The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University is proud to announce Mayeen Mohammedi was awarded a 2022 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 Mohammedi 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, Mohammedi will intern with the House Foreign Affairs Committee this summer. Next summer, 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.

Mayeen Mohammedi
Mayeen Mohammedi

Upon successful completion of the program, Mohammedi will become a U.S. diplomat in summer 2024, 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.

Mohammedi is a Hyderabadi Indian-American from southern California. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from UNM before moving to The Gambia to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  After her service, she joined the public information and communications team at the United Nations Department of Safety and Security. She is currently the Peace Corps Country Desk Officer for Armenia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. 

This fall, she will begin a master’s degree program in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights at American University’s School of International Service. Mohammedi speaks Hindi/Urdu, Sarahule, and conversational Spanish.  She has traveled to 44 countries across six continents and aspires to one day be the first Muslim woman to visit every country in the world.

"My journey toward a career in diplomacy began with my decision to serve in the Peace Corps. Several members of my family tried their best to stop me because they knew that Peace Corps conflicted with their ultimate purpose for me, an arranged marriage,” Mohammedi said. “They broke my laptop, destroyed important paperwork, and even stole my passport. The patriarchal culture that I grew up in teaches girls from a very young age that their sole purpose in life is to get married and serve men. 

"I knew viscerally that I wanted more out of life than just marriage.  I wanted to learn foreign languages, engage in international politics, and above all, utilize my skills to serve a greater purpose. As a diplomat, I hope to inspire women to take control of their own destinies. I want to empower the countless women who are told that they need a man's permission to travel. My message to women and girls is: Don’t ask anyone for permission to pursue your dreams. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard University under a cooperative agreement with the Office of Talent Acquisition, Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM/TAC).  The Rangel Program aims to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. 

Established in 2003, the Rangel Program selects outstanding fellows annually in a highly competitive nationwide selection process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring and professional development activities. Individuals who have successfully completed the Rangel Program are now serving as diplomats around the world, contributing to a more diverse representation and effective execution of U.S. foreign policy.  

For more information, visit Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program.