ATLANTA—Joshua Fife, an alumnus of Georgia State University who graduated in 2019 with a degree in journalism, has received the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, the fellowship program will provide him with financial support for graduate school, mentoring and professional development to prepare him for a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.
"Being selected for the Pickering Fellowship is truly a dream come true,” said Fife, a native Atlantan. “The financial burdens of graduate school make it unattainable for so many people like me, so this fellowship is the opportunity of a lifetime. It brings much-needed diversity into our nation's diplomatic corps, and I'm honored to be able to represent my community on the global stage.”
This fall, Fife will begin his graduate school studies in urban and social policy, focusing on education and health communication. He also will complete two internships with the State Department—one in Washington, D.C. and the other overseas—in the summer between his first and second year of graduate school and the summer after he finishes.
“I'm excited to share the wide range of cultures that we have here in the U.S. with nations that otherwise might not know it existed,” he said. “It's very common for minorities and women in the Foreign Service to encounter surprise and even discrimination in other countries due to the predominant image of diplomats in the United States being white and male."
Lily Lopez-McGee, director of the fellowship program, said Fife was an ideal fellowship candidate because he demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, leadership and commitment to service during his time at Georgia State.
“These experiences bode well for his success through graduate school and in the Foreign Service as well,” Lopez-McGee said. “I look forward to seeing all that he will accomplish in his career.”
As an undergraduate, Fife studied abroad in Salvador, Brazil and Havana, Cuba and was editor of The Signal, Georgia State’s student newspaper. Following his graduation in 2019, he served as an AmeriCorps member in Philadelphia and was awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil.
Fife is one of 45 Pickering Fellows selected for 2021 from institutions including Columbia, Georgetown, Vanderbilt and the University of California, Berkeley.
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships in Georgia State’s Honors College assisted Fife with the competitive Pickering Fellowship application process.
“As a 2019 Fulbright Scholar and now a Pickering Fellow, Joshua has uniquely positioned himself to make an enduring impact as a future Foreign Service officer,” English said. “Joshua has demonstrated humility, composure and resourcefulness, which are all qualities that will lead to his success.”