A move toward more Black representation in aerospace and defense policy

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation fellowship is part of Raytheon Technologies' plan for racial equity

Raytheon Technologies has partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to fund a new fellowship for Black candidates looking to build their knowledge and skills in the area of aerospace and defense policy.

The 23-month, salaried fellowship is part of Raytheon Technologies’ broader effort to support diversity, equity and inclusion, both within the company and in communities across the United States.

“The underrepresentation of diverse groups in the aerospace and defense industry comes at a significant cost,” said Tim McBride, Senior Vice President of Global Government Relations at Raytheon Technologies.

“When we bring different viewpoints, perspectives and backgrounds into the conversation, we are able to drive innovation. America’s aerospace and defense policy will benefit greatly from increased diversity among our policymakers. We are proud to work with the CBCF to encourage more Black staffers to help define the future of defense and aerospace.”

This fellowship is particularly important as it can help increase representation of Black Americans on the armed services committee. Currently, there are 65 Black members of Congress, but only one Black member, Congressman Anthony Brown (D-Maryland), sits on the House Armed Services Committee.

“As a retired U.S. Army aviator and vice chair of the House Armed Services Committee, I have witnessed firsthand the underrepresentation of the Black community in the defense and aerospace industry,” said Brown.

“To create and advance good policies critical to our national defense, we need a military and defense industry that reflects the diversity of America. I thank the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Raytheon Technologies for taking action and not allowing a void to be left.”

Marcus Jadotte, Vice President of Federal Government Relations at Raytheon Technologies, said the company is “building a more inclusive, smarter ecosystem around our business. In a congress and country that’s increasingly diverse, we’re going to be a stronger industry if we have more diverse points of view in policymaking.”

About the fellowship

There are two opportunities available for the aerospace and defense fellowship, which will focus on how defense policy is developed in Congress and implemented in the private sector. Aerospace and defense fellows will strengthen their understanding of the policy implications facing the U.S. military and national defense by doing rotations in the offices of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, in Congressman Brown’s office, on the House Armed Services Committee and in an industry-specific internship rotation.

Fellows will also:

  • Work alongside national and global leaders, as well as senior corporate executives to help grow their network;
  • Receive hands-on public policy training as full-time legislative aides and policy analysts;
  • Receive world-class professional development training to hone their professional skills and knowledge of policymaking.

Setting up a successful career in defense policy

“There’s no better opportunity to sharpen the skills needed to succeed in a career in public policy than a congressional fellowship,” said Jadotte. “Fellows are afforded the opportunity to work with members of congress on consequential issues. It’s an ideal path to a leadership role in policymaking in D.C.”

Not only will candidates be starting a strong career in policymaking, they’ll be entering into one of the strongest industries in the economy. In fact, aerospace and defense is one of the largest export sectors in the U.S. With roughly 2 million jobs in the U.S., the industry makes up about 1% of the economy.

Who is the ideal candidate?

The fellowship is for people who are early in their public policy career, or who are in the middle of their national security career. But candidates don’t necessarily need a background in aerospace or defense policy.

Candidates must be Black or African American and be U.S. citizens or have permits to work in the U.S. They must also hold a graduate or professional degree. The selection process will include discussion of federal legislative policy, as well as several essays and letters of recommendation.

Taking your next steps toward a larger career

You can learn more about the fellowships through the CBCF’s website.

“Public policy is about leveraging our position in the marketplace to have broad societal impact,” said Jadotte. “It’s not just about what’s best for our employees or business. It’s about helping society. We’re investing in public policy to make the country better, not just for employees but for fellow Americans.”