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Howard University has been the home of the State Department’s Rangel International Affairs Program since 2002 when the program began. Howard University has made enormous contributions to the Rangel Program, and the Rangel Program has benefitted the university in many ways. The University has also been the leading provider of both Rangel Fellows and Rangel Scholars over the years. While the programs are national in scope, attracting about 1,000 applicants every year, the excellence of the education provided by Howard University and its commitment to community service have resulted in highly competitive candidates. Between 2004 and 2017, 18 Howard University students and alumni won Rangel Graduate Fellowships, by far the greatest number given to any single university. Between 2002 and 2017, 59 Howard students captured spots in the Rangel Summer Program, again the largest contribution by any school in the country. Howard has also proven to be innovative, results-oriented, and effective in its management of the program, resulting in State Department decisions to expand the program by increasing the number of fellows from 6 to 30 between 2003 and 2017. The Rangel Program’s connection to Howard goes even deeper. Howard administers the Rangel Program under a cooperative agreement with State Department, winning grants worth over $34 million over the past sixteen years. 

The Rangel Program trains its undergraduate scholars at Howard University, paying tuition, housing and administrative charges. Its fellows live at Howard during their congressional internships, gaining an appreciation of the university’s unique contribution to the nation. Given that the Rangel Program is now an internationally renowned program, it has strengthened Howard’s reputation as a shaper of international as well as national policies and perspectives. With every year, Howard’s contribution to global leadership grows stronger.


1. Center Highlights
2.  HU & the Charles B. Rangel Fellowship Program: A Special Connection
  •       About the Fellowships 
  •       Summer Highlights
  •       Howard Alumni Spotlight
  •       Rangel Program Staff Spotlight
  •       More from the Rangel Community
2. Opportunities
3. Upcoming Events
4. In Our Next Issue...

As a NAFSA Diversity Impact participant this year, Study Abroad Program Manager, MaRaina Montgomery, was selected to join a cohort of more than 20 administrators from Minority Serving Institutions across the USA.  The group shared in the NAFSA conference experience by attending such events as the NAFSA annual meeting, award ceremony, as well as the Diversity and Inclusion luncheon. In addition to expanding the Howard Study Abroad network among professional peers, Ms. Montgomery developed a connection with a seasoned professional from the field of International Education, Mia  Schleifer, of the  Pratt Institute in New York. The conference was an opportunity to research perspective partnerships for study abroad, become a contributing part of the NAFSA community, learn more about new developments and systems within the field of international education, and connect with administrators from such HBCUs as Spelman College, Xavier University, and Prairie View A&M. This experience was not only a chance to learn best practices related to study abroad, but to showcase the work being done at Howard University related to international education and affairs!  NAFSA, the largest membership association for international educators, held their annual conference in Los Angeles from May 29-June 2.

The Global Access Pipeline Conference on Diversity in International Affairs was held at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC from April 28th-29th, 2017. The two-day conference is intended to provide professional development and networking opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds who are focused on pursuing a career in the field.  It is attended by professionals in the international affairs community, as well, who serve as mentors for many conference attendees. Topics of discussion included the transforming media landscape, global hot spots and a variety of breakout sessions focused on various professional skills. Each plenary and breakout session gave attendees a chance to interface with notable experts in the field of international affairs who have made great contributions to their respective fields, i.e., journalism, politics, business, finance & international relations. Participants had an opportunity to network with the speakers as well as each other and gain a better understanding of how and why diversity in the field is more relevant now than ever.   Howard was well represented by members of our “Bunche Brigade” who participated in the conference and contributed to meaningful dialogue in the plenaries and breakout sessions.  

Visiting IES Abroad program site in Chile was productive and extremely informative. Chile, a country of great environmental variation, political significance, and a newly emerging migrant community from the Caribbean, is an ideal destination for Howard students to Study Abroad! IES Chile offers our students an ideal learning environment for increasing Spanish language proficiency, learning about Chile's emerging economy, working in internships or service learning sites, among other things. The opportunity to meet the residence staff, faculty, host family representatives, and tour the universities that partner with IES assured us that the Howard student experience in Chile would be both secure, and academically substantive.
From May 22-26, 2017 Howard University, through its Ralph Bunche Int’l. Affairs Center, was invited to participate in a US Embassy sponsored visit to Mexico City and Puebla as part of the Embassy’s effort to strengthen relationships between US and Mexican institutions of higher education. We were joined by 9 other representatives from HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions, and community colleges from across the country.  The visit included meetings with several Mexican universities, representatives from COMEXUS (the Mexican Fulbright Commission), NGOs, and Education USA.  We look forward to building partnerships in Mexico as a result of this visit.
Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program
The Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program prepares outstanding individuals to make a difference in the world through careers as Foreign Service Officers in the U.S. Department of State. It is a highly competitive fellowship that promotes excellence and diversity in the Foreign Service, contributing to U.S. representation abroad that better reflects the face of America. A U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University, the Rangel Fellowship Program supports two-year graduate degrees in areas of relevance to the Foreign Service, arranges summer internships on Capitol Hill and at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, provides Foreign Service mentors and professional development activities and leads to careers in the Foreign Service. Summertime for the Fellowship program keeps the Ralph Bunche Center abuzz with activities ranging from professional development workshops to panel presentations centered on contemporary foreign policy issues. In addition to the group of 30 Fellows from the 2017 cohort living at Howard University while completing their congressional internships, the 2016 cohort is overseas working at U.S. Embassies and Consulates to contribute to the work of the Foreign Service while learning about the career and life of U.S. diplomats. This year’s internship placements include embassies and consulates around the world including Malaysia, Belgium, Australia, Hungary, Colombia, Malawi, and the Zambia, among other international locations. Both the congressional internship and overseas internship placements act as critical experiential learning opportunities for Fellows to see how Congress influences the formulation of U.S. foreign policy and how Foreign Service Officers shape and implement U.S. policy overseas.

The 2017 class reflects the program’s goals of promoting excellence and diversity. They excelled in their academic programs in 25 different undergraduate institutions around the country. They hail from 15 states and represent significant ethnic and racial diversity. All have studied, worked or lived overseas. Work experience includes the Fulbright Program, teaching, NGOs, the U.S. Congress, government agencies, state legislatures, international organizations, and business. Many have family ties to other world regions; their languages include Arabic, Spanish, French, Korean, Russian, Ngmbaye, Hindi, Mandarin, Cantonese, German, Afaan Oromo, Bahasa, Turkish, Amharic, and Dari.

The 2017 fellows began the Rangel program in May 2017 with an orientation and are currently doing internships on Capitol Hill. They will begin their two-year graduate programs in late summer 2017 and will complete overseas internships at U.S. embassies in summer 2018. They are expected to enter the Foreign Service in 2019. Below are their names, with undergraduate institutions.

Eunice Ajayi, Rutgers University
Rami Blair, Morehouse College
Miguel Boluda, Stanford University
Eduardo Castillo, Texas A&M Int’l University
Veronica Chiu, Johns Hopkins University
Anthony Christian, George Washington University
Saumya Deva, University of Wisconsin Madison
Jacob Dietrich, North Georgia State University
Surayya Diggs, Cornell University
Tanya Donangmaye, George Mason University
Tailor Dortona, American University
Sydney Freeman, University of Richmond
Katie Garay, George Mason University
Manuela Hernandez, University of Florida
Matthew Hinson, Georgetown University
Tony Hudson, Georgia Southern University
Terrell Hunt, Northeastern University
Gregory Joy, University of Georgia
Aseebulla Niazi, University of New Hampshire
Nicole Roberts, American University
Kalif Robinson, Georgia State University
Sheldon Ruby, Franklin & Marshall College
Zinna Senbetta, Princeton University
DeAndre Smith, Howard University
Camille Swinson, Spelman College
Hawi Tilahune, Macalester College
Sulaiman Toghral, George Mason University
Tiffany Williams, Spelman College
Chelsea Wilson, Juniata College
Sarahann Yeh, University of Maryland College Park  
Rangel Summer Enrichment Program Scholars
The Rangel Summer Enrichment Program provides undergraduates with the opportunity to enhance their skills, knowledge and understanding of U.S. foreign policy and international careers during a six-week summer program at Howard University. The 2017 Rangel Scholars reflect the excellence and diversity that have characterized the program since its creation. The current group includes individuals from 10 states and the District of Columbia; they attend 13 different undergraduate institutions throughout the United States that reflect a full range of academic experiences, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Ivy League schools, large state universities, and smaller private schools. The Scholars also represent significant racial and ethnic diversity. Their languages include Arabic, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, German, Japanese, and Tamil.

The 2017 Summer Enrichment Program begins June 19 and goes through July 29, 2017. The Program provides two courses and a seminar at Howard University that focus on enhancing knowledge and skills related to U.S. foreign policy, economics and writing. In addition, Scholars are introduced to a wide range of government and non-government professionals who work on global issues and they also visit various institutions involved in international affairs. The Program also helps students explore graduate school, scholarship, fellowship, internship and professional options in international affairs. Please join us in welcoming the 2017 Rangel Scholars!

Lizabelt Avila, New College of Florida
Erick Boone, Howard University
Leohana Carrera, George Mason University
Theresa Dinh, Virginia Commonwealth University
Joey Fernandez, La Guardia Community College/City University of New York
Christian Keith, Howard University
Danny Li, Dartmouth College
Zachary Lien, University of Idaho
Jeremy Luna, State University of New York at New Paltz
Alissa Malbrough, Claflin University
Alexis McKenney, Howard University
Ma Veronica Pacheco, City University of New York John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Jayaram Ravi, Stanford University
Jeffrey Simmons, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Tiana Steverson Pugh, Claremont McKenna College
On May 23, this year’s cohort of Rangel Fellows had the opportunity to join four senior State Department Foreign Service Officers for an engaging lunch discussion about careers and foreign policy at the State Department’s Harry S. Truman building in downtown Washington, DC. The lunch was part of the Fellows week-long orientation to the Rangel Program. The Fellows will spend 10 weeks during their first summer of the program completing a congressional internship on Capitol Hill. The Fellows are part of Howard University’s summer community.

Howard University alumnus DeAndre Smith (B.A. ’15) was awarded a 2017 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a highly competitive nationwide contest. According to Rangel Program Director Patricia Scroggs, this was the most competitive year ever for the fellowship, with a record number of 575 applications—an increase of 40% from previous years. What’s more, this round of applications was due by Sept. 19, four months earlier than in previous years, making for a shorter application-submission window.

“Despite the rigorous competition, our selection panel was very impressed by DeAndre’s intelligence, achievements, and commitment to service,” said Scroggs. “His experiences at Howard University have provided an outstanding foundation for him in these areas. I am confident that he will excel in graduate school and will contribute to global peace and prosperity as a U.S. diplomat.” “I wanted to be a fellow and work for the Department of State, because that would give me the greatest opportunity to make an impact in public service and make a difference in general,” said Smith.

Smith, a political science major who also participated in the 2014 Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program, just finished an assignment teaching English to career professionals at the American English Center in Kiev, Ukraine. He plans to use the Rangel Fellowship to pursue a master’s degrees in International Relations and Public Administration at the Syracuse University Maxwell School beginning in July 2017. As a Rangel Fellow, Smith is working for a member of Congress on international issues this summer. In 2018, he will work overseas in a U.S. Embassy to get hands-on experience with U.S. foreign policy and Foreign Service. Upon graduation, Smith will become a U.S. diplomat, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to his country.

“In deepening his personal understanding of the global community and enlisting to enhance critical relationships of and with countries outside the U.S., DeAndre is a shining example of not just truth and service, but of the immediate and necessary impact Howard graduates have on the world and on younger generations of Howard University students,” said President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

As U.S. Embassy Luanda’s Political and Economic Section Chief, Chuka works to advance U.S. foreign policy priorities, especially in the area of economics and in promoting increased accountability in public institutions. Chuka is leading a team of ten at the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola that focuses on persuading the Angolan government to reverse the tide of corruption by improving accountability in Angola’s public sector institutions. As a cross-cutting objective, his work on public sector accountability also impacts a wide range of issues including in Angola’s multibillion dollar energy sector and even in the political realm as Angola’s young democracy faces a historic presidential election in 2017. Prior to serving in Angola, Chuka served as a financial economist in the Office of Development Finance at State Department, and served prior to that as State Department's representative at the World Bank in Washington, DC as well as tours at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai, and at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Chuka is a 2002 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Howard University, where he majored in Biology. After leaving Howard, Chuka worked for Goldman-Sachs as a financial analyst. Desiring to make a greater contribution to international cooperation in the economic arena, he applied for and received the Rangel Fellowship in 2004. As a Rangel Fellow, he received his Master of Science in Foreign Service, with a concentration in Commerce and Finance, from Georgetown University in May 2006. During the fellowship period, Chuka interned in the office of Congressman Robert Menendez of New Jersey and worked in the Economic Section in U.S. Embassy Nairobi. Chuka is from Maryland and has strong family ties to Howard. His father, Dr. Joseph Asike, is a long-time professor of philosophy at Howard University, and his brother Michael and sisters, Sophie and Cynthia, are also Howard graduates.

According to Chuka, “The Bunche Center is a valuable resource for aspiring diplomats. Named after one of America's most iconic diplomats, the Bunche Center imbues in me a strong sense of pride for the continuing contribution of African Americans and other minorities to diplomacy."
Emilia Adams, a 2003 Howard graduate and a 2004 Rangel Fellow, recently completed her tour as the Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize.  In this position, she assisted in advancing the Department’s mission of improving access to education, citizen security, the rights of women and girls, and environmental preservation through public diplomacy.  Prior to serving in Belmopan, she was the Desk Officer for Jamaica and the Bahamas in the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs; a Cultural Affairs Officer in the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore, Pakistan; a Vice Consul in the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa; and an Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in U.S. Embassy Mexico City.  Emilia is currently working as the Cultural Affairs Training Coordinator in the Public Affairs Division at the Foreign Service Institute. Emilia is married to Foreign Service Officer Ajani Husbands, and they have a sweet and precocious two year old son. 

Emilia is a 2003 graduate of Howard University, where she double majored in English and Political Science, and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While at Howard, Emilia studied abroad in both Mexico and South Africa, and participated in the Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. among other things.  She joined the Rangel Fellowship Program in 2004 and was in the first class of Rangel Fellows to enter the Foreign Service in 2006.  Through the Rangel Program, Emilia completed her MA in Political Science, with a concentration in International and Comparative Politics, at Georgia State University in May 2006.  Emilia did her congressional internship in the office of Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick of Michigan.  She also interned in summer 2005 at the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, where she worked on a wide variety of projects in the Public Affairs Section.  Emilia is a native to Memphis, Tennessee. According to Emilia, “Howard University was literally my portal to the rest of the world. Through Howard’s diverse academic landscape and excellent opportunities for professional development, I was able to prepare myself for a career on the frontlines of advancing U.S. foreign policy through public diplomacy.”
The Association of Black American Ambassadors (ABAA), a group of current and retired Senior Foreign Service Officers, have been long-time supporters of the Rangel Program, its fellows and scholars and Howard University.  On June 6, the ABAA, along with the Thursday Lunch Group, the African American affinity organization for foreign affairs agencies, hosted a welcoming reception for the 2017 Rangel and Pickering Fellows at the American Foreign Service Association.  The Fellows had an opportunity to chat with former ambassadors, who are fully invested in the success of these young people.  Pictured here are long-time Rangel Program supporters Ambassador Steve McGann, Ambassador Mattie Sharpless, Ambassador Larry Palmer, Ambassador Ruth A. Davis, and Ambassador Horace Dawson, former director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center.

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