Responding to a call to serve the nation is at the core of the establishment of the Robertson Foundation for Government (RFG).
In 1961, at the height of the Cold War and just after President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring call to service, the original donors Charles and Marie Robertson gifted 700,000 shares of A&P stock, valued at $35 million, with the aim to help strengthen the United States government and increase its ability to defend and extend freedom throughout the world through training and education of men and women for government service. The initial donation was to Princeton University at the Woodrow Wilson School “where men and women dedicated to public service may prepare themselves for careers in government service, with particular emphasis on the education of such persons for careers in those areas of the Federal Government that are concerned with international relations and affairs.”
The Robertson Foundation for Government was established in 2009 by the children of the late Charles and Marie Robertson, (Katherine Ernst, Anne Meier and William S. Robertson), from the proceeds of a donor intent legal settlement with Princeton University. The first RFG Fellows were announced in 2010.
Ask not what your country can do for you— ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy
As William S. Robertson, first chairman of RFG, stated, "We are committed to making our parents’ vision a reality: helping the United States navigate the difficult foreign policy shoals that lie ahead by preparing some of America’s most gifted and highly motivated students for federal government careers in foreign policy, national security, trade and related disciplines."
The programs and initiatives of RFG adhere to the original vision of Charles and Marie Robertson to identify and prepare future U.S. government leaders in the areas of foreign policy, international affairs, and national security. The initial class of RFG Fellows included 11 students at four universities: Syracuse University Maxwell School, Tufts University Fletcher School, University of California San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, and University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Texas A&M University Bush School was added to the list of participating universities in 2011.
The foundation also supports projects and organizations that promote and foster public service and federal workforce development, engagement in foreign policy, and understanding of global connections, international affairs, and national security.
The Robertson Foundation for Government is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. RFG does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding.