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A Future in Foreign Service

Junior named 2013 Pickering Fellow, will head to State Department

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May 20, 2013 | by Erin White

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University junior Elizabeth Pinedo has been selected as a 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow and is now one step closer to a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. 

The fellowship, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation for the U.S. Department of State, is awarded to 20 undergraduate and 20 graduate students nationwide who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and academic achievement in programs relevant to the work of the U.S. Department of State.

Pinedo, a sociology and anthropology major in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern, grew up in Indianapolis and is a first-generation college student and second-generation Mexican-American. She participated in a State Department gap semester program in South Korea in 2010 and is currently a Northwestern Mellon-Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She is also involved with the Northwestern Quest Scholars and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. 

“I sought out the Pickering Fellowship with the full intention of committing to the U.S. Foreign Service and sharing my unique experiences growing up as a second-generation Mexican-American with those abroad,” Pinedo said. “Under the guidance and training of the fellowship, I am eager to learn.” 

As a Pickering Fellow, Pinedo will receive financial support of up to $40,000 annually, toward tuition and other expenses during her senior year and during her first year of graduate study.

She will participate in one 10-week overseas and one 10-week domestic summer internship within the U.S. Department of State. These internships provide her with valuable work experience in foreign affairs -- engaging in the teamwork, challenges and skills needed to perform the duties of a foreign service officer.

Pinedo is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a foreign service officer if she successfully completes the fellowship program.

The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program honors one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the latter half of the 20th century. Mr. Pickering held 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 as under secretary of state for political affairs.