By Curtis L. Coy
Colleagues and Fellow Veterans,
In August of last year, I wrote about an exciting opportunity for Veterans who have or are in a Master’s degree program. This program is the Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP), a new public-private alliance platform aimed at serving America’s veterans and separating service members by preparing them for diplomacy and development careers, providing education and employment resources and expertise while enhancing America’s global leadership. Last year The State Department received over 1600 applicants, with 22 VIP fellowships chosen. This year the number of fellowships will increase to 40. The following provides more detail information regarding eligibility and the application process.
The U.S. Department of State is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2015 class of VIP Fellows. The main focus of VIP is to build and deploy strategic partnerships between the U.S. government and the U.S. private sector to mobilize resources and build networks to promote foreign affairs career opportunities for veterans. This fellowship will give applicants the opportunity to serve in foreign affairs roles primarily throughout the Department of State, but also at our participating agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), or the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The VIP fellowship will include full-time employment beginning in the Fall of 2015 and lasting for one year; responsibilities and compensation commensurate with a Master’s degree along with mentoring and professional development opportunities throughout the year.
VIP fellowships are only open to veterans who:
- Are enrolled in a Master’s degree program in the preferred fields of International Business, International Relations/Affairs, Public Policy, Public Administration, or related fields (this includes MPA, MPH, MPP, MBA, and JD degrees)
- Completed a Master’s degree in the preferred or related fields listed above less than two years prior to applying for the fellowship (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, they will have up to six years after degree completion to apply)
- Applicants will need to be able to obtain a Secret Level security clearance.
- Criteria include outstanding leadership and life experience as well as excellence in academic, cross-cultural and communication skills.
- To be considered, an applicant’s cumulative GPA for the master’s degree should be 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale, or equivalent.
To apply for a 2015 VIP Fellowship, please provide the following information to
A current resume. Use your resume to highlight your education, expertise, achievements and honors, extracurricular activities/community service, language skills, and any leadership experience. The resume should not exceed two pages.
- A cover letter not to exceed 450 words. In your cover letter, please include your areas of focus i.e. economics, regional affairs, technology, etc. Also include if you have interest in carrying out your fellowship in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), or the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
- Declaration of Graduate Degree GPA (official transcript verification may be required at a later time)
- DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge
- Please provide, if applicable, your VA Service Connected Disability Rating Letter
The U.S. Department of State will be unable to process your application without this information. In addition, this is a competitive fellowship opportunity with limited spots. This call for applications will remain open until March 27, 2015. Complete application packages received by the first cut-off date of March 20, 2015, 11:59p.m., will receive first consideration for employment. If your application is submitted and processed after this date, you will receive consideration on an “as needed basis”. Selections are expected to be made by May 2015 and expected start dates in September 2015.
Additional information about VIP is available at www.vipfellowship.org. For additional questions, please contact
Curtis L. Coy
Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity
Veterans Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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