On November 9, 2009, Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, established the Veterans Employment Initiative. The Initiative is a strategic approach to helping the men and women who have served our country in the military find employment in the Federal Government. In support of this initiative and in recognition of a veteran’s natural potential as a source of talent for diplomacy and development, the U.S. Department of State launched the Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP), a yearlong professional fellowship program aimed at serving U.S. Armed Forces veterans and transitioning service members, to prepare them for diplomacy and development careers, by providing education and employment resources and expertise to enhance America’s global leadership.

VIP began in 2014 as a public-private platform initiated to help build and deploy partnerships between the U.S. Government and U.S. Private sector to mobilize and build networks to promote foreign affairs career opportunities for veterans. Since the launch of VIP, the U.S. Department of State has taken ownership of the program and provides funding for each fellowship position directly. Program management continues to focus on partnership building to provide the following elements of engagement to support veteran’s transition to diplomacy and development careers:

  • EDUCATION Gain hands-on learning through work in a U.S. government foreign affairs agency
  • FELLOWSHIP Join talented and ambitious veterans that form the foundation of the fellowship class
  • EMPLOYMENT Get facilitated exposure to career opportunities in diplomacy and development

The program was founded by the Office of Global Partnerships, which is the center of excellence for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors, and civil society.  Launched in 2008, GP builds and facilitates partnerships that leverage the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of partners for greater impact.

It is currently managed by the Bureau of Human Resources, which handles recruitment, assignment evaluation, promotion, discipline, career development, and retirement policies and programs for the Department’s Foreign and Civil Service employees.


  • To provide opportunities for educated, high achieving veterans to gain experience in foreign policy so they may continue to serve the U.S. beyond the military.
  • To enable veterans to build on their existing experience to make them more competitive for permanent positions in professional foreign policy and international development careers.
  • To provide veterans with hands on projects that will take advantage of and build on professional skill sets.
  • To produce foreign affairs professionals working throughout U.S. global affairs agencies, the intelligence community, and the private sector, promoting the importance of veteran experience in leadership for diplomacy.