Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows for 2015 Named

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FOR RELEASE: Monday, May 11, 2015    

Caryl McFarlane | Senior Program Officer, Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowships | (609) 452-7007 x135
Patrick Riccards | Director of Media Relations and Strategy |  (703) 298-8283

Woodrow Wilson Foundation Announces Pickering Fellows for 2015

Foundation names 30 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows

PRINCETON, NJ – The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has named 30 new Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows for 2015. This fall the 10 Pickering Undergraduate and 20 Pickering Graduate Fellows will begin their journeys towards representing the United States as Foreign Service Officers.

Administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Pickering Fellowship identifies and cultivates outstanding college students and recent graduates 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.

The 2015 Fellows have demonstrated skills critical to members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, including dedication, initiative, integrity, cultural adaptability, the ability to communicate well, and a thorough intellectual background.

The Undergraduate Fellows are completing majors in fields such as international service, political science, and regional and comparative studies. They are the 22nd class of Pickering Undergraduate Fellows and will receive financial support towards their senior year and first year of graduate school.

The 19th class of Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows have completed degrees in mathematics, Chinese, sociology, and anthropology, among other fields. Graduate Fellows receive financial support towards a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in a field related to international affairs and diplomacy at one of nearly a dozen institutions nationwide.

Fellows in both programs will also participate in one domestic and one overseas internship, receive mentoring from Foreign Service Officers and must complete a minimum five-year service commitment as a Foreign Service Officer. Fellows must meet all Foreign Service entry requirements to remain in the program.

The mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service is to promote peace, support prosperity, and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the U.S. abroad.

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


About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.


2015 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellows (22nd Cohort)

Alejandra Baez, Georgetown University

Kevin Doyle, Dickinson College

Jamal Edwards, Duke University

Jason Fauss, University of California, Berkeley

Nahid Kadirzada, University of the Pacific

Anamaria Karrels, University of Dayton

Marina Kelly, American University

Maritza Navarrete, Vanderbilt University

Leyth Swidan, Pomona College

Shai Washington, Kansas State University


2015 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows (19th Cohort)

Lester Asamoah, University of Oklahoma; Will attend: American University

Megan Bishop, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Will attend: University of Denver

Krista Bustamante, Utah State University; Will attend: American University

Juan Clar, Tufts University, The Fletcher School; Will attend: George Washington University

Whitney Dixon, The George Washington University; Will attend: University of Maryland

Victoria Durgana, New York University; Will attend: George Washington University

Youssef Elkei, Randolph College; Will attend: Georgetown University

Joshua Gregory, University of Washington; Will attend: Syracuse University

Aquilla Hines, University at Buffalo; Will attend: Columbia University

Mariya Ilyas, Bowdoin College; Will attend: Tufts University

Sarah Lombardo, Northeastern University; Will attend: Tufts University

Ritchell Madikaegbu, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; Will attend: Georgetown University

Weldon Montgomery, Florida International University; Will attend: John Hopkins

Bintu Musa, Towson University; Will attend: American University

Raymond Nelson, Carleton College; Will attend: Georgetown University

Haydee Rojas, University of San Diego; Will attend: University of California, San Diego

Ramata Sow, Northwestern University; Will attend: John Hopkins

Elvia Valle, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna; Will attend: Georgetown University

Danielle Veal, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Will attend: Emory University

Jeffrey Wood, George Mason University; Will attend: John Hopkins



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