A Worldwide Career

You can apply online now for the 2015 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs & Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships competition! The Pickering Fellowships help talented students -- highly motivated and academically excellent graduating seniors or college graduates -- who want to pursue a Foreign Service career in the U.S. Department of State. The Pickering programs have been administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, one of the United States' top fellowship providers, for more than 20 years. 


Graduate Fellowship

Application deadline:

January 16, 2015

Undergraduate Fellowship

Application deadline:

January 23, 2015



Register Today

New Website - Apply Button 

To be placed on the 2015 interest/update list and/or to begin the application process,please register here.  


The programs provides:

  • Up to $37,500 annually for academic expenses, covering the first and second year of graduate study
  • Two paid State Department summer internships (domestic and abroad)
  • Professional development through workshops and informational seminars
  • Mentoring by U.S. Foreign Service Officers 

Eligibility requirements at the time of application:

  • Graduate Fellowship applicants: Current college senior or college graduate, entering a two-year terminal master's degree program in the fall of the Fellowship year
  • Undergraduate applicants: College junior or equivalent
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 (4.0 scale)
  • United States citizenship

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Pickering Programs honor Career Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, one of the country's most respected Foreign Service Officers. The goal of the program is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic and social backgrounds who are dedicated to representing America's interests abroad. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, which administers the Pickering Fellowships, identifies and develops leaders and institutions to meet the nation's most critical challenges.

Woodrow Wilson Pickering Fellowship

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | woodrow.org/pickering
5 Vaughn Drive, Suite 300
Princeton, NJ 08543

President Barack Obama hosted the first US - Africa Summit from August 4 to 6, 2014 which was attended by 50 invited African leaders and their ministerial delegation. The Summit, which has been  the largest ever summit of African leaders in the US, focused on how to build democracy, promote trade and raise investment in the continent, which is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies and an expanding middle class.


This Summit was planned after the President’s trip to Africa in the summer of 2013 and designed to strengthen ties between the United States and one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing regions. The Summit is expected to advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa and highlighted America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people. At the same time, the Summit highlighted the depth and breadth of the United States’ commitment to the African continent, advancing shared priorities, and enabling discussion of concrete ideas to deepen the partnership. In the words of a statement issued by the White House, “at its core, this Summit is about fostering stronger ties between the United States and Africa”.


The White House statement also indicated that the theme of the Summit was "Investing in the Next Generation." It was emphasized that “focusing on the next generation is at the core of a government’s responsibility and work, and this Summit is an opportunity to discuss ways of stimulating growth, unlocking opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation”.


In addition to discussions conducted by the leaders, their delegations and the dialogue at the Civil Society Forum, other high level activities took place during the Summit, including a Spousal Program hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama “a day-long spouses symposium at the Kennedy Center focused on the impact of investments in education, health, and public-private partnerships” as well as a dialogue with African CEOs organized and led by the Congressional Black Caucus Africa Task Force, “entailing panel discussions and networking with African business and political leaders, U.S. private sector representatives, and members of Congress”. During this Summit, President Obama hosted a dinner at the White House in honor of the African leaders and the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees also jointly hosted a welcome reception for African leaders on Capitol Hill.


To learn more about the Summit agenda, its discussions and official statements, please read the following:








BPIA Board of Directors named veteran US diplomat Ambassador Sylvia Stanfield to lead the organization as President of the organization and Chairperson of the Board of Directors until the next election of officers. The outgoing Interim President of BPIA, Mr. John Calvin Williams nominated Ambassador Stansfield and the Board members endorsed the nomination as of August 2014. Ambassador Stansfield thanked the Board members for the trust and confidence they bestowed on her and vowed to do her utmost efforts to discharge the heavy responsibilities awaiting her. 

Ambassador Sylvia Gaye Stanfield was a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service. In the course of her long diplomatic career, she assumed many high positions where she served both at home and abroad. Among her many years of services abroad, Ambassador Stanfield was the first African-American woman to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei from September 1999 to September 2002. After her ambassadorship ended, Ambassador Stanfield became a Diplomat in Residence at Florida A&M University and at Spelman College. 

A native of Texas, Ambassador Stanfield earned a B.A. degree in Intercultural Studies from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. As an East West Center grantee, she received an M.A. degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii and continued her studies at the University of Hong Kong School of Oriental Studies and Linguistics. 

The Board calls upon all BPIA members, supporters and sponsors to render their support to the new President in her efforts to discharge the responsibilities assigned to her during this transformative years of the organization.

During its regular meeting on Thursday, June 5, 2014, the BPIA Board of Directors named Mr. John Calvin Williams the organization’s Interim President replacing its longtime President and Chairman, Percy Wilson who announced his resignation from the position. Mr. Williams said he volunteered to assume this responsibility following his discussion with the outgoing President a few days ago. 

Mr. Williams vowed to lead the BPIA so that the organization will continue discharging its duties and responsibilities until new President is elected in October 2014 Annual Meeting of the Organization. It was also announced that Mr. Wilson continues to be a member of the Board of Directors as an Immediate Past President of the Organization.   

Mr. Williams thanked Mr. Wilson for his long services to the organization and he is looking forward to working with him and other members of the BPIA Board in leading the BPIA realizing its objectives until new President is named. Mr. Wilson congratulated Mr. Williams upon his confirmation by the Board as Interim President and promised to assist him in his efforts to carry on BPIA’s duties and responsibilities.    

The Board urges all BPIA members, supporters and sponsors to render their support to the new Interim President in his efforts to discharge the responsibilities assigned to him. 

Mr. Williams served the organization as BPIA’ Board Member, Vice President (Economic Development) and Chairman of BPIA Leadership and Development Institute Committee.