Category: 2023, Current Use Report

Title:‘The difference maker’: Fogel Scholarship funds experience, education for McCourt graduate students seeking to engage a diversity of perspectives

David Fogel (SFS’93, L’97, MBA’97) speaks at a Georgetown McDonough event

David Fogel (SFS’93, L’97, MBA’97) is helping graduate students gain experience and education at the same time with a two-pronged scholarship. The new scholarship will allow selected public policy students to receive up to $25,000 to cover tuition and an additional $3,000 stipend to cover expenses while participating in a semester-long internship with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington, DC, public policy think-tank “dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world.”

As paying for higher education becomes a national topic of conversation, Fogel wants to support graduate students pursuing a service-based career in public policy.

“I am deeply grateful to David for his generosity, and his commitment to our aspiration to be the most inclusive school of public policy, supporting diversity of thought,” says Maria Cancian, dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy.

The scholarship has already made a difference for Colin Agostisi (G’25).

When he found out he’d won the inaugural Fogel Scholarship, Agostisi says he “was exceptionally excited but even more relieved.”

He had applied to several other graduate schools, but says receiving the scholarship was “the difference maker” in selecting McCourt. He also found McCourt’s variety of opportunities appealing for the range of knowledge they offered throughout different policy sectors.

“Combining the academic distinction of McCourt with the financial support and the opportunity to work at AEI, the Fogel Scholarship made my decision to enroll at McCourt simple,” he says.

“Students from all perspectives need to come together at Georgetown, the public policy school in particular, and be able to freely and respectfully discuss their points of view. Georgetown should be the place for that to occur, and that is what this scholarship is furthering.”

—David Fogel (SFS’93, L’97, MBA’97)

Discourse and diversity of thought

Fogel, currently CEO of crypto company Coinmint, has had a diverse career spanning law, business, and public policy. He started his career at Sullivan & Cromwell, a law firm in New York City, and then co-founded, built, and sold two fintech companies (each with other Georgetown graduates). He also served in economic-related positions in the Trump Administration for two years.

He looks back at his time on Georgetown’s campus in the 1990s as a place where civil discourse could occur among a range of different opinions.

“Though we might strongly disagree, we could speak our minds openly, both outside the class and inside, and not be penalized for it,” Fogel says.

Fogel, who was involved in the College Republicans as an undergraduate, looks back fondly on the “engaged student body” and campus events they would plan with College Democrats.

“Our future depends on our ability to work together, to engage with people who see the world differently, and respond to local and global challenges by developing evidence, exchanging ideas, and advancing solutions,” Cancian says.

At McCourt, Cancian says, students learn not only cutting-edge policy skills, but also how to work across differences—different perspectives, life experiences, and interests—to build a better world.

“I think it speaks to the urgency of the moment we find ourselves in,” Cancian says. “Our country and our world need not just skilled public servants, but public servants who can engage with differing perspectives and ideas to find solutions to our challenges.”

Fogel, who joined the McCourt Board of Advisors in October 2022, strongly agrees with the McCourt mission.

“Students from all perspectives need to come together at Georgetown, the public policy school in particular, and be able to freely and respectfully discuss their points of view,” Fogel says. “Georgetown should be the place for that to occur, and that is what this scholarship is furthering.”

‘Pairs perfectly with the coursework’

As he pursued degrees in foreign service, law, and business, Fogel also served as an AEI research intern, where he worked with Jeane Kirkpatrick, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, longtime Georgetown professor, and inaugural holder of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom.

“It was an honor of a lifetime to work with her and interact with her,” Fogel says. “Later in my career, I pursued positions in government and foreign policy in part because of my experience with and respect for Ambassador Kirkpatrick. I want today’s students to get similar exposure to prominent thought leaders who can influence them the way Ambassador Kirkpatrick influenced me.”

The AEI internship also provided him with valuable practical experience that he wants other students to be equipped with. “You can only learn so much in the classroom,” Fogel says. “Having an internship where you’re actually out in the real world is an essential element of the overall education experience.”

Agostisi has already found this to be true while he decides what policy specialization he’d like to make a career in. His internship in AEI’s Office of the President allows him to see a different area of policy “almost every week” and apply classroom knowledge.

“The AEI internship pairs perfectly with the coursework at McCourt.”

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