The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship
Important note on suitability clearances from U.S. Department of State
We welcome your interest in applying to the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship. We want you to fully understand what is involved in the fellowship and suggest that you carefully review the website on issues such as program elements, eligibility and application requirements, as well as the selection process. The fellowship provides significant benefits in supporting graduate studies, internships, professional development, and employment with the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. However, you should also be aware of requirements and obligations associated with a career in the Department's Foreign Service. Please read the following carefully. The information is designed to help you determine your qualification for this program and a career as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State.
If accepted as a Pickering Fellow, continued participation in the program is explicitly conditioned upon your obtaining a Department of State worldwide medical clearance, a top secret security clearance and a favorable suitability review. You will also have a contractual obligation to work as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for a minimum of three years following the completion of your fellowship program. The purpose of the Final Review is to determine, from the candidate's total record, whether the candidate is indeed suitable to represent the United States government as a Foreign Service Officer. The Final Review Panel has the authority to terminate a candidacy. The most common grounds for a finding of unsuitability are a recent history of drug or alcohol abuse and delinquency in repaying debt or other evidence of financial irresponsibility. (For more information on additional factors evaluated during the final review process please click on the following link: http://careers.state.gov/officer/reviewpanel.html.) Candidates whose file indicates such issues are unlikely to be found suitable for the Foreign Service.
If at any time you are unable to obtain the required clearances and a favorable suitability review or fail to fulfill your service obligation, you may be terminated from the program and may be required to repay the United States government the amount of money, plus interest, that is equal to the total cost of the financial assistance paid by the United States government in connection with your education.
With the above in mind, we invite you to continue your application. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at PickeringFAF@woodrow.org or 800-899-9963.