Pitt Junior David Leftwich Named Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow

Issue Date: 
May 18, 2017

University of Pittsburgh junior David Leftwich is among 10 undergraduates nationwide to be awarded the 2017 Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.

David LeftwichFunded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Pickering Fellowship provides financial and professional support for undergraduate students preparing to enter the Department of State’s Foreign Service.

Fellows receive up to $37,500 per year in financial aid for their senior year of undergraduate studies and first year of a master’s degree plus mentoring and professional development and two summer internships: one in Washington, D.C., and another at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Fellows must commit to at least five years of Foreign Service work.

Leftwich is majoring in political science and psychology in the University’s Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and is pursuing a global studies certificate through the University Center for International Studies.

The dual major reflects his interest in working in a public policy capacity that helps individual people.

“Psychology has been a supplement to political science because it helps me understand individuals I plan to serve. In political science, people are often placed into demographics and statistical groupings, but psychology helps me break that cycle and think about actual people,” he wrote in his fellowship application.

Leftwich is a student Foreign Service intern for the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he researches and analyzes international maternal and infant health data.

He plans to pursue his interest in public health policy in his graduate studies and career.

Leftwich also works on campus in Pitt’s School of Education and is a sports writer for The Pitt News student newspaper.

He has interned for U.S. Congressman Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, and received a 2016 University Honors College Brackenridge Summer Research Fellowship in which he researched economic trends in western Europe and the United States.

He also has tutored Somali Bantu refugee children through the student-run service organization Keep It Real.

Leftwich, who was raised in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, is a 2014 graduate of Franklin Regional High School.

He is the son of Judith and the late Joseph Leftwich, and has two sisters, Emily (A&S ’12) and Rachel.

He is Pitt’s fifth undergraduate Pickering Fellow. LaVonda Baldwin most recently received the award in 2013.