Members of the military contribute in many ways to our national security, and once they leave the military, they have a unique and nuanced perspective that can add tremendous value to our foreign policy. The Veterans Innovation Partnership Fellowship provides a valuable on-ramp for Veterans interested in careers at the State Department and in foreign policy more broadly.
The U.S. Department of State launched the Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP) in October 2013, a public-private alliance that serves America’s returned service members by preparing them for meaningful diplomacy and development careers. VIP enhances America’s global leadership and provides education, employment resources, and expertise to returned Veterans. The program is highly competitive and open only to Veterans who have received a master’s degree within the last two years (except for Veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who have up to six years after master’s degree completion to apply).
Veterans who are accepted into the program serve on the front lines of diplomacy at State, where they have the opportunity to work in many different departments for a full year as part of the paid fellowship. VIP Fellows bring their real world experience from the military and academia to the hands on practice of policy making.
In celebration of this year’s Independence Day, applications will open for the fourth class of VIP Fellows on July 5. The State Department will select eligible Veterans to serve as foreign affairs officers, addressing important matters such as refugees and migration, conflict stabilization, and countering violent extremism, to take the lessons learned in the battlefield and apply them to advance our diplomatic efforts, thereby helping our country avoid future conflicts.
The secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships is taking applications through www.usajobs.gov starting on July 5 with a maximum capacity of 500 submissions, therefore qualified Veterans should be prepared to submit on that first day. Veterans can find more information about the application process at www.vipfellowship.org/application-process/ and FAQs. The deadline for application submission is July 17, 2017.
For questions on VIP, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine “CJ” Johnson served her country as a trauma medic in the United States Air Force, completing three deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she worked in level-one trauma, mass casualty and emergency preparedness planning. After her honorable discharge in 2007, she received her nursing license and worked in a federal hospital while earning a bachelor’s degree in political science, with a minor in international relations, followed by a master’s degree in political science and foreign affairs, with subfield studies in Arab regional politics and Arabic language. While attending Northeastern Illinois University, CJ received a master’s certificate of advanced education in homeland security. She recently completed a year as a VIP Fellow, noting that it “offered me the opportunity to not only experience the career I dreamed of, but also open the door into a new world where my skills, both military and medical, could be put to service in a more grandiose way.” She intends to parlay her military and medical management skills with her foreign policy pursuits. CJ is currently applying her expertise as a foreign affairs officer in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Partnerships on Team Innovation, primarily covering global initiatives in support of public-private partnerships for the department.