U.S. Department of State Announces 15 Selected Fellows for 2023 Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship

Washington, D.C., April 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following a highly competitive application process, the U.S. Department of State has selected 15 talented individuals for the 2023 cohort of the notable Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellowship – one of the agency's high-profile diversity recruitment programs.  

The two-year fellowship program provides academic funding, two summer internships with stipend support, professional development and mentorship, and culminates in an appointment as a Foreign Service Information Management Specialist (IMS). 

“The FAIT Fellowship is the State Department’s way of giving the best up-and-coming minds from tech a pathway into public service,” said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We’re looking for people with exceptional qualifications and diverse backgrounds who want to serve the American people and build lifelong skills – all while traveling the world.” 

Of the 15 FAIT Fellows for the 2023 cohort, seven are in the graduate fellowship and eight are in the undergraduate fellowship. Listed below are the 15 fellows, along with the universities they plan to attend as FAIT Fellows: 

Graduate fellows:

  • Christopher Catalina, University of Utah
  • Kacey Grafing, Central Michigan University
  • Lisa Guagliano, Georgetown University
  • Justin Hayes, Western Governors University
  • Mason Perry, Brigham Young University
  • Brandon Sanders, University of Alabama
  • Courtney Souter, Georgetown University 

Undergraduate fellows: 

  • Mohinur Abdullaeva, Baruch College/CUNY
  • Iyouel Endashaw, George Mason University
  • Othello Herbert, Syracuse University
  • Levi Kottut, University of San Francisco
  • Karol Planadeball, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Maisha Rauzat, Pace University
  • Delphina Rivas, Southern Methodist University
  • Swechchha Shrestha, University of Maryland 

“We’re very proud of the talented, diverse group of students selected for the 2023 cohort of this unique fellowship program,” said Kim Churches, president of The Washington Center (TWC). “As a pathway to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree and to launch a career in the Foreign Service, the FAIT Fellowship is truly an opportunity of a lifetime.” 

Funded by the Department of State and administered by TWC, the FAIT Fellowship aims to attract top technology talent that represents the ethnic, racial, gender, social, and geographic diversity of the United States. The FAIT Fellowship encourages applications from women, minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and those with financial need. 

FAIT Fellowship program provides each fellow with: 

  • Up to $87,000 in academic funding over two years (junior and senior years of a bachelor’s degree program or a two-year master’s degree program)
  • Two summer internships – one at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and one at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate overseas
  • Professional development and personalized mentoring during the fellowship program 

After successfully completing the FAIT Fellowship program and the Foreign Service entry requirements, Fellows receive an appointment in the Foreign Service as an Information Management Specialist, and they launch exciting careers using their technology skills to support U.S. diplomacy abroad. 

The 2024 application cycle for the FAIT Fellowship program is planned to begin in September 2023. Announcements will be posted online at https://www.faitfellowship.org/ and shared on social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn


About The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we’ve helped more than 60,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each student’s experience to be truly transformative. 

About the U.S. Department of State

The Department of State’s mission is to protect and promote U.S. security, prosperity, and democratic values and shape an international environment in which all Americans can thrive.  The Department’s workforce includes some 13,000 members of the Foreign Service, 11,000 Civil Service employees, and 45,000 locally employed staff at more than 270 diplomatic missions worldwide.


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