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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.


Internship Support

Through 1:1 coaching and a cohort-only group chat where public sector internship opportunities are posted, Pelosi Scholars will receive support and guidance in obtaining an internship relevant to their specific academic interests and professional goals.

Funding Support

Pelosi Scholars will also receive a stipend in order to pursue a 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 already paid and/or only part-time will be funded on a partial basis.)

All Pelosi Scholar internships must meet at least 4 of the following criteria:

  1. be in the public interest, on behalf of or representing the public
  2. serving all members of a given community
  3. part of a governmental, non-profit or civil service organization
  4. offering government information or communication
  5. providing 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.

Mentorship & Training

Mentorship and experiential learning are the core of this program, and 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. And, of course, a meeting with the Pelosis.

In addition, Scholars will be matched with a mentor of their choice, and meet 1:1 at least twice in the spring semester, if not more.


Each cohort of Pelosi Scholars join a young but growing community of students, alumni Scholars, mentors and other practitioners. After finishing their summer internship, the Pelosi Scholars will reflect — both in writing and together — on their experience, and will serve as mentors to the next class of Scholars, as well as in future participants in Pelosi Scholar selection, teaching and mentoring.

Site Visits

Scholars will have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill and/or other federal departments/agencies in order to explore future career opportunities and connect with Hoyas in the field.

Pelosi Scholar student stand around Paul Pelosi and Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a group photo. Each person is wearing a mask.
Pelosi Scholars meet with Paul (SFS’62) and Nancy (H’02) Pelosi in December, 2021.

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How to Apply Anchor

How to Apply

Interested students must submit the application package (opening Sept 1, 2022), which includes:

  • Completed application form
  • Unofficial academic transcript
  • Resume
  • One letter of recommendation (from a professor or supervisor who knows your work, character, and commitment to public service)

Apply Now (Coming Soon! Sept 1, 2022)

Evaluation Criteria


Cohorts of Paul F. Pelosi Scholars consist of sophomores and juniors in the School of Foreign 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 an interview.

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FAQ Anchor


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 2023. 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 their internship will be in public service internationally, in their own country or here in the U.S.

Can I be a Pelosi Scholar if I will be studying abroad in the 2022-2023 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 2022-23 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 2023).

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 may be adjusted when the public service internship is part-time and/or paid.

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2023 Student Cohort Anchor

2023 Student Cohort

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Past Pelosi Scholar Cohorts Anchor

Past Pelosi Scholar Cohorts

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2022 Student Cohort

2021 Student Cohort

2022 Mentors Anchor

2022 Mentors

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, EarthJustice

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Contact Us Anchor

Contact Us

Program Director

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Headshot of Elizabeth Boesen


Elizabeth Boesen | MA in International Relations | Full Bio

  • Program Director, Paul F. Pelosi Scholars Initiative 
  • Asst. Director, Public Service Initiatives, SFS Career Center

Questions about the Paul F. Pelosi Scholars Initiative?

Email: Elizabeth.Boesen@georgetown.edu

Make an Appointment here (Click on Industry Advising → choose “International Affairs – BSFS Public Service” appointment type)

Program Advisor

Headshot of Fr. Christian Wagner

Fr. Christian Wagner, S.J.