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University of Notre Dame junior awarded Pickering Fellowship

Author: Arts and Letters


Michael McKenna, an anthropology major from Drexel Hill, Pa., has been awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

The fellowship is funded by the United States Department of State and is administered by the Wilson Foundation. The fellowship program seeks to recruit talented students in academic programs relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. Its goal is to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a career as a foreign service officer with the State Department.

McKenna, who also is pursuing a peace studies program, was chosen from more than 1,000 applicants.

Pickering was one of the most distinguished and capable American diplomats of the 20th century. He held the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, and served as ambassador to Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, India and the Russian Federation. He finished his career as under secretary of state for political affairs.

Originally published by William G. Gilroy at on May 24, 2006.