On Tuesday, Howard president Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick met with Daniel Whitley, administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) to discuss their partnership in the new FAS Diversity Fellowship Program.

The new program will create job opportunities for minorities in the USDA allowing them to pursue careers in the U.S. foreign service.

The university says that the fellowship will provide funding and support for selected students to receive master’s degrees in agribusiness or agricultural economics at the accredited U.S. university of their choice. Fellows will participate in domestic and overseas internships with FAS and will be offered extensive mentoring and professional development opportunities.

“FAS is proud to launch this program in partnership with Howard University, one of the nation’s premier historically Black colleges and universities, to provide a path for outstanding minority students to become foreign service officers and support our mission of promoting trade and food security around the world,” Whitley said.

“Howard University has a proven track record of developing students from all backgrounds into diplomatic representatives and global leaders. The promise of this collaboration will strengthen USDA’s commitment to ensuring its foreign service team reflects the diversity of our country.”

The program will help ensure that FAS foreign service officers will reflect the diversity that is the strength of the United States.

“Howard University is honored to partner with the Foreign Agricultural Service in establishing this new fellowship program. The University has been a strong proponent of increasing the representation in policymaking and implementation since its founding more than 150 years ago,” Dr. Frederick said.

Dr. Frederick expresses his excitement for the program. “With 20 years of experience administering foreign service fellowships with other U.S. government agencies, we are eager to begin a successful partnership that will provide new opportunities for individuals and allow our government to benefit from the unique perspectives, backgrounds and skill sets that come from embracing diversity, equity, inclusion and access.”

Howard is currently in the process of recruiting the fellows for the program.