As 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 opportunities and challenges of these careers, in December 2018, 2018 - 2019 Rusk Fellow Caroline Savage launched the Diverse Diplomacy Leaders Speaker Series, a project to connect the Georgetown community with current and former Civil and Foreign Service officers. 2019-2020 Rusk Fellow Sharlina Hussain-Morgan continued the interview series, and 2020-2021 Rusk Fellows Hammad Hammad and Heera Kamboj transitioned the series to Zoom for the COVID era. ISD’s Rusk Fellows are themselves Foreign Service Officers who spend a year at Georgetown teaching and participating in the Institute's programs. In the series, successful practitioners share insights on their careers and diversity and inclusion at the State Department and answer questions from practitioners and students considering careers in foreign policy.
By including a diverse representation of foreign policy professionals, across generational, gender, religious, and ethnic lines, the series seeks to encourage aspirants from diverse communities to pursue and successfully navigate foreign policy careers. Each of the series participants has expressed willingness to connect with students or others to discuss their further questions related to careers in foreign policy.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
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.
2021 Pickering and Rangel Fellow
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 vs 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
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.