Andy Wu ’20, a first-generation Chinese-American from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has taken new strides in his post-graduate career after being selected as a 2022 Foreign Affairs Information Technology (FAIT) Fellow. FAIT is entirely funded by the U.S. Department of State and involves a two-year fellowship program, leading to a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.
“The FAIT Fellowship is the State Department’s way of giving some of the best up-and-coming minds from tech a pathway into public service,” said Antony J. Blinken, U.S. secretary of state. “We’re looking for people with exceptional qualifications and diverse backgrounds who want to serve the American people and build lifelong skills all while traveling the world.”
Wu, who studied finance and business information systems at Lehigh, will join the MISM: Global program at Carnegie Mellon University. This master's degree in information systems management includes one year at CMU Australia and one year at the main CMU campus in Pittsburgh. In the summer in between, Wu will complete an internship in the U.S. Department of State. Following a second summer internship overseas at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, he will become a U.S. diplomat in fall of 2024.
While at Lehigh, Wu won a U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Hong Kong and also participated in a service project to Antigua and Barbuda. While on these overseas trips, he enjoyed learning about different cultures and meeting people who come from different backgrounds. He said he likes the idea of promoting the U.S. experience and what it means to be American as a first-generation college graduate.
“I studied abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in the spring of 2019,” Wu said. “Through Lehigh’s partnership, I was able to do a semester exchange at one of the world’s leading business schools and learn about one of Asia’s key economic and financial hubs.”
Outside of the HKUST classroom, Wu completed a voluntary service project with the Migrant Mission for Domestic Workers in Hong Kong and worked with domestic migrant workers from Indonesia and the Philippines to understand their economic reasons for moving overseas. Wu said his semester in Hong Kong gave him an “aha” moment where he became enthralled in globalization, acknowledging the many different cultures and their intersectionality in the world.
After he returned to the U.S., he was appointed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as a 2021-2022 Gilman Alumni Ambassador. He has been working with college campuses and conferences from across the nation to provide testimonies on the benefits of an international study abroad or internship experience.
“Becoming an Information Management Specialist (IMS) and providing IT services internationally is the perfect next step for me, especially as the world becomes more globally linked with the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Wu said. “With each action I pursue as an IMS, I will advance diplomacy overseas, multicultural awareness in others, and professional development for myself, thereby creating a legacy of service. The fellowship experience represents the perfect opportunity to obtain my career goals while fulfilling my passion to be an effective representative for the United States.”