Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Robertson Foundation for Government do?

The RFFG does many things that support our mission to identify, educate and inspire America’s brightest graduate students to pursue rewarding careers with the federal government.

Primarily, we fund the Robertson Foundation Fellowship Program for students attending five top graduate schools. Fellows receive full scholarships and internship stipends if they agree to one requirement – to work for the federal government for three of their first five years after graduation.

And we support efforts to strengthen the federal government and its capacity to recruit and retain top-level talent, especially in the areas of foreign policy, national security and international affairs.

Why encourage young people to work in the federal government?

Because the federal government is facing a human resources and talent crisis. An unprecedented number of federal government employees are now, or soon will be, eligible for retirement, leading to what some have identified as a potential “human capital crisis.” According to a 2008 report by the Office of Personnel Management, more than 60 percent of all full-time, permanent federal government employees will be eligible to retire by 2016. Two agencies that have the highest need for employees are the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. Despite the expected talent drain as members of the Baby Boom generation retire, the federal government’s needs and challenges have never been greater. The Robertson Foundation for Government will help fill this need.

Who are the Foundation’s partner institutions?

The RFFG is proud to partner with some of the nation’s top graduate schools with international studies, foreign policy, and international relations programs. Since establishing the RFFG in 2010, we have established strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with the following institutions:

The Maxwell School – Syracuse University
The Bush School of Government and Public Service – Texas A&M University
The Fletcher School – Tufts University
Maryland School of Public Policy – University of Maryland
School of Global Policy and Strategy – University of California San Diego

Does RFFG have a political focus or party affiliation?

No. Our sole focus is helping the federal government recruit and retain America’s top young minds to pursue careers in international relations, foreign policy and national defense. We are not affiliated with any political party and our board is comprised of members from a variety of political backgrounds.

Does the Foundation take specific foreign policy issues?

Our efforts are solely focused on human capital issues and deepening the talent pool for the federal government in the key area of international relations and national defense. But we do believe that the federal government’s needs and challenges have never been greater because of these and other issues.

Our interest is in clearing the path for young people to pursue rewarding careers with the federal government. We are not a foreign policy organization and thus are not active in that arena.

Can I apply directly to RFFG for a grant or scholarship?

Our partner universities administer the Robertson Fellow Program. You must apply directly to the colleges and universities working with RFFG.

Does the foundation work with undergraduate as well as graduate students?

At this time, only graduate students are eligible to become RFFG Fellows.

What are some of the requirements under the Fellows Program?

Our primary goal is to strengthen the ranks of federal government, especially in the areas of international relations, foreign policy and national defense. Therefore, we require that students who become Robertson Fellows work for the federal government for 3 of the first 7 years after graduation. Fellows are also required to achieve proficiency in a foreign language upon graduation.

Does RFFG work with the government to place program alumni in jobs?

When we started this Foundation, we knew it wasn’t enough to fund scholarships and fellowships. We knew we needed to go further if we wanted to make our mission a reality.

That’s why every Robertson Fellow receives a commitment from us to assist them in finding relevant internships and jobs within the federal government. We are able to do this through our many partners and supporters in Washington DC and throughout the country.

Who runs RFFG?

A family board runs RFFG. The family board receives counsel from a distinguished independent Advisory Board whose members are among the foremost leaders in the areas of federal human resources, national defense, recruiting and education.

What are RFFG’s primary funding interests?

RFFG’s funding is focused on identifying, educating and inspiring the best and brightest U.S. graduate students who are committed to pursuing long-term federal government careers in foreign policy, national security and international affairs in order to strengthen the federal government and its capacity to recruit and retain top-level talent.

How are the RFFG and its programs funded?

The RFFG is privately funded organization founded and fully supported by the Robertson Family to honor the legacy of the late Charles and Marie Robertson.

Stephan Laroche (Fletcher ’14, PMF Fellow) & Advisor Michael Schneider Ph. D.