Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship

The Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship is a one-year fellowship program designed to provide a dynamic professional development experience to Howard University students with a demonstrated interest in public affairs. Established to honor one of Howard University’s most illustrious alumni, the fellowship provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the public affairs landscape and the competencies necessary to pursue such a career. The fellowship is administered through the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center and will aid students in recognizing the central role of public affairs in an increasingly global world.

Over the course of the fellowship year, fellows will engage in three major programmatic components: mentorship, internship, and the Patricia Roberts Harris Annual Lecture in Public Affairs. In addition, fellows will be tasked with participating in various service-learning opportunities to continue building on the skills learned and strengthened during their internship.

Fellows will receive a stipend of between $2500 – $5000 for the summer internship. Funds will be determined by need, class status (undergraduate or graduate), and internship location (domestic or international).

Mentorship – The PRH Fellowship offers fellows the unique opportunity to gain one-on-one mentorship and guidance from an accomplished international public affairs professional.

  • Fellows and Mentors will meet at least once a month to discuss career goals and interests.
  • Fellows will be required to submit brief blog reflections during the mentorship and internship component of the fellowship.

Internship – PRH Fellows will be placed at a summer internship internationally or in D.C., with the goal of supplementing coursework, encouraging students to consider a career in public affairs, and assuring students stand out in the competitive job market.

  • International internships will be facilitated through one of the many service providers and partners of the Howard University Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center (Bunche Center). The international experience will not only strengthen fellows’ awareness of relevant themes in international public affairs, but also provide them with marketable skills.
  • Domestic internships will take place in D.C. with exceptions as appropriate. The nation’s capital features a grand network of organizations dedicated to international public affairs. Fellows will benefit from the close proximity to many dedicated career professionals.
  • Fellows may opt to create their own internship experience that will be subject to the PRH Program Coordinator’s approval.
  • Fellows will be required to submit blog posts to serve as a record of their internship experience.

Patricia Roberts Harris Annual Lecture – PRH Fellows will assist with the planning and logistics of the lecture, which is designed to encourage critical analysis on timely issues in the field of international public affairs.

  • The PRH Annual Lecture convenes speakers to discuss pressing socio-political issues, and the speaker, also known as the Visiting Fellow, will engage in informal seminars with students and faculty while on campus.
  • Applicant must be a student at Howard University with at least sophomore status on the date of the application deadline. Graduate and professional students are also eligible to apply.
  • Applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application. Grade appeals will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Applicant must have at least one full semester remaining at Howard following the summer internship.

Howard students who wish to be considered for the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship must submit the following by the deadline (TBD).

  • One-page personal statement/cover letter which addresses the following questions:
    • Why would you like to be a PRH Fellow?
    • How does this fellowship relate to your future career goals?
    • How will you uphold the legacy of Patricia Roberts Harris?
    • Do you currently prefer an international or domestic internship?
  • Two letters of recommendation by a professor and/or employer
  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • Application form

**Selected Fellows will need to comply with the following:

  • Attendance at two or more of the Mindful Travelers Workshops (April 2020, date TBD)
  • Attendance at the Final Pre-Departure Orientation if the fellow will take part in an international internship (April 2020, date TBD)

The PRH Fellowship Application will open on September 1.

Patricia Roberts Harris: A Legacy of Excellence

The PRH Fellowship is made possible due to a bequest issued by renowned Howard University alumna Patricia R. Harris (1924 – 1985) to Howard University in 1987. Ambassador Harris remains an exemplary stalwart of international public affairs and is remembered for her keen intellect and irrefutable integrity. As a 1945 summa cum laude graduate of Howard University’s College of Liberal Arts, Harris was lauded for her contributions to the public affairs domain both domestically and internationally. This included many “firsts,” as listed below:

  • First female Dean of Howard University’s School of Law (1969).
  • First African American woman to hold a U.S. Ambassadorship with her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg (1965-1967).
  • First African American woman to hold a cabinet position with her appointment as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1977-1979).
  • First African American person to hold the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, later Health and Human Services (1979-1981).

Her remarkable accomplishments in the field of public affairs were nationally recognized with the January 2000 issuance of a commemorative stamp in her honor.

Why The Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship?

Large Network of Peers

A Community of Professionals Dedicated to Helping You Succeed!

Professional Development

Unmatched Professional Development Experience Will Help You Understand The Ins And Outs of Public Affairs Careers!

Distinguish Yourself From The Crowd

Domestic or International Internship Experience to Help You Stand Out in the Competitive Job Market!

For any questions please contact Crystal Yuille, the Program Coordinator for the Patricia Roberts Harris International Public Affairs Fellowship, at