The mission of the Paul F. Pelosi Scholars Initiative (PSI) is to provide exceptional SFS sophomores and juniors with the professional skillset, network of practitioners/scholars and hands-on experience to prepare them to serve the public in their post-graduate careers. Students who are selected as Paul F. Pelosi Scholars are guided by a deep commitment to serving others, not simply “steering” public institutions on others’ behalf, and to promoting both effective governance and the wise stewardship of resources for the common good.
In keeping with the SFS’ century-long tradition of preparing students for public service and global leadership, PSI enables students to complement their rigorous academic coursework with mentorship and professional experience in order to recognize their full potential as people for others.
Pelosi Scholars are responsible for finding their own public service internships. However, they have unlimited access to 1:1 coaching, a cohort-only group chat, and other support of their search. In addition, Scholars are provided with guidance and support during their internships, both 1:1 and as a cohort.
Pelosi Scholars receive a stipend in order to pursue an unpaid, full-time summer internship in public service. (Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for fall and/or spring internships. Likewise, internships that are paid and/or only part-time will be funded on a partial basis.)
All Pelosi Scholar internships must meet all of the following criteria:
- be in the public interest, on behalf of or representing the public
- serve all members of a given community
- be part of a governmental, non-profit or civil service organization
- provide an essential good or service to the public without direct charge.
PSI internships may not be fulfilled at for-profit organizations and may not include funding for curricular education or professional training.
Professional Development & Networking
Interactions with current public servants, experiential learning, and professional development are the core of this program. Paul F. Pelosi Scholars can expect to attend monthly meetings (6 total over the academic year), including trainings, informal discussions, formal networking and career skills sessions with experts and practitioners, throughout the academic year, but mostly centered on the spring semester. It is our intention to have incoming and outgoing Scholar cohorts meet with Paul and/or Nancy Pelosi in the fall.
Community & Service
Each cohort of Pelosi Scholars joins a growing community of alumni Scholars who continue to give back. After finishing their summer internship, the Pelosi Scholars commit to reflecting — both in writing and together as a group — on their experience. They also commit to then serve as mentors to the next class of Scholars, as well as in future Pelosi Scholar cohort selection, teaching, networking and mentoring.
Scholars will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and/or another federal agency in order to explore future career opportunities and connect with Hoyas in the field.Back to Top
How to Apply
Interested sophomore and juniors in the SFS must submit an application package via Handshake, which includes:
- Completed application form
- Unofficial academic transcript
- One letter of recommendation (from a professor or supervisor who knows your work, character, and commitment to public service)
Applicants are evaluated based on:
- demonstrated interest in and commitment to public service
- professional and leadership experience
- academic performance
- commitment to Georgetown’s values
The selection process is holistic and includes both the written application and, for semi-finalists, an interview.Back to Top
What is the commitment in terms of time during the spring semester?
Pelosi Scholars are expected to attend a variety of activities, trainings and events throughout the semester. They must be able to commit to a Friday 12-1PM class in the spring semester. (Which is a zero-credit entry on their transcript.) While the cohort will only meet 1-3 times/month, Scholars must commit to leaving that time open weekly.
How much is the summer internship stipend?
Students with unpaid, fulltime internships of at least 8 weeks received $6500 in 2023. (That amount is subject to change in either direction.) Students with paid and/or part-time internships receive a prorated fellowship. The minimum a Scholar receives is $1000.
Do I have to find my own internship or does the Pelosi Scholars Initiative find it for me?
You are responsible for finding and applying to your public service internship for the Summer of 2024. That said, you are provided with considerable support in doing so, including 1:1 coaching, a group chat with internship postings, skills development and networking opportunities.
Can international students apply?
Yes, as long as they are committed to a career in public service, and their Summer 2024 internship will be in public service either in their own country or here in the US, e.g. at a service-oriented NGO.
Can I be a Pelosi Scholar if I will be studying abroad in the 2023-2024 school year?
No. As much of the PSI experience is gained through in-person meetings, trainings, and mentoring conversations, students who are studying abroad during the 2023-24 academic year are not eligible to be Pelosi Scholars that year.
Students are able to do their public service summer internship abroad (e.g. State Department summer internships are common among Pelosi Scholars, for example, as is working at an NGO overseas), and are also able to study abroad during the semester following their summer internship (i.e. Fall 2024).
Can I work in any part of the federal government? How about state or local government?
Yes! An internship in any part or level of government public service is eligible.
What if I only find a part-time internship? What if it’s only half of the summer? What if it’s paid? Do I still get the stipend?
The stipend will be adjusted when the public service internship is part-time and/or paid. All internships must be at least 8 weeks long.Back to Top
2023 Student Cohort
Atlanta, GA | Culture & Politics
Lima, Peru | Intl. Political Economy
New York City, NY | Science, Technology, & Intl. Affairs
Hudson, NH | Intl. Politics
Cary, NC | Science, Technology, & Intl. Affairs
Nashville, TN | Science, Technology, & Intl. Affairs
Guangzhou, China; Lawrenceville, NJ | Science, Technology, & Intl. Affairs
Baltimore, MD | Intl. Politics
San Salvador, El Salvador | Business & Global Affairs
San Ramon, CA | Intl. Economics
Ridgewood, NJ | Intl. Politics
Rye Brook, NY | Culture & Politics
Brussels, Belgium | Business & Global Affairs
Venezuela; Cincinnati, OH | Business & Global Affairs
Potomac, MD | Intl. Political Economy
Past Pelosi Scholar Cohorts
2022 Student Cohort
Brian Zhu (The Atlantic Council)
Chendi Liu (U.S. Dept. of State, Papua New Guinea)
Cimrun Srivistava (Generations for Peace, Jordan)
Elena Sapelyuk. (Peace Authors)
Joyce Yang (U.S. Dept. of State)
Karen Samy (U.S. Dept. of State)
Laura Rockefeller (U.S. Dept. of State)
Lily Erickson (Vital Voices Global Partnership)
Mariana Guzmán (Prep for Prep)
Marisa Morrison (GIWPS)
Nirvana Khan (U.S. Dept. of Commerce)
Zahra Wakilzada (U.S. House of Representatives)
2021 Student Cohort
Anya Wahal (World Wildlife Fund)
Atharv Gupta (U.S. Dept. of State)
Channing Lee (U.S. Dept. of State)
Divjot Bawa (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
Irmak Sensöz (Middle East Institute)
Julio Salmeron-Perla (U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs)
Lee Iskandar (U.S. Senate)
Margaux Ochoa (U.S. House of Representatives)
Masaraat Asif (World Affairs Council)
Zulekha Tasneem (PATH/ Global Health Technologies Coalition)
2020 Student Cohort
Agnieszka Krotzer (Private Counterintelligence Firm)
Arash Abbas (National Endowment for Democracy)
Elizabeth Ash (States and Institutions of Governance in Latin America [SIGLA])
Grant Castle (Business Executives for National Security [BENS])
Patrick Walsh (Center for Global Health Science and Security)
Satya Adabala (GIWPS)
Varsha Menon (Peace TechLab)
2019 Student Cohort
Brenden Ebertz (Council on Foreign Relations)
Caleb Yip (U.S. Dept. of State)
Jon Furlong (Gerakan Kepedulian Indonesia)
Mena Mohamed (U.S. Dept. of State)
Millie Heeu Kim (CSIS)
Morgan Smith (Brookings Institution)Siona Sharma (The World Bank + the govt. of Maharashtra, India)
2023 Public Service Leader Participants
Stephanie Arzate (U.S. Dept. of State)
Carla Gomes Briones (UN Development Program)
Faith Corneille (U.S. Dept. of State)
Sandra Dickison (U.S. Dept. of Energy)
John Jordan (Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention, USAID)
Lynn Massengill (U.S. Dept. of State)
Vanessa J. Panaligan (World Bank)
Maria Rendon (USAID)
Melysa Sperber (Solidarity Center)
Carl Watson (U.S. Dept. of State)
Tina Wong (U.S. Dept. of State)
Clifton Yin (U.S. Dept. of Energy)Back to Top
2022 Public Service Leader Participants
Krystin Borgognone, Deputy Director for Programs, The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State
Lauren Bean Buitta, Founder and CEO, Girl Security
Olja Busbaher, Grants Officer, Malala Fund
Margaret Ferrato, Senior Analyst, Global Climate, Environmental Defense Fund
Anna Hartge, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
Elizabeth Mohan, Senior Transition Advisor, Office of Transition Initiatives, U.S. Agency for International Development
Kirby Shea Neuner, Peacekeeping Advisor, U.S. Department of State; former Lebanon desk at the U.S. Agency for International Development
Katarina O’Regan, Foreign Policy Analyst, Congressional Research Services
Mónica Pellerano, Cyber Policy Initiative, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Lara Sulzman, Humanitarian Protection Advisor, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development
Hana Vizcarra, Senior Attorney, EarthJusticeBack to Top
DirectorBack to Top
Elizabeth Boesen | MA in International Relations | Full Bio
Questions about the Paul F. Pelosi Scholars Initiative?