Rising senior named Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow

Maritza Navarrete
Maritza Navarrete (courtesy of Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Programs)

Maritza Navarrete, a College of Arts and Science senior from Evanston, Illinois, is one of 10 undergraduates from across the country named as a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow for 2015 by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The foundation has named 30 new Pickering fellows in total—10 undergraduates and 20 graduate students—who will begin their journeys toward representing the United States as Foreign Service officers.

Administered for the U.S. Department of State by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Pickering Fellowship identifies and cultivates outstanding college students and recent graduates whose academic backgrounds fulfill the skill needs of the State Department and who are dedicated to representing America’s interests abroad. The State Department seeks a Foreign Service that reflects the diversity and excellence of American society.

The 2015 fellows have demonstrated skills critical to members of the U.S. diplomatic corps, including dedication, initiative, integrity, cultural adaptability, the ability to communicate well, and a thorough intellectual background.

The undergraduate fellows are completing majors in fields such as international service, political science, and regional and comparative studies. They are the 22nd class of Pickering Undergraduate Fellows and will receive financial support toward their senior year and first year of graduate school.

Members of the 19th class of Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellows have completed degrees in mathematics, Chinese, sociology and anthropology, among other fields. Graduate fellows receive financial support toward a two-year, full-time master’s degree program in a field related to international affairs and diplomacy at one of nearly a dozen institutions nationwide.

Fellows in both programs also will participate in one domestic and one overseas internship, receive mentoring from Foreign Service officers, and must complete a minimum five-year service commitment as a Foreign Service officer. Fellows must meet all Foreign Service entry requirements to remain in the program.

The mission of a U.S. diplomat in the Foreign Service is to promote peace, support prosperity and protect American citizens while advancing the interests of the United States abroad.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is named in honor of one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Pickering holds the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service. He served as ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India and the Russian Federation, finishing his career in the Foreign Service as under secretary of state for political affairs.

For more information about this and other honor scholarships, contact Lyn Fulton-John in the Office of Honor Scholarships at