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 2020-2021 Fellows!

Ann DeLong

Ann is committed to bolstering the Foreign Service and encouraging and mentoring the best and brightest from all walks of life to represent their government abroad. Passionate about public service, Ann has worked for four government agencies over the past 25 years.  Her goal during her fellowship year is to give back by sharing that experience and zeal with young people, developing their interests, and helping them explore new opportunities.   

As a former high school teacherAnn’s affinity for young adults and belief that exposing them to diverse opinions and opportunities during adolescence can have a transformative effect on their lives drives her project Her two children recently graduated from high school and their lives have clearly been influenced by experiences and encounters they had living in other countries.  Ann’s project encompasses outreach to high schools across the country to present talks and information about the Foreign Service. Her proposal is to target underrepresented areas and populations, to work through the school districts to engage directly with the students in the classrooms or through career fairs and assemblies, to encourage students to think broadly about their careers, and to identify perceived barriers they may face.  By doing so, Ann hopes to inspire a broader and more diverse student cohort to consider public service overseas.  

Ann has lived overseas for 17 of the past 23 yearsin El Salvador, Lithuania, Nigeria, Colombia, Peru and Brazil She speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese and recently completed her MBA at Fundação Getúlio Vargas.

Claire Smolik

Families are not only the support network for Foreign Service Officers, they are unofficial diplomats themselves.  Their stories – of moving to a new country, making new friends, learning a new language, going to a new school, changing jobs – are often the most relatable to their fellow Americans. During her fellowship year, Claire will focus on increasing understanding of the Foreign Service lifestyle to improve retention while also giving new audiences an appreciation of the work done by Foreign Service Officers and their families. 
Claire is creating an interactive multi-media exhibit to document the real-life stories of Foreign Service families who serve as “diplomats behind the scenes” to reveal and record the compelling, but often challenging journeys of Foreign Service families.  The exhibit will showcase the personal adventures, reflections, and perspectives on Foreign Service life from within the community aimed at reaching a broad audience, including potential Foreign Service Officers, their partners, children, extended families, as well as the general public. 
Prior to her Cox fellowship, Claire headed the South Korea Unit at the Department of State.  Claire’s overseas assignments included Berlin, Kabul, and Stockholm.  She also served in the office covering NATO affairs and as a Watch Officer and Senior Watch Officer in the Department’s 24/7 Operations Center. 

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