About the Sabbatical Fellowships

The Una Chapman Cox Foundation Sabbatical Leave Fellowships were started shortly after the Foundation’s creation, and Mrs. Cox took special interest in the program until her death in 1982. She saw the Sabbaticals as a way of enabling particularly promising Foreign Service Officers to reacquaint themselves with the United States and in the process to recharge their batteries and reaffirm their personal commitment to the Foreign Service.

The Sabbatical Fellows Program benefits the Foreign Service through the personal enrichment of Foreign Service Officers, who develop as thought-leaders and representatives of the U.S. Department of State throughout the course of their Fellowships. Fellows help increase public awareness of and support for the Foreign Service, and are expected to contribute to the Foundation’s outreach activities in the communities and institutions where they work during their fellowship.

Interested in applying?

The Una Chapman Cox Sabbatical Leave Fellowships are available to Foreign Service Employees (Generalists and Specialists), Grade FS-01 and FS-02 in any cone. Program information is usually available from the State Department in December, with a June application deadline. The fellowship begins in August and lasts for 12 months.

Interested applications must comply with the application guidelines set forth by the Professional Development and Training Unit (PDU). A Department of State Selection Panel, in consultation with the Cox Foundation, awards the fellowships.

Please note that the Cox Foundation staff do not provide feedback on proposals during the application process.

Meet our 2017-2018 Fellows!

Christopher Teal

Christopher Teal discovered the amazing story of Ebenezer D. Bassett during his first tour in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  Bassett, appointed by President U.S. Grant in 1869, served with distinction and honor in Haiti and the Dominican Republic but sadly had been forgotten to history.  Teal later wrote the biography, Hero of Hispaniola, to highlight this incredible diplomat. As an Una Chapman Cox Sabbatical Fellow, Chris will expand on his research to produce the documentary in cooperation with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, The Journey of Statesman: Ebenezer D. Bassett, America’s First Black Diplomat.

The film will document Bassett’s life story and his importance as the first African-American diplomat.  Bassett was a role model not simply for his symbolic importance, however.  His concern for human rights, leadership, and courage in the face of threats during his tenure place him among the greats of diplomatic and American history.

Bassett’s legacy demonstrates to broader audiences what diplomats have accomplished and what they do in today’s complicated environment.  Bringing in contemporary voices of minority diplomats will be a crucial component of why diversity in foreign affairs is so crucial for successful engagement today.  

Deadline for release of the documentary and related multimedia components is 2019, in time to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Bassett’s historic diplomatic appointment to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Amy Storrow

At her last post in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Amy Storrow ran meeting labs, which offered her the opportunity to play with different meeting styles. She designed two meeting spaces: The Collaboratory, a studio for ECA’s innovation shop, and The Aquarium, a shared space for her team. These spaces offered themselves up to different innovative meeting styles and virtual capabilities that allowed for greater communication and cross-collaboration. Having observed an increase in both the morale and productivity of those who utilized those workspaces, Amy views meetings as an opportunity for organizational change.

For her sabbatical year, Amy will expand on her experiences and study the intersection between organizational design and workplace design, and how this can affect productivity and morale of State Department employees. Through the Cox Sabbatical Fellowship, Amy will study various aspects of conducting a successful meeting by sitting in on dozens of meetings throughout the federal government and the private sector, and interviewing noted experts on decision-making, meetings, and workplace culture. Amy intends to learn from contemporary American culture outside the State Department to recognize opportunities for organizational change within the meeting culture of the State Department.

Follow Amy along the way on Medium.


Featured Past Fellow

Sherry Zalika Sykes – Understanding Violence

During her sabbatical year, Sherry undertook research, writing, teaching and activism on violence prevention and intervention, both independently and with Yale University and the organization Cure Violence. Sherry’s blog, Understanding Violence, highlights her work. She writes: “This sabbatical, generously supported by the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, has enabled me to become engaged in examining the causes and consequences of violence, and then to educate others about strategies to prevent violence in all its forms both at home in America and abroad. This blog space results.”

Sherry delivered the keynote address and received an award at the Washington D.C. US District Attorney’s Office’s National Crime Victim’s Rights Week.

Past Sabbatical Fellows

1981: Richard L. Jackson, John H. Kelly and Robert Tynes
1982: Lionel A. Rosenblatt and John J. Taylor
1983: Douglas S. Kinney, Michael Michaud and David Morrison
1984: Jo Ann Hardee Collinge, Laurence E. Pope and Robert Immerman
1985: Mark Hambley, Luciano Mangiafico and David Sloan
1986: Timothy M. Carney, Jeannette P. Dubrow and Raymond F. Smith
1987: Manuel Barrera, Larry G. Butcher, and Mark A. Tokola
1988: David T. Jones and Edmund Van Gilder
1989: John M. Evans, Christopher J. La Fleur and Bismark Myrick
1990: Peter D. Eicher and Theresa C. Jones
1991: Donald C. Johnson and Ronald W. Mortensen
1992: Anita S. Booth, David D. Pearce and Donald E. Terpstra
1993: Laura Livingston, Sally V. Slocum, and Inez G. Kerr
1995: Soching Tsai
1996: Daniel Russell
1997: Karen Volker
1998: Brian L. Browne
1999: Elizabeth Ewing

2000: Patricia H. Scroggs and John L. Withers II
2001: Kathleen Kavalec and Kirsten Ann Schulz
2002: Mark Bezner and Vinda Kimble Delawie
2003: Lois A. Cecsarini and Marc D. Koehler
2004: Lynne E. Donovan and Bruce P. Kleiner
2005: Samuel C. Laeuchli and Karen M. Morrissey
2006: Lora Berg
2007: John Pommersheim and Ava Rogers
2008: Katelyn Choe and Karen Choe
2009: Catherine Rodriguez and Howard A. Van Vranken
2010: Kelly Adams-Smith and Margot Carrington
2011: Jennifer Johnson and Kim Dubois
2012: Wendy Barton and Steven Newhouse
2013: Maeve Dwyer and Rebecca Ross
2014: Sherry Zalika Sykes and Louis Fintor
2015: Aaron Sampson and John Espinoza
2016: Margaret Diop and Luis Mendez