Fellowship Recipient Obligations
Becoming a Rangel Fellow means that you are committed to pursuing a two-year master’s degree program in a field related to the Department of State’s Foreign Service, becoming a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer, and representing your country and its interests abroad and at home. Upon accepting the fellowship, you will sign an agreement that outlines your benefits and responsibilities as a Fellow. Fellows must meet and maintain all Foreign Service entry requirements including security, medical and suitability requirements in order to remain in the program. Fellows must meet and maintain all Foreign Service entry requirements including security, medical and suitability requirements in order to remain in the program. Additionally, there is a minimum five-year service commitment. The five-year service commitment begins upon entry into the Foreign Service. Failure to meet the obligations outlined in the fellowship agreement, including obtaining and maintaining required security and suitability clearances and meeting the minimum medical qualification standard, may result in your disqualification from the fellowship program and reimbursement to the U.S. Government of financial assistance paid in connection with your education.
|Rangel Application Deadline:||September 28, 2023|
|Finalists Notified:||November 8, 2023|
|Final Round to Select Fellows:||December 4-7, 2023|
|Notification of Selection as a Fellow:||December 8, 2023|
|Deadline for Accepting Fellowship Offer:||December 12, 2023|
|Orientation for 2024 Rangel Fellows and Congressional Internship:||May-August 2024|
|Begin first year of graduate school:||August 2024|
|Overseas Internship:||Summer 2025|
|Begin second year of graduate school:||August 2025|
|Enter Foreign Service:||Summer 2026|
Security Clearance Process
The security clearance determination process begins when fellows are selected for the fellowship. Fellows will be asked to asked submit fingerprints to the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security as the first step in the security clearance process. At this time, finalists undergo fingerprinting by the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security as the first step in the security clearance process. As soon as individuals are selected for the fellowship, the Department of State requests that they complete and submit an application, within about two weeks, as part of the continuing security clearance determination process. The time needed for security clearance determination processing varies depending on a number of factors. The security clearance process involves a comprehensive background investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of State in cooperation with other federal, state, and local agencies. This investigation provides the information necessary to determine a candidate’s suitability for appointment to the Foreign Service and for a Top Secret security clearance. The process considers such factors as: failure to repay a U.S. Government guaranteed loan or meet tax obligations; failure to register for the Selective Service; past problems with credit or bankruptcy; unsatisfactory employment records; a criminal record or other violations of the law; drug or alcohol abuse; and less than honorable discharge from the armed forces.
Candidates who hold dual citizenship, have had extensive travel, education, residence and/or employment overseas, or who have foreign contacts, a foreign-born spouse, immediate family members or relatives who are not citizens of the United States, should be aware that the clearance process will take longer to complete. The background investigation includes interviews with current and previous contacts, supervisors, and coworkers. Candidates who do not receive a security clearance are ineligible for the fellowship. Potential candidates who may have issues that could affect receiving the required clearances should consider whether to move forward with their application at this time.
Minimum Medical Qualification Process
Rangel Fellows must meet the Department of State’s minimal medical qualification standard. After a fellow undergoes a pre-employment medical examination, the Bureau of Medical Services of the Department of State determines whether a fellow is medically qualified for hire as a Foreign Service Officer. The purpose of a medical review is to identify specific health needs and medical conditions that may require specialty management, follow-up, or monitoring.
Fellows must be able to meet the minimal medical qualification standard to remain in the program.
Suitability Review Clearance Process
Upon completion of the background investigation and medical examination, a State Department Suitability Review Panel will examine the Fellow’s file (minus any privileged medical information) to determine their suitability for employment with the Foreign Service.
The attainment of U.S. foreign policy objectives depends substantially on the confidence of the public (both American and foreign) in the individuals selected to serve in the Foreign Service. The Department of State, therefore, requires the highest standards of conduct by employees of the Foreign Service, including an especially high degree of integrity, reliability, and prudence. Given the representational nature of employment in the Foreign Service, employees must observe proper standards at all times. The purpose of the suitability review is to determine, from the candidate’s total record, whether the candidate is indeed suitable to represent the United States. The Suitability Review Panel has the authority to terminate a candidacy.
In evaluating suitability, the Suitability Review Panel takes into consideration the following factors:
Misconduct in prior employment, including marginal performance or inability to interact effectively with others
Criminal, dishonest, or disgraceful conduct
Misrepresentation, including deception or fraud, in the application process
Repeated or habitual excess use of intoxicating beverages, affecting the ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position
Trafficking in or abuse of narcotics or controlled substances
Reasonable doubt of loyalty to the U.S. Government
Conduct which clearly shows poor judgment and/or lack of discretion, which may reasonably affect an individual or the agency’s ability to carry out its responsibilities or mission
Financial irresponsibility, including a history of not meeting financial obligations or an inability to satisfy debts
More details about the suitability and security clearances and the minimum medical qualification standard can be found on the U.S. Department of State website (www.careers.state.gov). Potential candidates who believe they may have issues that could affect receiving the required clearances and/or meeting the minimum medical qualification standard should consider whether to move forward with their application at this time.