2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow Recipient

The Rangel Graduate Fellowship is a program that aims to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State in which they can help formulate, represent and implement U.S. foreign policy. The Rangel Program selects outstanding Rangel Fellows annually in a highly competitive nationwide process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. This program encourages the application of members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, women, and those with financial need.

Carolina Cortez was raised in Sutter Creek, California, and she received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California in 2018.  As a student, she completed a semester abroad in Spain.  She also interned for the California Governor’s Office in Sacramento, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and on Capitol Hill through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s summer internship program.  Following graduation, Carolina relocated to Washington D.C. to work in the United States Senate for vice-president-elect Kamala Harris before accepting the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals Fellowship to help foster transnational partnerships between American and German businesses. Carolina currently works for an NGO in Mexico, helping bridge the technology and education gap for Central American asylum-seeking students living at the border.

Carolina’s journey has now led her to the Rangel Fellowship, and she is excited to prepare for her career in diplomacy after she obtains a Master’s Degree in economic development. Carolina is proud to be a Rangel Fellow and a future Foreign Service Officer.  She added, “I am thankful for the tremendous support I’ve received throughout my life, specifically from my parents, Ramon and Rosario Cortez, family, Mrs. Lara Eichman from Amador High School, Professor Carol Wise from USC, and my Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc. family.”