MSFS Announces 2016 SoldierStrong Scholarship Recipient: Michael White

by Kristen Voorhees, MSFS Communications and Events Coordinator

The Master of Science in Foreign Service program is proud to announce Michael White as the 2016 recipient of the SoldierStrong Scholarship. Michael is a graduate of West Point and Ranger School and has served in the U.S. Army overseas in Kuwait and Afghanistan. He is the second recipient of this endowed, partial-tuition scholarship designated for a U.S. veteran enrolled in the MSFS program. The scholarship was established in 2015 under the leadership of SoldierStrong cofounder and Chairman of the Board Chris Meek.

Michael White’s military career was influential in his decision to pursue a graduate degree from Georgetown’s MSFS. “My time in the military exposed me to different cultures on several occasions. These experiences convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career in the international sector after my time in the Army,” he says. “The most formative of these experiences was my time as a platoon leader deployed to Afghanistan. While we were able to accomplish some security and governance gains, the time I spent with Afghan security forces and local villagers showed me that the best path toward stability was through sustainable economic development. I believe Georgetown's MSFS program is uniquely designed in a way that will prepare me to effectively help tackle the challenges faced by post-conflict states.”

The next few years on Georgetown’s campus will enable Michael to further develop the knowledge and skills needed by leaders in the international community. “I was most impressed with MSFS because of their focus on preparing students for careers in all three international sectors,” says Michael. “I am excited by the opportunities to learn from IR professionals. This mentorship is a unique opportunity to leverage the lessons learned by some of the true giants of the IR community.”  

Shaped by his time in the military, and now thanks to the SoldierStrong scholarship, Michael is preparing to pursue a career in international development. “I want to focus on bringing sustainable economic development to post-conflict states because I believe that is the best way to break the cycle of violence and instability that plagues many states; leading to the displacement of millions, and degradation of global security,” he says.

This semester, Michael joins 102 other students at the beginning of their studies at Georgetown. Each bring different cultural perspectives from all over the world, but all share a similar commitment to service. Situated in the center of the nation’s capital, a degree in MSFS will prepare these women and men to be creative leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors of international affairs.

SoldierStrong is dedicated to improving the lives of U.S. veterans. The scholarship program represents a commitment to provide support for military heroes that evolves along with their needs. As soldiers return from service abroad, education offers some of the best opportunities for them to provide for themselves and their families, and thrive in civilian life. To learn more about SoldierStrong, visit their website at www.soldierstrong.org.