Diversifying the Global Public Health Workforce


a STAR Fellow talking at a meeting

In 2020-21, the Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) project supported 175 U.S. national (USN) and low- and middle-income country (LMIC) positions and continued to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in recruiting, with 70% of fellowship positions based outside the US and 64% from low- and middle-income countries.

99% of STAR participants reported overall satisfaction with STAR services

91% of STAR participants reported satisfaction with STAR learning support

98% of Points of Contact (POCs) at host organizations reported satisfaction with STAR assistance

Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a global health talent hub, offering paid fellowships and internships at all career levels. STAR provides participants with immersive experiences at global health organizations and institutions to build capacity and contribute technical expertise to address high-impact needs.

In 2020-21, the Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) project supported 175 U.S. national (USN) and low- and middle-income country (LMIC) positions, including 117 fellowships and 58 internships. In total, STAR supported 84 overseas positions in 33 countries. STAR also provided ongoing support to 75 local country nationals (LCNs) and third country nationals (TCNs) across 29 countries.

STAR supports building the capacity of diverse global health professionals and organizations at all levels to make inclusive, collaborative, and innovative contributions to global health. The project is implemented by PHI in partnership with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Aspen Management Partners in Health (AMP Health).

Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion

In this period, STAR continued to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in recruiting and for staff and participants. For recruiting candidates, STAR implements a blind recruitment strategy, which ensures that any personally identifying information about a candidate is concealed from the hiring team’s view when selecting candidates to move to the interview stage.

With the ongoing COVID pandemic, much of STAR’s recruitment was through digital programs. STAR staff participated in 16 virtual outreach events and conducted eight presentations. STAR continued to prioritize outreach to minority serving institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities and diversified the types of events attended, which allowed for greater focus on LMIC audiences and increasing minority access to global health career opportunities. STAR also advertised positions in relevant country websites, newspapers, and other outlets to increase the pull of qualified applicants, with an emphasis on local country nationals.

The recruiting efforts paid off: of the 117 fellowship positions, 70% were based outside the US and 64% were from LMICs. Of the 76 LMIC positions, 60 were filled with local country nationals. Of the 175 total participants STAR supported, 54% were women. STAR also added a nonbinary gender option to its recruiting forms this year. Of 99 positions in the US, 46 were filled by people of color. Overall, 99% of STAR participants reported satisfaction with STAR services.

The staff have been very helpful, I feel that they are concerned with my well-being and try to assist.

What participants say about STAR

Everyone I worked with at STAR was extremely helpful and kind. They made my onboarding experience less stressful and easier.

What participants say about STAR

The staff were great, responded quickly to questions, and provided all the information I needed for a smooth transition.

What participants say about STAR

The fellowship and PHI have provided me with a lot of opportunities to explore a career at USAID and continue developing technical skills.

What participants say about STAR

I always recommend STAR to colleagues looking to join USAID or public health work.

What participants say about STAR

STAR also developed DEI programs for its current staff and participants. Their DEI working group facilitated all-staff discussions on equity and inclusion and how racism impacts workplaces. In partnership with PHI’s Global Health Technical Professionals (GHTP) program, STAR developed a Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge (an adaption from PHI’s CA for Health) to help participants see how social and racial injustices exist at both individual and systemic levels. Of the participants who took the Challenge, 95% reported that the content supported their personal and/or professional development.

See the full STAR annual program performance report.

Download the Report

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