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The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship

Foreign Affairs


The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Programs are a collaborative effort between the United States Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.  The Programs provide academic and professional preparation for outstanding candidates to enter the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service, representing America’s interests abroad. Pickering Fellows are undergraduate and graduate students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.

Pickering Fellows receive mentoring, professional development, and financial support as they prepare to enter the Foreign Service.  Upon successful completion of the Foreign Service examination, Pickering Fellows make a commitment to a minimum of five years of service in an appointment as Foreign Service Officer. Candidates must be able to obtain medical, security and suitability clearances in order to remain in the program.

For more information about the Foreign Service career, see www.careers.state.gov or www.state.gov.

The Fellowship

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The Department of State seeks a Foreign Service that reflects the diversity and excellence of our society. The Fellowship is designed to attract outstanding individuals from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career with the U.S. Department of State.

The Pickering Fellowship has both an undergraduate and graduate program. Pickering Undergraduate applicants must apply as rising seniors; Graduate applicants must be seeking admission to a two-year master’s degree program in fall of 2015.

2015 Fellows will receive financial support of up to $37,500 annually* for:

  • Tuition costs (first priority)
  • Room and board
  • Books
  • Mandatory fees
  • One round-trip ticket between Fellow's residence and his/her academic institutions

* Pickering Undergraduate Fellowship: senior year and first year of graduate school; Pickering Graduate Fellowship: first and second year of graduate school

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is named in honor of one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Pickering holds the title of Career Ambassador, the highest title in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India, and the Russian Federation, finishing his career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. For more information on Ambassador Pickering, please visit the U.S. Department of State Web site.

More Information

To sign up for more information about this program, click here.

Contact Us

Contact the Pickering team at pickering@woodrow.org if you have any questions about the program, your eligibility, or how to apply.

Connect With The Fellowship

Featured Fellow


Courtney Woods

Pickering ’09

Originally from Eudora, Arkansas, 2009 Graduate Pickering Fellow Courtney Woods has long been devoted to education, service, and cross-cultural interaction. While earning a degree in Education from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, he served in AmeriCorps and was a Bonner Scholar.

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Elise Brumbach

Pickering ’08

Elise Brumbach, a 2008 Undergraduate Pickering Fellow, grew up in a small town in Central Pennsylvania. She did not have the opportunity to travel abroad until after she graduated from high school when she was able to spend one year as a Rotary International exchange student in France.

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Erica King

Pickering ’08

2008 Undergraduate Pickering Fellow Erica King grew up knowing that she wanted to help other people.

Read More

See other Pickering Fellows

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Fellows: New accomplishment? New address? Change in status? Let us hear from you.

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