Each year SIPA is proud to partner with several organizations to assist students with paying for school.  One of the programs we partner with is The Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship.  This fellowship focuses on individuals that are interested in working for the U.S. Department of State and are applying to graduate programs.

There is another program available to undergraduate students called the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.  SIPA is proud to partner with both divisions of this fellowship program.

The following article was contributed by SIPA student Timothy Shenk.

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Four SIPA students have been named Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows and are preparing to work in the U.S. Foreign Service. Just 20 graduate Pickering Fellowships were awarded this year, more to SIPA students than any other school.

SIPA’s four Fellows are Keondra Bills (MDP ’12), Amanda Buescher (MPA ’12), Karina Gabriela Garcia (MIA ’12), and Jane Park (MPA ’12).

The fellowships were awarded this spring by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and are funded by the State Department. Pickering Fellows pursue two years of study in fields such as international affairs, political science, economics and foreign languages. They also complete two internships with the State Department, including one at a U.S. embassy.

In exchange, Fellows commit to work for three years as Foreign Service officers, which is contingent upon passing the Foreign Service exam.

According to Park, the Pickering Fellowship is an ideal award for students interested in pursuing a career in the Foreign Service. She is concentrating in international finance and economic policy at SIPA and hopes to work in international trade negotiations.

“Representing the U.S. internationally is something that I always found admirable,” she said.

Garcia said she hopes to work for the State Department on human rights issues in Africa or Latin America. She chose to attend SIPA because of its human rights concentration.

“I definitely felt like the program here was a better fit,” she said. “It’s very flexible and interdisciplinary.”

Four second-year SIPA students are also Pickering Fellows: Kristofer Clark (MIA ’11), Caitlyn Finley (MIA ’11), Kahina Robinson (MIA ’11), and Miriam Schive (MIA ’11).

The Pickering Fellowships are named for Thomas R. Pickering, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992.