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Maxwell School awarded graduate student fellowship grant by Robertson Foundation for Government

October 04, 2010

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs has named two inaugural Robertson Fellows, funded by a grant from the Robertson Foundation for Government. The two Robertson Fellows, who started their graduate professional program studies atthe Maxwell School this summer, are Charles DeLuca of Deerfield, Mass., who is pursuing a joint degree in international relations and economics, and Christopher Grant of Oakton, Va., who is pursuing a joint degree in public administration and international relations. Following graduation, the students will begin careers in the U.S. federal government.

The Maxwell School is one of only four graduate schools selected to receive funding for the fellows program from the Robertson Foundation for Government (RFFG), a nonprofit family foundation established to help the U.S. federal government attract the best and brightest to its ranks, something that is especially critical at a time when an unprecedented number of federal employees are, or soon will be, eligible for retirement.

According to RFFG Executive Director Timothy “Bo” Kemper, “This ‘human capital crisis’ comes at a time when the federal government’s needs and challenges have never been greater, particularly in the international arena. RFFG’s goal is to help fill this gap.”

Each year, the Maxwell School will work with RFFG to identify, encourage and fund two high-caliber U.S. graduate students who are committed to pursuing long-term federal government careers in foreign policy, national security or international affairs. The students will receive full tuition funding and a generous stipend to support their studies in one of the school’s dual master’s degree programs in the fields of public administration/international relations, international relations/economics or public administration/economics.

“The $480,000 four-year grant from RFFG provides the Maxwell School with a tremendous funding source for exceptional students to pursue the sort of public service careers on which the school’s professional training has— from its beginning—been focused,” says interim dean Michael Wasylenko. “The grant will provide significant funding for two students each year, allowing them to enter federal service with no education indebtedness and the kind of training and experience that has helped thousands of Maxwell graduates over the years to create successful careers in the federal government. We are extremely grateful to the Robertson family for its generosity.”

DeLuca and Grant are just the kind of bright young students that the program envisioned supporting when it was established last year. “What makes this program unique is that we’re virtually the only private foundation in the United States to be in this space, supporting students interested in pursuing federal government careers in foreign policy, national security and international affairs,” says William Robertson, RFFG chairman. “The Maxwell School was selected because it has one of the finest public affairs programs in the nation. This will help prepare Maxwell School graduates for careers in the federal government and U.S. Foreign Service Corps, and allow them to begin their careers without being thousands of dollars in debt.”

DeLuca earned a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University in 2005; Grant received a bachelor’s degree in history and policy with an international relations minor from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004.

As he begins graduate study, Grant observes that: “Living both overseas and in the U.S., I have always been inspired by the work of U.S. civil servants to promote freedom, security and prosperity. By supporting my studies at the Maxwell School, the Robertson Foundation has allowed me to gain the skills and knowledge needed to effectively implement U.S. international policy. I am very grateful for this excellent opportunity, and I am excited to begin my studies.”

DeLuca shares Grant’s enthusiasm and his commitment to public service. “I am deeply honored to join the Maxwell School as one of the inaugural Robertson Fellows and eager to embark upon this new journey. The fellowship will afford me the opportunity to study at one of the world’s pre-eminent schools of international and public affairs and then to apply what I have learned to a career serving our nation, one that I have anticipated for quite some time. Regrettably, the call to government service has waned in recent years, at a moment when skilled practitioners and critical thinkers are perhaps most needed. I hope to be part of a wave of change that sees more young graduates joining the men and women who are already dedicating their lives to making a difference at home and abroad. I would like to sincerely thank the Robertson family and foundation for this incredible opportunity.”

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