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 2018-2019 Fellows!

Menaka Nayyar

Volunteerism, though not unique to the United States, is a decidedly American phenomenon. During her fellowship, Menaka Nayyar will explore civic engagement and volunteerism in diverse communities across the country, focusing on how they contribute to social, institutional, and economic change. She will study civil society initiatives through the eyes of the people they serve and those who work for them, analyzing the demographics of volunteers, their motivations, and the outcomes of their work, especially on community development.

By interviewing volunteers and organization leaders for case studies, as well as participating herself, Menaka will study three broad categories of volunteerism:  electoral campaigns, particularly in the 2018 midterm elections and other recent elections; government and NGO programs that foster structured community service; and more informal citizen-led volunteerism, such as grassroots activism and faith-based community initiatives. She will pay particular attention to programs’ intended beneficiaries, the sustainability of various initiatives in terms of staffing, funding, momentum, local community buy-in, and the role of donors and philanthropy. Menaka will apply what she learns about best practices for civic engagement to help colleagues at the Department of State improve programmatic outreach to youth and civil society groups and form stronger partnerships with influential institutions and networks.

Working with civil society has been a consistent highlight of Menaka’s career during diplomatic postings in Italy, Estonia, Pakistan, Thailand, The Gambia, and Washington, DC. She previously volunteered as a tutor at a youth center in New York City and at a non-profit organization to help the children of human trafficking victims in Mumbai, India.

Connect with Menaka on LinkedIn.

Arati Shroff

As an Una Chapman Cox Fellow, Arati Shroff will research the evolving state of Chinese investment in the United States in emerging high tech industries.  In collaboration with industry, academia, and government, Arati will explore the implications of China taking on a leadership role in key high tech sectors that are expected to drive future global economic growth.  Arati will also analyze the changing landscape of high skilled talent migration in order to assess the United States’ ability to maintain its competitiveness in innovation and technology-driven industries.  Throughout the year, Arati will engage with U.S. audiences to share fresh perspectives from the field about China’s economy and highlight the important role of the Foreign Service in advancing U.S. economic interests.

U.S.-China economic policy has been a crosscutting theme for Arati since she first stepped foot in China in 2000 in the lead-up to China’s accession to the WTO.  In her most recent assignment at U.S. Consulate Shanghai, Arati collaborated with senior policymakers to advance U.S. priorities related to China’s macroeconomic situation, financial sector, and foreign investment climate.  Arati has also served in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asia and at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.  Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service, Arati worked in the finance industry in New York and Hong Kong and was a consultant with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in India.

Connect with Arati at ShroffA@state.gov and follow her adventures as an Una Chapman Cox Fellow on LinkedIn.

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
2017: Christopher Teal and Amy Storrow