“The Pickering Fellowship means opportunity where I may not have been able to succeed otherwise.”


Elizabeth Trobaugh hopes to bring her experience as an Army Officer to the Foreign Service.

Elizabeth Trobaugh, 2014 Pickering Graduate Fellow, hopes to bring her experience as an Army Officer to the Foreign Service.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, have been preparing talented young people to become Foreign Service Officers since its inception in 1992.

The Fellowships—one at the graduate level, one undergraduate—identify students whose academic backgrounds fulfill the skill needs of the State Department and who are dedicated to representing America’s interests abroad. The Department of State seeks a Foreign Service that reflects the diversity and excellence of our society.

With more than 600 Fellows, the impact of the Pickering Fellowship has been felt the world over. Here’s what some of the Fellows say about the Fellowship and what the Foreign Service means to them.

“As a first-generation American, the odds are often stacked against me. The Pickering Fellowship allows me to defy these challenges while pursuing my childhood dreams of becoming a diplomat.”—Kay Atanda, 2014 Pickering Graduate Fellow
mary jo “The Foreign Service is not just a career, it truly is a lifestyle—one that is challenging but also deeply rewarding at the end of the day.”—Mary Jo Pham, 2010 Pickering Undergraduate Fellow

Jennifer Ham

“The more I learned about the Foreign Service, the more I realized that it is full of people from incredibly diverse backgrounds who are able to bring a unique perspective to diplomatic work. My advice to future applicants is to be proud of your own story, and to honestly share your passion for public service and international affairs.”—Jennifer Ham, 2014 Pickering Undergraduate Fellow

Elizabeth Trobaugh 1

“Training to be an FSO, and maybe one day an Ambassador, is built on the hope of American values and the furthering of foreign policy. It may be tough policy at times but it is for the broader good of our democracy, our world, and our citizens at home; it is important to me to serve all of these aspects.”—Elizabeth Trobaugh, 2014 Pickering Graduate Fellow

The application deadline for Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship is coming up. Graduate applications are due by January 16 and undergraduate applications are due by January 23.


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Fellowship applications and opportunities can now be found on our new website, citizensandscholars.org.

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