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 2022-2023 Fellows!

Sandra Jacobs 

Sandy Jacobs received her first telescope in 1986 to search for Halley’s Comet in the night sky.  While the Challenger explosion tempered her early interest in space exploration, it reemerged when NASA’s New Horizons mission captured her own children’s imagination.  Sandy then led the development of the Department’s first space diplomacy slate of expert speakers and facilitated U.S. Speaker Programs at diplomatic missions around the world to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.  

During her Cox Fellowship, Sandy looks forward to exploring the work of public and private sector “space ambassadors,” using digital storytelling to augment the contributions of past, present, and future leaders of space exploration and commercialization.  She also looks forward to connecting with educators and university students interested in foreign affairs. 

Sandy’s Foreign Service career, which includes assignments in India, Tajikistan, Estonia, Washington, and Uzbekistan, has focused on bridging the gap between public diplomacy and policy advocacy – especially in exchange programs, cybersecurity, and human rights.  She began her career at Citigroup as a Leadership Development Associate and later Assistant Vice President, then answered a personal call to public service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine and a Program and Training Officer at Peace Corps HQ. 

Leslie Moeller

Leslie Moeller is committed to strengthening the Department of State as an institution for the benefit of U.S. foreign policy and the colleagues who implement it.

In an era of increasing globalization and citizen empowerment, there is an enormous amount of cultural, financial, and political exchange occurring at the state and local level outside traditional bilateral and multilateral channels.  The need to bolster subnational ties has taken on even greater importance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her fellowship, Leslie will examine U.S. municipalities’ foreign outreach and identify concrete steps that our embassies and consulates can take to better facilitate relationships between U.S. cities and their counterparts abroad.  She likewise intends for these recommendations to enable individual Foreign Service officers to foster new connections across the United States.

Leslie joined the Foreign Service in 2006 and has participated in several Department-wide and management reform efforts over the course of her career.  Her work with large teams of both U.S. and foreign nationals in crisis and non-crisis situations has shown her both the practical and human impacts of organizational inefficiencies and the successes dedicated colleagues can achieve despite them.  She has served in Washington, D.C., as well as in Mali, Afghanistan, India, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia.

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 Vonda 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
2021: Gillian Apfel and Manju Sadarangani