Chloe King, B.A. ’19, has been selected as a 2020 Marshall Scholar. She is the fourth George Washington University recipient in the scholarship program’s 66-year history and the university’s first since 2013.
Principally funded by the British government, the highly competitive scholarship program, open only to U.S. citizens, selects scholars to pursue graduate studies in the United Kingdom. The two-year scholarship covers all academic and living expenses as well as some travel.
In the first year of the program, Ms. King will pursue a master’s degree in conservation leadership at the University of Cambridge. In the second year, she will pursue a master’s degree in marine systems and policy at the University of Edinburgh.
Ms. King learned she had received the scholarship while in Indonesia, where she will spend the next 10 months researching the impact of tourism on local communities and environments as well as conservation policy as part of a Fulbright scholarship research project.
“I had just arrived in Jakarta the night before and was jet lagged and groggy after being woken up at 5 a.m. to three mosques blaring the call to prayer next to my room,” she said. “I had this really strange intuition that I needed to put my U.S. SIM card back into my phone and check my voicemail. There was a message from the British consulate saying to call them back as soon as possible.”
After struggling through shaking hands to put her Indonesian SIM card in her phone to return the call and having it dropped twice before getting a steady line, Ms. King got the news that she had been selected as a Marshall Scholar.
She said she was grateful to get the scholarship and thankful to those who supported her in helping her get it including Reuben Brigety, Elliott School of International Affairs dean; Paul Hoyt-O’Connor, director of the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research; and other GW faculty and staff.
Ms. King was one of 46 students to receive the Marshall scholarship this year, making it the second-largest class in its history.
Winners were selected following a rigorous and competitive process that drew more than 1,000 applications from undergraduate students representing institutions across the United States.
Named for former U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall scholarship program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the United States for its assistance to the United Kingdom after World War II under the Marshall Plan, which gave over $12 billion in economic assistance to help rebuild countries in Western Europe.
The program has since produced two U.S. Supreme Court justices, six Pulitzer Prize winners, one Nobel laureate, two Academy Award nominees and a NASA astronaut.
"The Marshall Scholarship scheme continues to be one of the most important and successful programs the British government supports across the world,'' said Michael Tatham, chargé d'affaires at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. "The connections and friendships it creates are one of the most vital and valued building blocks of the U.K.-U.S. relationship.”
After her graduate studies, Ms. King, who studied international environment at the Elliott School, said she will dedicate her career to conservation work and hopes to work at the United Nations to help it achieve its mission of protecting the world’s oceans.
“I believe there is nothing in this world more important than protecting our oceans,” she said. “They provide food for 3 billion people, supply more than half of all the oxygen we breathe and sustain all life on earth. Yet, 95 percent of our oceans are fully or over exploited, and climate change is further exacerbating this challenge. If we do not save now them, then absolutely nothing else will matter down the line.”