It’s a proven fact that a diverse workforce brings innovation and creativity to the workplace, encourages fresh perspectives that inspire new ideas, and sparks positive change. The Department of State recognizes the value of diversity and has set as one of its core goals a more diverse diplomatic corps, one that is able to represent the best of the United States to nations around the world.
With a growing need for talented and creative technology staff, and the fast-changing field of information technology, the State Department sees the importance of diversifying this area of the workforce.
To assist in this effort, in 2016 the State Department launched the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship, a program that aims to attract underrepresented populations in the technology field interested in Foreign Service careers.
Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, gender, racial, social, and geographic diversity. Women and those with financial need are encouraged to apply.
The program provides up to $37,500 annually for two years of either bachelor’s or master’s degree tuition, books, and other academic expenses. Additionally, travel and lodging expenses are covered for finalists who are selected to come to Washington, D.C. for the in-person interviews.
The State Department also provides stipends, housing, and travel for two summer internship experiences – one in Washington, D.C. at the Department of State, and one at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. After completing the two-year program and meeting Department of State requirements, fellows enter the Foreign Service as Information Management Specialists and have the unique opportunity to apply their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad, experience different cultures, and promote positive change in the world.
The State Department will begin accepting applications in November for the next cohort. You can view the eligibility requirements on the website here.
The Fellows from the first three cohorts (from 2017, 2018 and 2019) all agree that this program is an “opportunity of a lifetime.”