Ben Anderson, left, and Cornelius Sanford

Two University of Louisville graduates are the first to be awarded fellowships in the same year in related U.S. Department of State programs that promote diversity in Foreign Service careers.

Ben Anderson, who graduated from UofL in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, was awarded a 2022 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship. Cornelius Sanford, who graduated from UofL in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and pan-African studies, won a 2022 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship.

“It is tremendously exciting for UofL to have even one recipient selected for either of these prestigious fellowships,” said Bethany Smith of UofL’s Office of National and International Scholarships. “To have two in a single year is unprecedented. Congratulations to Ben and Cornelius, who will both go on to fulfilling careers in the Foreign Service.”

Previously, only one UofL graduate had won a Pickering Fellowship (Ashley Gray, 2005), and one a Rangel Fellowship (Zerlina Bartholomew, 2019).

The sibling programs are aimed at attracting individuals “from all ethnic, racial and social backgrounds who have an interest in pursuing a Foreign Service career” with the state department.

The difference in the programs — both of which are worth up to $42,000 a year for recipients to earn a two-year master’s degree — is primarily in the focus of their domestic internship component. Pickering Fellows intern at the state department in Washington, D.C., while Rangel Fellows intern on Capitol Hill focusing on Congress’ role in foreign policy.

Anderson, a Louisville native, won a Fulbright English Teaching Grant to Taiwan in 2019 and is the son of two UofL English department faculty members, Karen Chandler and David Anderson. He plans to study public policy.

Sanford, of Eminence, Kentucky, graduated from UofL in 2019. Afterward, he held two internships in Cape Town, South Africa. In addition, he is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Educator in rural Madagascar. He hopes to pursue international affairs and diplomacy in his graduate studies, focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa.

Among their numerous accomplishments, both were fellows of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program at University of California, Berkeley. Anderson was a UofL Brown Fellow, a Woodford R. Porter Scholar and a Muhammad Ali Scholar. Sanford was a Martin Luther King Scholar.

The state department represents the U.S. at more than 270 diplomatic locations around the world, including embassies, consulates and missions to international organizations.