20 in Their 20s: Jayson Browder

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An Iraq War veteran helps prepare fellow military vets for civilian leadership

Soon after graduating from Fordham with a degree in Latin American studies and sociology, Iraq War veteran Jayson Browder traveled to Turkey as a Fulbright Scholar.

Now he’s in Washington, D.C., heading up Veterans for Global Leadership, a nonprofit he founded in 2015 that, among other things, prepares student veterans to compete for prestigious scholarships and fellowships, and offers networking events and one-on-one mentoring.

“We want to reframe the idea of what a vet-in-transition is,” Browder once said of returning veterans. “There’s this idea out there that vets are broke, need to be fixed—that they need, need, need. Vets don’t feel that’s the case. We think we’re a natural resource to be tapped into.”

In 2017, Veterans for Global Leadership alumni garnered two Fulbrights, a Truman, and two Boren Fellowships for study in Jordan, among other awards.

Raised by his grandparents, Browder grew up in rural South Carolina and earned an associate’s degree while enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He transferred to Fordham in 2011, and his postgraduate pursuits have included an appointment as a U.S. Presidential Management Fellow at the White House.

He believes the world needs what veterans have to offer.

“We find ourselves in a leadership crisis moment,” Browder says, “with a lot of big-time problems that Americans need to solve—from climate change to a host of national security issues. I believe that veterans are people who have courage, who have shown a sense of service, and who are risk-takers. Veterans like to solve problems.”

—David McKay Wilson

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