On December 4, Rachel Wong, Cohort 2011 I, was awarded a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a highly competitive nationwide selection process. The Rangel Fellowship, funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The fellowship will support Rachel through a two-year master’s degree in an area of relevance to the Foreign Service. It will also provide extensive professional development opportunities, including internships, mentors, and skills training. As part of the Rangel Program, Rachel will intern with a Member of Congress on issues related to foreign affairs in summer 2021. In summer 2022, the U.S. Department of State will send her overseas to intern in a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to get hands-on experience in U.S. foreign policy and the work of the Foreign Service. Upon successful completion of the program, Rachel will become a U.S. diplomat in summer 2023, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to her country. She will work to advance U.S. interests, protect American citizens, and promote peace and prosperity around the world.
Rachel was born and raised in Hong Kong until age eight when she immigrated to Atlanta, GA, where she still resides. She attended Reach for Excellence as part of Cohort I, and graduated from Lovett in 2019. While attending Macalester College, Rachel’s coursework in international law and human geography led to her interest in urban development and human rights in East Asia. In the spring of 2018, she embarked on a research project examining urban renewal initiatives in Hong Kong and the impact the programs had on displaced inhabitants, which later earned Rachel recognition from the American Association of Geographers. During her time as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, she co-taught elementary school students in rural Taiwan. She also witnessed democracy in action with the 2020 presidential election and the country’s successful response to the outbreak of COVID-19, culminating in a published editorial in the Taipei Times about Taiwan’s preemptive efforts to protect the island.
Rachel’s journey has now led her to the Rangel Fellowship, and she is excited about her career in diplomacy.
Upon receiving the fellowship, Rachel commented, “As a first-generation college student and an immigrant Hongkonger American, I’m proud to be a part of Congressman Rangel’s vision for the United States, a country where its strength truly lies in diversity. I’m excited to bring my own international experiences to help facilitate cross-cultural interactions as a future public diplomacy-coned officer. My participation in the Rangel Fellowship would not have been possible without unwavering love and guidance from my family and friends, as well as countless other professors, colleagues, and peers.”
More information may be found online at www.rangelprogram.org.