, overseeing thousands of awards to students from countries ranging from Burma to Belarus. Currently, she directs programs offering several hundred awards annually for advanced study in the social sciences and humanities. Her efforts continue to focus on building communities of academic and civil society leaders who are intellectually and professionally prepared to lead social change in their home communities.
Loerke represents the Open Society Foundations in the work of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund. She holds a BA in history from Oberlin College, and an MA in political science from the Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.