Graduate Fellowship

The Public Diplomacy Council of America (PDCA) offers an annual fellowship to an outstanding graduate student in either the School of Communication or the School of International Service at American University (AU) in Washington, DC. As a PDCA-AU collaboration, this fellowship reflects the PDCA commitment to encouraging the academic study of public diplomacy while engaging the next generation of practitioners. 

Fellows have gone on to secure positions in prestigious organizations including the Institute for International Education and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The fellowship provides recipients with direct experience in the field of public diplomacy while working closely with accomplished members of the PDCA. The fellowship is designed to complement and enhance the fellow's graduate education.

A Decade of Nurturing Careers

The Fellowship was established by the Public Diplomacy Council in 2013. Since then, the Fellowship has offered AU graduate students the opportunity to combine their academic and professional interests to promote a broader understanding of public diplomacy. 

Past recipients have said that they appreciated the opportunities the Fellowship provided to work closely with public diplomacy professionals, both practitioners, and academics, an to gain a greater understanding of the field. PDCA fellows can refine their academic priorities in international communications, cultural relations, media and marketing, and other related fields as they are exposed to varied careers in public diplomacy. The overarching purpose of the Fellowship is to promote PDCA's core mission, support ongoing program activities, and develop the professional capabilities of the recipient.

The Tom Tuch Legacy

The late Hans "Tom" Tuch, one of the founding fathers of modern U.S. public diplomacy, in his home office. Photo from the Tuch family

In August 2021, The PDC Fellowship was renamed to honor the legacy of Hans "Tom" Tuch, one of the original founders of the Public Diplomacy Council. On July 14th, 2021, the PDC Board decided to allocate the majority of his generous $100,000 bequest as an endowment to sustain the Fellowship.

Hans Tuch, a pioneer of U.S. public diplomacy, died on September 7, 2020, at his residence in Bethesda, MD at the age of 95. After a long career serving the U.S. Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State, he continued to write and teach on the subject. His book Communicating with the World: U.S. Public Diplomacy Overseas, published in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy Georgetown University in 1990, was the first major treatise on the subject to be written by a practicing diplomat.

Our Current PDCA and former PDC Graduate Fellows

Claudia Del Pozo is the 2022-23 Hans "Tom" Tuch PDCA Graduate Fellow. She is a second-year graduate student at American University's School of International Service, pursuing a degree in Global Governance, Politics, and Security, and hoping to launch a career in public diplomacy. Claudia is excited to explore the potential for international exchange to foster cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.

Marcela "Marci" Falck - Bados was the first fellow to hold the renamed Hans "Tom" Tuch PDCA Graduate Fellowship. She earned her second master's degree in 2022 from American University's School of International Service. Her degree is in International and Intercultural Communication, specializing in Transnational Education and Public Diplomacy. Marci currently works for the Special Olympics' Global Youth and Education Team. She continues to be interested in understanding the connections between public diplomacy and international education and exchange.


Olivia Chavez, 2019 2021


Hunter Martin, 2018 - 2019


Alma Burke, 2016 - 2018


Tara Schoenborn, 2015 - 2016


Jesselle Macatiag, 2013 - 2015