As part of its long-term effort to identify and prepare future U.S. government leaders in the areas of national security, foreign policy and international affairs, the Robertson Foundation for Government (RFFG) launched its first major program at the start of the 2010-2011 academic year: the Robertson Fellows program.
Under this program, graduate students at select partner universities, all of whom have agreed to work for the federal government for a minimum of three of their first seven years after graduation – a program requirement – receive full scholarships and internship stipends. The first class of Robertson Fellows, announced in October 2010, included 11 students at four universities. Texas A&M University was added to the list of participating universities in 2011 and 17 new students at the five participating universities were named to the second class of Robertson Fellows at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year.
Government Service: “A Calling”
The Robertson Fellows program is modeled after the Service Academies in some ways, and a commitment to federal government service is integral to the program. Another program requirement is fluency in at least one foreign language.
The Robertson Foundation for Government is looking for top-quality graduate students who see government service as a potential calling and hope to become tomorrow’s foreign-policy leaders and help the United States formulate and implement policy. It is not looking for students who see a short-term stint in government as a stepping stone to something else or students who will be comfortable as anonymous cogs in a giant machine.
The Robertson Fellows program will enable selected students to pursue federal government careers without being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.
The Robertson family hopes the Robertson Fellows program will have a significant impact over time, as have the government-financed Fulbright Scholar Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State, and the Presidential Management Fellows Program, administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
We are committed to making our parents’ vision a reality: helping the United States navigate the difficult foreign policy shoals that lie ahead by preparing some of America’s most gifted and highly motivated students for federal government careers in foreign policy, national security, trade and related disciplines.
-William S. Robertson
Founding Chairman, RFFG