Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship
Leveraging your passion for technology to serve the U.S. abroad.
If you're pursuing an IT-related degree and interested in using technology solutions for the business of diplomacy, particularly if you are a member of an underrepresented group, the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship (FAIT) could be your path to a rewarding career. This fellowship offers you a truly unique opportunity, including financial support, mentoring and professional development, as well as guaranteed employment in the U.S. Foreign Service.
Administered by Washington Center, this U.S. Department of State fellowship program aims to diversify the ranks of Information Management Specialists serving in the U.S. Foreign Service with traditionally underrepresented minority groups. This includes but is not limited to racial, religious and gender minorities, as well as those with financial need. If accepted you’ll receive the financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare you for a career in the Foreign Service. Upon successfully completing the program and the Foreign Affairs IT Specialist entry requirements, you will receive an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS).
This is a highly selective program. To be eligible to participate, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program relevant to IT and entering your junior year in the fall of the cohort year; OR be seeking admission to an IT-related master’s degree program beginning in the fall of the cohort year.
- Have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale at the time of application and this grade point average must be maintained throughout participation in the program.
- Fulfill the summer internship obligations (two summers).
- Attend orientation in June of the cohort year, if selected.
- Pass medical, security and suitability clearance/screenings.
- Be prepared to enter the Foreign Service in fall 2020.
During this two-year program, you'll complete two summer internships with the State Department: one in the U.S., between the first and second year of your undergraduate or Master's program, the other overseas, during the summer after you complete your degree. Throughout the program you’ll receive personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities. After successfully completing the program and meeting all the requirements of the State Department, you are guaranteed employment as an Information Management Specialist with the Foreign Service for five years.
The U.S. State Department provides academic funding so that you may focus on preparing yourself for a future career in the Foreign Service. As a selected FAIT Fellow, you will receive financial support for tuition, room and board, books, mandatory fees and some travel expenses for either your junior and senior year of undergraduate study OR a two-year master’s degree in an IT-related field (up to $37,500 annually). You'll also receive stipends, housing and travel allowances for the two internship experiences.
Housing and Living
Moving and adjusting to new places is a normal part of a career in the Foreign Service. During most of the fellowship, you'll live on or near your campus. During your summer internships, you'll stay near that site. Most domestic internships are in Washington, D.C. Those abroad are often at a U.S. embassy or consulate. We'll help you coordinate housing for each placement and help you adjust when you get there.
The core of the FAIT Fellowship is completing your undergraduate degree or a two-year master’s degree in an IT-related field. You must remain in good academic standing (3.2+ cumulative GPA) throughout the fellowship, graduate on time and be prepared to enter the Foreign Service upon completion.
How to Apply
The application for the 2019 FAIT Fellowship will not be available until the Fall of 2018. If you're interested in learning more or being a future participant, please fill out a Request for Information and a member of our team will reach out to you.
Dates and Deadlines
Specific dates for the 2019 FAIT Fellowship will be posted as they are determined. The program follows this general schedule:
- Application Opens: Fall prior to cohort year
- Application Closes: December of cohort year
- In-person Interviews: Spring of cohort year
- Orientation: June of cohort year
- Program begins: Fall of cohort year
- First Internship: Summer (between junior-senior years for undergraduates; between first-second years for graduate students)
- Second Internship: Summer (after graduation/completion of degree)
- Employment Begins: Fall after degree completion (approximately three months post-graduation)
Your application must include:
- Transcript: an unofficial copy for all schools attended
- Proof of U.S. citizenship: U.S. passport, birth certificate or naturalization papers
- GRE/GMAT scores (for graduate students only): even if your intended graduate programs do not require them, you must submit GRE/GMAT scores as a part of your FAIT Fellowship Application
- A Personal Statement in response to this prompt (750 words max.):
- Please review the twelve dimensions of a Foreign Service IT Specialist and enter a personal statement explaining why you want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service. Highlight your motivations, as well as your background, experiences and skills that will help you succeed.
- Resumé (two-pages max.)
- Most recent Financial Aid Award Letter: if you received financial aid during the most recent academic year, you are required to submit a Financial Aid Letter listing grants or loans
- Most recent Student Aid Report (SAR): if you received financial aid during the most recent academic year, you are required to submit your SAR form. If you did not receive financial aid during the most recent academic year, you must complete the FAFSA to generate a SAR.
- Statement of Financial Need in response to this prompt (400 words max.):
- Prepare a short statement explaining your need for financial assistance, including assistance you received during your undergraduate studies, your overall education-related debt, and your ability/plans to pay for graduate school and/or your junior and senior years of undergraduate (depending on whether you are applying for the Graduate or Undergraduate Fellowship).
- Two Letters of Recommendation: select recommenders who can explain why you are uniquely qualified for the fellowship. If you were enrolled in a degree-granting program within the last two years, one letter must be from a professor or faculty member who knows you. The other letter may be from someone else familiar with your college, volunteer, work, or community activities.
About Information Management Specialists
As an IMS, you will support and maintain hundreds of applications and provide IT services domestically and abroad at over 275 overseas posts in nearly 200 countries. You will serve your country by maintaining secure, reliable IT tools and resources to ensure that Foreign Service Officers, federal agencies and non-government partners can promote diplomacy while serving overseas. You will gain experiences that few other IT professions offer, including the reward of living in a foreign country while experiencing different cultures and helping to protect U.S. interests abroad.