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 Foundation views the Sabbatical Leave Program not only as benefiting the recipients and their families, but also as benefiting the Service as an institution. 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 2016-2017 Fellows!

Luis Mendez

The goal of Luis’ sabbatical year is to strengthen underserved students researching, debating, leadership, and writing skills through Model United Nations and introduce them to the important work of the Department of State. He has partnered with Global Classrooms D.C. to implement this ambitious goal in public and charter high schools throughout Washington, D.C. Drawing from GCDC resources and his nearly eight years as a Model United Nations delegate, Luis helped design a yearlong lesson plan to help both educators and students understand the fundamentals of Model UN. The skills-focused lessons cover drafting position papers, negotiations, resolution writing, and public speaking. For students interested in learning more about topical issues, he put together a wide spectrum of lessons ranging from “Rethinking the Refugee Crisis” to “Responding to an International Drug Threat” to “The Fight Against Piracy and Terrorism in Somalia.” These are all topics on which Luis has worked closely in his Foreign Service career.

To provide practical exercises implementing these lessons, he helped draft three Model UN simulations. The simulations are designed to encourage students to learn, discuss, and explore today’s most pressing global issues through hands-on experience.  Students will be asked to think about the plight of refugees, averting a humanitarian disaster, and the mediatory role of the African Union.

In addition to developing a yearlong curriculum, he has worked hard to expand GCDC’s outreach to underserved schools in the Washington, D.C. area. Working with the DCPS’ main office, he contributed to the Principals’ Monthly Newsletter promoting GCDC resources and our partnership this year.  Through this broad outreach, he highlighted the important role of Model UN in challenging students to think critically about the world and the work of the Department of State. He also wrote a blog for the United Nations Association to help with recruitment of new schools that was shared with nearly 5,000 students and educators across the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area explaining why Model UN matters.

Margaret Diop

Margaret Diop is currently serving as an advisor and mentor to Native American Indian (NAI) community youth and young adults, educators, educational institutions, public officials, and non-governmental organization representatives that serve NAI communities in Los Angeles and Riverside Counties. Her work informs the NAI community – especially NAI youth – and engaged Native American Indian influencers and service providers about the Foreign Service and other U.S. Government development assistance agencies (including the U.S. Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development).

She hopes to inspire NAI youth and young adults to pursue careers in international affairs to add to the diversity of representation in Foreign Affairs by the NAI. Furthermore, her work communicates what opportunities international affairs careers can provide to the NAI communities and Tribal homelands.

In the early stages of her project, she has found that helping NAI youth and young adults understand the importance of their voices as direct participants in international affairs is an important aspect of successful awareness-raising.

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