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The Diverse Diplomacy Leaders Speaker series features a broad set of foreign policy experts discussing their careers and efforts to make the foreign policy community more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible. Launched in 2018 by Department of State Rusk Fellow Caroline Savage, the series is designed to encourage aspirants from diverse communities to pursue, and successfully navigate, foreign policy careers. In an intimate interview session, speakers discuss the interplay between their identities and their profession, as well as share candid advice on topics such as family, life abroad, and mentorship, and answer questions directly from students considering careers in foreign policy. Past events have featured the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, former ambassadors sharing tips on how to join the Foreign Service, and panel discussions with Civil and Foreign Service Officers on LGBTQIA+ issues and efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.

The Diverse Diplomacy Speaker Series is made possible by the Una Chapman Cox Foundation and is part of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy’s broader mandate to connect students with foreign policy practitioners and professionals to better understand the challenges and opportunities of these careers. 


As a young LGBTQ+ person who has struggled with the idea of potentially having to hide part of her identity in order to pursue the career she is most passionate about, it was incredibly helpful and inspiring to hear the experiences of the panelists. My sexuality has been one of my main concerns when thinking about a career in the foreign service versus the NGO field, and this was the first time I have seen a space that answered a lot of the questions I had been asking about that reality. I hope to see events like this in the future, and will be sure to attend if so. 

Prospective Foreign Service Officer

At Georgetown, I had the immense privilege of interning with the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and working on the Diverse Diplomacy Leader Speaker Series. Throughout the series, I worked with the ISD staff and fellows to highlight the ways in which FSOs, representing the full spectrum of America’s diversity, experienced challenges and opportunities as diplomats abroad, in turn opening up the chance to expand perceptions of the United States around the world. Representation is powerful and hearing from FSOs of color was empowering to visualize myself in a diplomatic career. For me, the best way to learn about Foreign Service careers is to engage with diplomats such as Diplomats in Residence. At Georgetown, we have this incredible access to Foreign Service Officers, Ambassadors, mid-career Rusk Fellows and other former government officials.

Isaac Kim

2021 Pickering and Rangel Fellow

This is a forum that amplifies people's voices for the good of the diplomacy profession. However they got there, whatever their background, they all feel called to this profession, to make things better than when they started.

Bridgette Walker

FS-01 Deputy Chief of Mission-designate Embassy Dushanbe

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