Developing the Next Generation of Diplomatic Security Service Leaders in the U.S. Foreign Service

The William D. Clarke, Sr. Diplomatic Security (Clarke DS) Fellowship is a two-year graduate fellowship designed for individuals who want to pursue a master’s degree and a career as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agent in the Foreign Service.

DSS Special Agents are sworn federal law enforcement officers, responsible for the security of  U.S. Department of State personnel, property, and sensitive information around the world.

A high-profile State Department diversity recruitment program, the Clarke DS Fellowship aims to attract qualified candidates to the Diplomatic Security Service who represent ethnic, racial, gender, social, and geographic diversity. Women, members of minority groups underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and those with financial need, are encouraged to apply.

The two-year fellowship program provides:

  • Up to $24,000 annually for tuition for a two-year, full-time master’s degree program.
  • Up to $18,000 annually during the two years of graduate study for room and board, books/laboratory fees, and other academic expenses, and travel between your residence and graduate school.
  • Two summer practicums (with stipends, housing, and travel allowances): one in Washington, D.C. with the Diplomatic Security Service, and one overseas at a U. S. embassy or consulate.
  • Personalized mentoring and professional development opportunities throughout the program.

Upon successful completion of the fellowship program and Foreign Service entry requirements, fellows receive an appointment as a Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) Special Agent in the Foreign Service. Fellows agree to a three-year commitment in the Foreign Service as a DSS Special Agent. Once appointed, DSS Special Agents are required to successfully pass a rigorous training program.

The U.S. Department of State is the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy and the Secretary of State is the President’s principal foreign policy advisor. The primary responsibility of the U.S. Department of State and its employees is to fight terrorism, protect U.S. interests abroad, and implement foreign policy initiatives while building a freer, prosperous and secure world. Learn more at

The William D. Clarke, Sr. Diplomatic Security Fellowship is dedicated to developing qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of the United States to become the next diplomatic security leaders.

We believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce opens doors to innovation, creativity, new ideas and solutions, and a better understanding of the world.  A more diverse generation of Foreign Service staff is culturally aware, adaptable, well-rounded and agile – and able to represent the best of the United States to nations around the world.

The Clarke DS Fellowship is administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC), where the level of support and mentorship provided to students is unparalleled. We create flexible, immersive pathways to enhance the pipeline of diverse talent that build more equitable, inclusive workplaces and communities.