Anne Sherman (MASIA’18) Pursues Public Service Interests, Foreign Service Career

Sherman (MASIA’18) currently works on the China Desk at the U.S. Department of State and plans to continue government work post-graduation.

January 22, 2018 by Lindsay Swisher

Anne Sherman (MASIA’18) chose Georgetown because of her interest in government and the opportunity to be on a campus close to the heart of major issues in national security, politics, and diplomacy.

Sherman was also eager for the chance to continue improving her language skills.  Now a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Asian Studies program, Sherman says, “The Asian Studies program provided all of those opportunities — language and area studies training, world-class faculty, and opportunities to intern in government, which I did during my spring semester at the State Department.”


Anne Sherman invited former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to speak at a policy discussion in Beijing.

Sherman’s interest in Asian Studies grew during her time living abroad in Beijing, China. From 2012-2016, Sherman worked as the Research Assistant for Paul Haenle, Director of the Carnegie-­Tsinghua Center and former China Director on the National Security Staff of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In this role, Sherman held a variety of tasks including the creation of the Carnegie Endowment’s first podcast, titled “China in the World.” Of her work at the Carnegie Endowment, Sherman says, “My experience working in Beijing further confirmed my interest in developing China expertise.  It also inspired me to follow in the footsteps of many of the policymakers I met while at Carnegie-Tsinghua to pursue a career in public service working on U.S. national security issues.”

Ambassador Max Baucus

Sherman with former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus, former Obama NSC Senior Advisor for Asian Affairs Evan Medeiros, and Paul Haenle, Director of the Carnegie-­Tsinghua Center.

In addition to her interest in public service, Sherman is passionate about politics. During the fall of 2015, Sherman and a friend created a network of young Democrats who were living in China during the 2016 presidential campaign, and called it “Beijingers for Blue States.” “We organized policy discussions in Beijing in support of Hillary Clinton,” Sherman says, featuring guest speakers including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Obama NSC Senior Advisor for Asian Affairs Evan Medeiros, and Council on Foreign Relations Director for Asia Studies Liz Economy. “We also organized volunteers to assist with voter registration and voting in the global primaries, and with recruiting donors for fundraisers,” says Sherman of their work.

According to Sherman, the U.S. State Department estimates that approximately 8.7 million U.S. citizens currently live overseas, a number that would rank 12th among states in terms of population. Through “Beijingers for Blue States,” Sherman wanted to ensure that U.S. citizens abroad found a forum to be engaged and heard during the election.

Sherman took a course on U.S.-China relations taught by Dr. Evan Medeiros, which involved an in-class debate about policy tradeoffs.

During her studies at Georgetown, Sherman has found ways to continue her interests in public service and national security. She currently works on the China desk at the U.S. Department of State as the human rights officer, and also serves as the assistant to Laura Stone, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for China, Mongolia, and Taiwan Affairs.

In addition to these amazing opportunities outside of the classroom, Sherman has found inspiration on campus. “I have especially appreciated the mentorship and support I’ve received from Dr. Michael Green and Professor Dennis Wilder.  Besides all that I was able to learn in their classes, they both have provided me with helpful professional advice and insights from their successful government careers,” says Sherman. One of her favorite classes while a graduate student has been a course called “Congressional Power and Asia Policy” taught by Dr. Walter Lohman, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program. This course allowed students to participate in a mock Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that took place at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The MASIA program has already provided me with a strong academic foundation in Asian studies, a network of experts in my field, and valuable professional experience.

After graduation, Sherman hopes to pursue a career in public service, supported by the professional experiences, strong network, and academic foundation that she gained during her time in the School of Foreign Service.