The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Program
The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State program and, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State. It welcomes the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the State Department, women, and those with financial need. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity.
The Pickering Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to promote positive change in the world. Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program and fulfillment of Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows have the opportunity to work as Foreign Service Officers in accordance with applicable law and State Department policy, serving in Washington, DC and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. Fellows also agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State's Foreign Service. The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service.
The Pickering Program has made, and continues to make, an important contribution to the diversity of the State Department Foreign Service. Fellows currently represent the United States in countries around the world, in areas as diverse as Africa, East Asia, Latin America, South Asia, Europe and Eurasia. They are promoting human rights, assisting American citizens overseas, enhancing prosperity and development, deepening ties between the United States and people around the world, and supporting U.S. global values and interests in many different ways.
The Program provides graduate fellowships to qualified college seniors and college graduates committed to joining the Foreign Service. The fellowship helps finance two-year graduate programs, provides two summer internships, offers mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer, and provides other professional development activities. The program continues to ensure that the Foreign Service reflects the face of America to foreign audiences and provides a source of trained women and men who are dedicated to pursuing Foreign Service careers with the Department of State and representing America’s interests abroad.
Dates and Deadlines
Specific dates for the 2019 Pickering Fellowship will be posted as they are determined. The program follows this general schedule:
The Pickering selection panel will choose approximately 60 finalists by the end of October. Program staff will communicate decisions by email to both successful and unsuccessful applicants by the end of October. Candidates selected for final consideration will be invited to Washington, DC for interviews and a written exercise. Finalists will be in DC for one full day November 15-16. The program will pay the cost of accommodations and travel to Washington, DC from within the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska. The program will complete the selection process and make offers to 30 fellows by late November 2018.
Select the appropriate online program that best suits your application (eligibility information is specific to each program). Click on the "Register" link and complete and submit the registration form.
Login to the award with your email and password.
Create your online application. For a list of required information and attachments, please review the Application Requirements Guide.
During the Call for Applications period, your application can be saved as DRAFT until all the required information is completed and attachments uploaded. As each section is complete, you will see a appear in the category tab when the application is saved. Please ensure that all attachments are in Acrobat PDF format. At any time, you can download and print your application by clicking on
On completion, save your application as FINAL. Download and print a copy of your application for your records by clicking on
If you require assistance or additional information, please contact the Program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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