The Washington Center Announces 2016 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows


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The Washington Center Announces 2016 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows

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May 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars and the State Department are pleased to announce the selection of the 2016 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows – 10 Undergraduate Fellows and 20 Graduate Fellows. Hundreds of applicants from more than 160 different schools competed for this distinguished fellowship.


Managed and funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center, the 2016 Thomas R. Pickering Graduate and Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship identifies talented students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career. Consideration is given to qualified applicants who, in addition to outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement, demonstrate financial need. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply. The Department of State strives to assemble a Foreign Service that reflects the excellence and diversity of the United States to the world.


Recipients of the Pickering Fellowship receive two years of financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them for a career in the Foreign Service. Fellows also complete a domestic internship at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and an overseas internship at a U.S. embassy.


The 2016 Pickering Fellows represent the program’s goals of promoting excellence and diversity. All of the Fellows have studied, worked or lived overseas in countries from Ecuador to Oman to Japan. They come from 26 undergraduate and graduate institutions and 18 different states. They bring diverse experiences to the Fellowship, including backgrounds in: academic research, government agencies, private companies, international development, NGOs, and service organizations such as AmeriCorps, City Year, and Peace Corps.


The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program honors one of the most accomplished U.S. Foreign Service Officers of the 20th century. Ambassador Pickering was appointed Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. Pickering served in many leading positions around the world during his Foreign Service career, including Ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India and Russia. He concluded his career as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.


“This fellowship contributes to developing the next generation of Foreign Service Officers and we’re proud to be a part of it,” said Michael B. Smith, president of The Washington Center.


The 23rd Cohort of Pickering Undergraduate Fellows:


Alina Clay, University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Nurmukhamed Eldosov, George Washington University

Leobardo Espinoza, Yale University

Dylan Hoey, Claremont McKenna College

Ankhet Holmes, Dartmouth College

Khadija Mohamud, Georgetown University

Kelsey Orr, Furman University

Mehek Sethi, University of California-Berkeley

Valerie Tucker, University of Georgia

Kayla Walden, Rider University


The 20th Cohort of Pickering Graduate Fellows:


Mery Arcila, Seton Hall University

Amanda Ashley, Berry College

Jarek Buss, Brigham Young University Hawaii

Joanna Chen, University of California-Berkeley

Tiffany Cox, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jatnna Garcia, Boston University

Amy Gradin, Wheaton College

Kamra Hakim, Arizona State University

Norva Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Russell Hathaway, University of Chicago

Rachel King, Vanderbilt University

Priya Knudsen, American University in Cairo (AUC)

Mario Lamar, Morehouse College

Stanley Marquez, George Washington University

Megan Mattson, George Washington University

Alithea McFarlane, Bowdoin College

Daniel Moon, Swarthmore College

Cierra Saylor, Richmond, the American International University in London

Hermila Yifter, Georgetown University

Yang (David) Zhou, State University of New York at Binghamton


For full details about the Pickering Fellowship program and application process, please click here.


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About The Washington Center


The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975.

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