2017 Rangel Graduate Fellows Selected

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program prepares outstanding individuals to make a difference in the world through careers as Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Department of State.  It is a highly competitive fellowship that promotes excellence and diversity in the Foreign Service, contributing to U.S. representation abroad that better reflects the face of America.  A U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University, the Rangel Fellowship Program supports two-year graduate degrees in areas of relevance to the Foreign Service, arranges summer internships on Capitol Hill and at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, provides Foreign Service mentors and professional development activities and leads to careers in the Foreign Service.  Summertime for the Fellowship program keeps the Ralph Bunche Center abuzz with activities ranging from professional development workshops to panel presentations centered on contemporary foreign policy issues. In addition to the group of 30 Fellows from the 2017 cohort living at Howard University while completing their congressional internships, the 2016 cohort is overseas working at U.S. Embassies and Consulates to contribute to the work of the Foreign Service while learning about the career and life of U.S. diplomats.  This year’s internship placements include embassies and consulates around the world including Malaysia, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Colombia, Malawi, and the Zambia, among other international locations. Both the congressional internship and overseas internship placements act as critical experiential learning opportunities for Fellows to see how Congress influences the formulation of U.S. foreign policy and how Foreign Service Officers shape and implement U.S. policy overseas.

The 2017 class reflects the program’s goals of promoting excellence and diversity.  They excelled in their academic programs in 25 different undergraduate institutions around the country.  They hail from 15 states and represent significant ethnic and racial diversity.  All have studied, worked or lived overseas. Work experience includes the Fulbright Program, teaching, NGOs, the U.S. Congress, government agencies, state legislatures, international organizations, and business.  Many have family ties to other world regions; their languages include Arabic, Spanish, French, Korean, Russian, Ngmbaye, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Afaan Oromo, Bahasa, Turkish, Amharic, and Dari.

The 2017 fellows began the Rangel program in May 2017 with an orientation and are currently doing internships on Capitol Hill.  They will begin their two-year graduate programs in late summer 2017 and will complete overseas internships at U.S. embassies in summer 2018.  They are expected to enter the Foreign Service in 2019.  Below are their names, with undergraduate institutions.

  • Eunice Ajayi, Rutgers University
  • Rami Blair, Morehouse College
  • Miguel Boluda, Stanford University
  • Eduardo Castillo, Texas A&M Int’l University
  • Veronica Chiu, Johns Hopkins University
  • Anthony Christian, George Washington University
  • Saumya Deva, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Jacob Dietrich, North Georgia State University
  • Surayya Diggs, Cornell University
  • Tanya Donangmaye, George Mason University
  • Tailor Dortona, American University
  • Sydney Freeman, University of Richmond
  • Katie Garay, George Mason University
  • Manuela Hernandez, University of Florida
  • Matthew Hinson, Georgetown University
  • Tony Hudson, Georgia Southern University
  • Terrell Hunt, Northeastern University
  • Gregory Joy, University of Georgia
  • Aseebulla Niazi, University of New Hampshire
  • Nicole Roberts, American University
  • Kalif Robinson, Georgia State University
  • Sheldon Ruby, Franklin & Marshall College
  • Zinna Senbetta, Princeton University
  • DeAndre Smith, Howard University
  • Camille Swinson, Spelman College
  • Hawi Tilahune, Macalester College
  • Sulaiman Toghral, George Mason University
  • Tiffany Williams, Spelman College
  • Chelsea Wilson, Juniata College
  • Sarahann Yeh, University of Maryland College Park

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