The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University is proud to announce that Michael Cruz 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 Michael 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 program, Michael will intern with a Member of Congress on issues related to foreign affairs in summer 2022.  In summer 2023, the U.S. Department of State will send him 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, Michael will become a U.S. diplomat in summer 2024, embarking on one of the most challenging and rewarding careers of service to his country.  He will work to advance U.S. interests, protect American citizens, and promote peace and prosperity around the world.

A native New Yorker from the Bronx, Michael received an associate degree in Liberal Arts and Science from Hostos and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the City College of New York. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad in Brazil and South Korea, and he participated in a service-learning project in urban farming in the Dominican Republic.  He later interned for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand supporting immigration and foreign affairs issues.  Michael also served in the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Facilitator in Peru, as well as a Placement and Assessment Specialist at Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Michael’s journey has now led him to the Rangel Fellowship, and he is excited about his career in diplomacy.  He credits his culturally diverse community in New York City for inspiring him to want to see the world.  Upon receiving the fellowship, Michael commented, "I want to thank my mother for all of her sacrifices, stressing the importance of a good education, and teaching me about the strength contained within my Puerto Rican heritage.  I am also thankful for my siblings, who always taught me to believe that I always deserve a seat at the table.  I am extremely humbled and hopeful about my future as a diplomat promoting human rights and economic development, and I especially look forward to opportunities to address issues that contribute to migration and social inequality.  Thank you to my family, friends, professors, mentors, and colleagues who have inspired and encouraged me throughout my journey.  I am overjoyed in knowing that so many unique and diverse experiences from around the globe lie ahead.”

About the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a U.S. Department of State program administered by Howard niversity 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.  More information may be found online at