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