The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

38 JUNE 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL The Fellowship’s Mission The FAS Diversity Fellowship Programmission statement reads: “The FAS Diversity Fellowship Program seeks to identify and prepare worthy and outstanding individuals for careers in the FAS Foreign Service. The fellowship advances the depart- ment’s goal of a more diverse, inclusive and equitable Foreign Service that reflects the strength of America.” The FDFP will recruit outstanding candidates from across the country and include the following: 1. Funding up to $42,000 per year to attend two-year graduate pro- grams in agribusiness or agricultural economics at U.S. universities. 2. Two summer internships, one domestic and one overseas, at a U.S. embassy/consulate. 3. Mentoring from a Foreign Service officer. 4. Professional development activities to prepare individuals for their Foreign Service careers. 5. Pathway to employment in the Foreign Agricultural Service for those who complete the program and FAS requirements, with a five-year obligation. We have all been asked, at one point or another, what type of thinker we are: “glass half full,” or “glass half empty”? My response has always been that I am simply happy to have a glass. Our current environment still may not be ideal, fair or even transparent. We are confronted daily with news that disappoints and tries to break our spirits, but if we continue to hope, dream, aspire and persevere, all is not lost. FDFP is the product of those of us who continue to get back up when we are knocked down.Through tears and with a grateful heart, I can confidently say that:The FAS Diversity Fellowship Pro- gram is a budding legacy. FDFP answers the question “why not?” FDFP is the word “diversity” being applied, carrying power and representing the cultural milieu of America. As pathbreaking woman computer scientist TelleWhitney has said, “Diversity drives innovation—when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve.” The FDFP promises to help bring about a qualitative expansion of FAS’ problem-solving capabilities abroad. n