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 Spring, with a Summer 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 2021-2022 Fellows!

Gillian Apfel

Gillian Apfel first learned about tikkun olam – the fixing of the world – as part of her religious education growing up in New York and it has inspired her life’s path. At Yale, she worked with at-risk youth and in AIDS education. While studying law at Harvard, she was Vice President of the Legal Aid Bureau and led its AIDS Practice Group. As a lawyer in Seattle, Gillian was also guided by tikkun olam: including representing domestic violence survivors, and refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking.

During her fellowship year, she looks forward to better combining her Jewish heritage with her identity as a diplomat. First, she is researching historical antisemitism in the State Department as addressed by the Secretary on Holocaust Remembrance Day this year. And then she is conducting outreach to the Jewish American community on our programs that would be of particular interest to them — with a concentration on connecting with college students.

Throughout her 15-year Foreign Service career, Gillian has helped others through consular work, crisis response, refugee admissions, and human resources and equal opportunity counseling. She is committed to diversity and inclusion in the institution. Overseas, she has served in Jamaica, Thailand, Iraq, Canada, and Italy.

Manju Sadarangani 

Manju Sadarangani takes care of her people.  A passionate and empathetic leader, Manju will spend her Una Chapman Cox sabbatical studying Yoga and meditation vectors to address the hidden traumas of the foreign service lifestyle.  Focusing on mind-body nexus techniques validated by cutting-edge research, she intends to leverage practical, safe, hands-on techniques for use by Department of State personnel.

Her commitment to the Department of State led to the creation of the Director General’s Manager’s Support Unit in March 2020.  The MSU provides expert, timely guidance to managers dealing with complex conduct and performance issues.  As a public diplomacy officer, Manju has implemented counter-propaganda campaigns with foreign governments and non-government partners, and has briefed media and Congressional committees on policy implementation.

Manju previously worked in disaster relief at the American Red Cross, managing the response to Hurricane Katrina. She deployed to Gujarat, India on a disaster response team as an American India Foundation Clinton Fellow.

In her life outside the foreign service, Manju is an avid yogi and accomplished visual artist.  Her jury-selected works have been featured in the “Women Role Models: Changing the World” and “Containment: Stories of Art in Isolation” national exhibits (manjusadarangani.com).

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: Karen Choe and Katelyn Choe
2009: Catherine Rodriguez and Howard A. Van Vranken
2010: Kelly Adams-Smith and Margot Carrington
2011: Kim Dubois and Jennifer Johnson
2012: Wendy Barton and Steven Newhouse
2013: Maeve Dwyer and Rebecca Ross
2014: Louis Fintor and Sherry Zalika Sykes
2015: John Espinoza and Aaron Sampson
2016: Margaret Diop and Luis Mendez
2017: Amy Storrow and Christopher Teal
2018: Menaka Nayyar and Arati Shroff
2019: Jeremy Beer and Christine DalBello
2020: Ann DeLong and Claire Smolik