Journalism, government and public policy professionals, including two Georgetown University alumni, are among this year’s cohort of School of Foreign Service Centennial Fellows for the 2019-20 school year.
This cohort marks the third year that the SFS has hosted a class of Centennial Fellows. All fellows are first nominated by faculty members, then reviewed by a Centennial Fellows Committee consisting of two faculty members and two students, according to Former Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs and Professor Anthony Arend. SFS Dean Joel Hellman made the final decisions on candidates.
The fellows will work closely with a group of SFS undergraduate students who are chosen as Junior Fellows based on consultations with the fellows and the dean’s office. The Junior Fellows, who will be announced by the dean’s office by Sept. 13, will work directly with the Centennial Fellows on specific projects relevant to each Centennial Fellow’s background, including organizing panels, preparing for media appearances and developing op-eds, according to Arend.
The Junior Fellows program fosters strong mentorship relationships between students and Centennial Fellows, according to Dean Hellman.
“What I’ve seen happen over the course of this Centennial Fellows program is that the students often build very deep relationships with the Centennial Fellows, and that has a mentoring dimension, that has a personal inspiration dimension,” Hellman said. “You can just see the depth and the warmth of the relationship that develops across these Centennial Fellows and Junior Fellows.”
William Priestap concluded his 21-year career with the FBI earlier this year after serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division from December 2015 to December 2018. The Centennial Fellows program allows for mutual learning between students and career professionals, according to Priestap.
“I most look forward to learning from GU students, faculty, and the other fellows. I’m sure many of them view the world very differently than me, and I can’t wait to hear their perspectives,” Priestap wrote in an email to The Hoya.
In addition to Priestap, the cohort includes Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Jill Dougherty (GRD ’13), Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development W. Gyude Moore (GRD ’09) and CARE USA’s Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice Bathsheba Crocker. The fellows will hold office hours with undergraduate students, work with courses in the SFS and participate in events on campus throughout the year.
Moore, who previously served as Minister for Public Works of Liberia, has worked in a multitude of positions within the Liberian government, including as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Having served in his role during a period when Liberia suffered the effects of the West African Ebola outbreak, Moore hopes to share the lessons he learned in a leadership position in a post-conflict, low income country.
“Very few people have the experience of crisis management with stakes that high,” Moore wrote. “I had to make decisions on the deployment of very limited resources over a significant infrastructure gap, amidst political considerations. I think the leadership lessons from those experiences will be useful for our students.”
The fellowship position serves as a chance for him to pass on the lessons he has learned to interested students, according to Moore.
“It was an opportunity to give back to a university and community that have given so much to me,” Moore wrote in an email to The Hoya. “Many of the students here will go on to assume leadership positions across different disciplines – it makes sense to share what I’ve learned before they head out.”
The SFS hopes that students take advantage of the access to the fellows’ expertise to make steps forward in their career and personal development, according to Hellman.
“Every year we’re always so fortunate to get a group of people who are experienced in different fields who have a lot to offer students in terms of mentoring, support, guidance and have a really diverse set of experiences,” Hellman said. “It creates an opportunity for a range of our students who are interested in different career paths to get to engage with them.”