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 by preparing them for diplomacy and development careers. VIP helps provide the education, employment resources and mentorship needed to build strong, transformational leaders to represent American values around the world.


VIP began in 2014 as a public-private platform to help build and deploy partnerships between the U.S. government and private sector to mobilize networks that promote global affairs career opportunities for veterans.  In recent years, the U.S. Department of State has taken ownership by providing funding for each fellowship position and continues to provide the following elements of engagement to support veteran’s transition to diplomacy and development careers:

  • EDUCATION –Fellows 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; and
  • EMPLOYMENT –Get facilitated exposure to career opportunities in diplomacy and development.


The program was founded by the Office of Global Partnerships (GP):

– As the center of excellence for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors, and civil society, GP helped birth the program alongside external partners invested in supporting veterans employment after service.  Launched in 2008, GP builds and facilitates partnerships that leverage the creativity, innovation, and core business resources of partners for greater impact. GP remains a contributor to the Fellows each year and assists in carrying out programming activities. To learn more about GP, visit this webpage or email:

It is currently managed by the Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM):

– Leading the way on veteran’s Federal employment, GTM was the top choice to continue promoting and developing the VIP Fellowship for the U.S. Department of State. GTM has provided invaluable support and resources to the veterans involved in the VIP Fellowship each year. This bureau covers recruitment, assignment evaluation, promotion, discipline, career development, and retirement policies and programs for all Foreign and Civil Service employees agency-wide. To learn more about GTM and Veterans Employment Programs, visit this website or email


The program aims to assist veterans, retirees and service members transition from defense to diplomacy and development careers through a yearlong, paid professional Fellowship at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. During the year, Fellows are exposed to career opportunities and build experience holding a full-time Civil Service portfolio; gain valuable skills for working in the public or private sector; and receive mentoring from experienced professionals alongside the support and comradery stemming other high achieving Fellows and Alumni.


1. To provide veterans with hands on projects that will take advantage of and build on professional skill sets.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.