Pickering and Rangel Fellows choose SFS Graduate Programs for preparation for U.S. Foreign Service

As the oldest school of international affairs in the United States and the largest feeder school into the U.S. Foreign Service, the Walsh School of Foreign Service is a destination of choice for many Pickering and Rangel Fellows, the premier graduate fellowship programs in international affairs. There are over two dozen students in SFS graduate programs pursuing Pickering or Rangel fellowships, a testament to SFS’s rich legacy of training young women and men committed to service to the world and to representing the interests of the United States both here and abroad.

Pickering Fellows: Anastasia Burnett (MSFS’20), Alina Clay (MSFS’20)Eric Chu (GHD’20)Marichuy Gomez (MSFS’19)Ashley Jones-Quaidoo (SSP’20), Caroline Lanford (MSFS’20), Sophia Meulenberg (MSFS’20), Stephanie Myers-Irizarry (MAERES’19), Kate Shafer (MSFS’20), Maggie Samuels (MAERES’20)

Rangel Fellows: Erik Angamarca (MSFS’20)Tyra Beaman (MSFS’19)Miguel Boluda (MSFS’19)Sarah Brokenborough (LAS’20)Jacob Dietrich (SSP’19)Katie Garay (SSP’19), Manuela Hernandez (MSFS’19), Ashley Inman (MSFS’20), Sin Yan Lau (MSFS’20), Brittany Orange (MSFS’20), Nicole Roberts (SSP’19), Kalif Robinson (MSFS’19)Zinna Senbetta (MSFS’19)Hawi Tilahune (MSFS’19)

Pickering Fellows


The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State. Based on the fundamental principle that diversity is a strength in our diplomatic efforts, the program values varied backgrounds, including ethnic, racial, social, and geographic diversity. Upon successful completion of a two-year master’s degree program, fellows agree to a minimum five-year service commitment in the Department of State’s Foreign Service, serving in Washington, DC and at a U.S. embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission around the globe. Learn more about the Pickering Fellowship here.


Anastasia Burnett (MSFS’20)

Durham, North Carolina
Georgetown University (Major: History)

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
I had attended Georgetown as an undergraduate student and I knew from my time on the Hilltop that I would receive a quality education at Georgetown surrounded by students and professors who were all committed to service in the international community. I especially loved our motto of living as Hoyas for other and the community I had when I graduated in 2015. When I decided I wanted to return to graduate school, Georgetown was at the top of my list.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
My favorite Georgetown experience has probably been attending the Nicaragua in Crisis event this Fall. I was able to hear directly from Ariannna Moraga, a student activist, about her work and experiences on the front lines in Nicaragua after a brutal crackdown by her president. Her powerful testimony was heartbreaking and invigorating. She reminded me that my age is not a limit and my generation can be a force to reckoned with.

What hopes do you have for the future of the Foreign Service?
I hope the Foreign Service continues its efforts to embrace the diversity of the United States in its workforce. Programs like the Pickering and Rangel fellowships have shown me truly how powerful our government can be when we leverage our many voices and experiences.


Alina Clay (MSFS’20)

Memphis, Tennessee
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Major: Comparative Politics, Policy, and Gender)

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
The exceptional amount of knowledge and career experience that professors offer in the classroom and to their students drew me to MSFS. I was also in awe of the incredible quality of students the program attracts every year. Students at MSFS will no doubt be future world leaders yet happen to also be your colleagues, and it’s an incredible privilege and honor to work alongside them and build friendships during this two-year program.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
Georgetown does such a wonderful job of offering a range of both professional or academic experiences outside of the classroom and social activities to bond with your classmates. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed attending events like The 5th Annual Consulting Day and A Conversation with Secretary John Kerry, as well as social affairs like the MSFS Winter Ball. You get such a great mixture here at Georgetown, and there’s never not a number of equally great events to attend during any day of the year.

In which region would you be most excited about working?
Each region of the world offers such a diverse array of people, traditions, languages, histories, and more, and a Foreign Service Officer gets to experience this beauty first-hand. I’ve enjoyed some truly memorable educational and professional experiences across Latin America, Asia, and Europe, but I’m excited and ready to work in any region in which my country will need me the most.


Eric Chu (GHD’20)

St. Paul, Minnesota/Hsinchu, Taiwan
University of Minnesota (Major: Plant Biology)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
I want to combine my background in science, interests in international development and diplomacy, and passion for learning and using languages into a career. My experience serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda affirms my commitment to public service. As a new American, I also want to help show the diversity of the U.S. to the world.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
I chose Georgetown’s Global Human Development (GHD) program because it has the right balance of multidisciplinary curriculum, practical experiences, and cohort size for me. On top of that, the School of Foreign Service provides the opportunity for graduate students to take language courses. The combination of GHD courses, internship requirements, and language training would make me a more effective Foreign Service Officer.

What do you see as the greatest diplomatic challenges going forward?
Reaching an international consensus to mitigate the effects of climate change.


Marichuy Gomez (MSFS’19)

Los Angeles, California
Smith College (Majors: Government and History)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
During my Fulbright fellowship orientation in Turkey, I became inspired to join the Foreign Service as I heard a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) share her experiences. In particular, I was motivated to serve and represent my country overseas, while having the opportunity to shape policy and work with people from different countries.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
The MSFS program had everything I was looking for in a graduate program: a comprehensive academic curriculum, Turkish language courses, and a great community of students and professors.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
My classmates. They are a group of accomplished and hardworking individuals that inspire me to be better every day.


Ashley Jones-Quaidoo (SSP’20)

Prince George’s County, Maryland
Bucknell University (Major: International Relations)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
As a child, my grandmother would sit me in front of the television to watch Fox 5 news. During that time, we entered the War in Iraq. I can recall images from the news of our service men and women; those images stuck with me as I admired their bravery, commitment, and service. It was my love for news and service that inspired me to join the Foreign Service. Therefore, I began to search for opportunities that would allow me to fulfil my purpose, and the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship has given me the chance to develop as Foreign Service Officer. I will have the opportunity to serve my country and use my voice to tell stories directly from the countries in which I serve.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
Georgetown offers so many events outside of the classroom. While I enjoy my classes and the diversity of each, it is equally important for me to explore outside of the classroom. I have listened to former Secretary of State John Kerry, attended programs relating to the Middle East, and have had coffee chats about foreign policy. I can appreciate these experiences, as they will make me better and challenge me to understand differing perspectives.

In which region would you be most excited about working?
My research has primarily focused on Africa and the Middle East, so I would appreciate an opportunity to serve in those regions. However, as a future Foreign Service Officer, I am committed to serving my country, so I am able and willing to serve anywhere in the world. Wherever I am assigned, I will work with the same vigor and zeal.


Caroline Lanford (MSFS’20)

Jackson, Mississippi
Tulane University (Majors: Political Science and French)

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
The discussions I’ve had with professors and fellow students have been really rewarding, and the MSFS program‘s focus on practical skills will help me perfect my ability to write concisely, research efficiently, and present confidently, all of which will be essential to my success as a Foreign Service Office.

In which region would you be most excited about working?
One of the joys of being a U.S. Foreign Service Officer is the wide range of places you could be stationed. I’m grateful for the flexibility of the MSFS program in that it allows me to be a generalist, and, so far, my plan is to learn as much about as many parts of the world as I can. My foreign language of fluency is French, but I’m taking advantage of the undergraduate language scholarship to take classes in Spanish in hopes of becoming fluent in that language as well.


Sophia Meulenberg (MSFS’20)

Sandpoint, Idaho
Westmont College (Major: Political Science Concentration: International Affairs Minor: French)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
I have wanted to join the Foreign Service ever since I found out as a young kid that being a U.S. diplomat overseas was a real job! I’ve always loved international politics, traveling, and learning about new cultures, so I am thrilled at the chance to join the State Department as a FSO. I deeply cherish the ideals of democracy, freedom, prosperity, and security that the United States promotes around the world and I am honored to serve my country.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
I chose Georgetown because of its premier reputation and incredible faculty. Since its founding in 1919, the School of Foreign Service has developed world leaders committed to international service at the highest level. The faculty at Georgetown come from diverse backgrounds in public policy, government, think tanks, international organizations/institutions, and the private sector–providing a wealth of experience that each professor draws on in the classroom. But even more significantly, the professors enthusiastically invest in their students! I am very happy that I chose Georgetown and I know that I will leave here well-prepared to contribute to the crucial work of the State Department.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?
My favorite part of my Georgetown experience so far has been my interactions with fellow students. My peers in the MSFS program continue to amaze me with their passion, insight, and dedication to making the world more just and peaceful. Whether during guided conversations in class, spontaneous debates in the MSFS lounge, or energetic discussions during a happy hour, I can always count on SFSers to thoughtfully engage tough questions, provide much-needed support, and teach me something new. Plus we have a lot of fun!


Stephanie Myers-Irizarry (MAERES’19)

Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico
University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras (Majors: Political Science and Economics)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
I have always been committed to representing my country and its values abroad. During my time as a Boren Scholar in Moscow, Russia, I had the opportunity to speak with Foreign Service Officers about their careers. I was struck by how, regardless of their different career tracks and countries where they previously served, they were equally dedicated to representing America through diplomacy. Through these conversations, I realized the importance of skillful and agile diplomacy, and have since sought to participate in these endeavors.

In which region would you be most excited about working?
I would love to work in Central Asia. I am interested in energy trade and environmental policy, and this region presents many related unique challenges and opportunities.


Kate Shafer (MSFS’20)

Atlanta, Georgia and Port Jefferson, New York
Elon University (Major: International Studies)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
When I was abroad in Costa Rica during college, my class took a trip to the U.S. Embassy in San José. It was there that I first learned about the Foreign Service. I was instantly fascinated and inspired to apply to an internship at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Rome, Italy. That internship solidified my commitment to a Foreign Service career; for the first time in my life, I had a job that I loved so much that I was sad to not be able to work on the weekends. Following college, I taught English in China and Taiwan. I loved participating in strengthening international understanding and championing U.S. values while abroad. Now, as a Thomas R. Pickering Fellow, I am ecstatic about the opportunity to continue to do so as a Foreign Service Officer.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
Georgetown has one of the strongest international relations graduate programs in the world. At Georgetown I have the opportunity to study under top scholars, learn from experienced practitioners, attend daily workshops and events to supplement my classes, and develop a lasting network in D.C. MSFS in particular emphasizes topics that are crucial to Foreign Service work: national security, global politics, international development, ethics, human rights, and leadership.

What concerns and hopes do you have for the future of the Foreign Service?
I strongly believe in the mission of the Foreign Service and am committed to doing my part as it continues to evolve and adapt to the needs of our country and global affairs. I am encouraged by the existence of programs such as Pickering, as they demonstrate the Foreign Service and the Department of State’s commitment to serving as a true representation of the United States of America. I believe in the resilience of the Foreign Service, as well as its ability to continue to find new and innovative ways to promote diversity and inclusivity, champion American values abroad, serve American citizens, and further U.S. foreign policy. It is for all of these reasons and more that I am honored and excited to be a part of the Foreign Service’s future as an FSO.


Maggie Samuels (MAERES’20)

Searsmont, Maine
Hampshire College (Majors: Turkish Studies and Computer Science)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?
I wanted to take my experiences as the daughter of a fisherman in rural Maine and show the world that U.S. diplomats can come from any background and help model just how diverse our country is.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?
I wanted to keep studying the Turkic World and Georgetown is one of the only universities in the United States that has a robust program in that area.

In which region would you be most excited about working?
I think the Foreign Service’s focus on world wide availability is really exciting, because you are always headed where you are most needed and learning something new. However, I would like to serve in Central Asia if I had the chance.

 

Rangel Fellows


The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program is a U.S. Department of State program, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares young people for careers of international service. Its goals are to promote greater diversity and excellence in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. The Rangel Program offers graduate fellowships to outstanding seniors and college graduates who want to join the Foreign Service, helping to finance two-year graduate programs, providing two summer internships, mentoring from a Foreign Service Officer, and other professional development activities. Learn more about the Rangel Program here.


Erik Angamarca (MSFS’20)

Queens, New York
Fordham University (Majors: International Political Economy and Mandarin Chinese Language and Literature)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

Growing up in a working-class immigrant family from Ecuador in a diverse area of Queens, New York, I was inspired to join the State Department Foreign Service to share America’s message of diversity to the world. In addition, I have always been passionate about a public service career where I can advocate for diplomacy and cultural engagement as an American representative at the international level. There is no greater satisfaction than representing America overseas and assisting the State Department in shaping a more free, stable, and prosperous world.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

I chose Georgetown in preparation for the Foreign Service because of its Jesuit values, commitment to service in the international community, and an appreciation for the ethical dimension of international affairs. Georgetown’s approach to solving problems allows me to develop a multi-faceted understanding of current issues critical to formulating effective foreign policy. In particular, the MSFS program’s core requirements, including the oral examination and skills-intensive workshops, provide a strong practical foundation with which I can solve real global issues in the future. In addition, the Global Politics and Security concentration gives me the flexibility to combine my professional and personal interests by studying the roots of intra and interstate violence, and methods to bolster international collaboration on peace, prosperity and security.

In which region would you be most excited about working?

I would love to work in Latin America or East Asia due to my academic and professional background. I have lived in Ecuador, studied in China, worked in Taiwan and South Korea, and developed language skills in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Therefore, I have a special connection with Latin America and East Asia. Nonetheless, I am flexible and would be excited to serve anywhere in world. The opportunity to work and experience cultures, customs and people of different nations is truly a career unlike any other, and I am willing to do that anywhere.


Tyra Beaman (MSFS’19)

Richmond, Virginia
Spelman College (Major: International Studies)

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

My favorite part of Georgetown has been the opportunity to work WITH practitioners and academics in the field. As many of our Professors remind us, the millennial generation is the future of diplomacy, so it is vital that we build hard, soft, and smart skills prior to departing Georgetown and entering the service. What I have enjoyed most is building those skills, while being empowered to challenge opinions of global leaders and together arrive at a collective solution.

What do you see as the greatest diplomatic challenges going forward?

I believe the greatest diplomatic challenges are connected to the increasing speed of technological development in the future. As the world becomes more interconnected through technology, diplomats will also be challenged to connect, quickly share important messages, and constantly connect with host communities through technological channels. However, I am optimistic that a new wave of tech-savvy diplomats working alongside Senior Officers will ensure that no one is left behind in the digital age.


Miguel Boluda (MSFS’19)

Bowie, Maryland
Stanford University (Major: International Relations)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

Following transformative experiences studying in Moscow, Russia and interning for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., I was eager for the opportunity to not only play an active role in the ever-changing global environment but also to positively impact the lives of individual people in nations all over the world.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

In preparing myself for entry into the U.S. Foreign Service, I hoped for an environment in which I could be both academically and professionally nurtured—through intellectual discourse with instructors in the classroom as well as experience-based discussion with practitioners from all employment sectors across Washington, D.C.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

The fellow students within the MSFS community—I benefit continuously from hearing the perspectives of my classmates, both in and out of the classroom.


Sarah Brokenborough (LAS’20)

Piscataway, New Jersey
Spelman College (Major: Comparative Women’s Studies)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

My time as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Laos inspired me to join the Foreign Service. I had the amazing opportunity to learn more about the work and life of a Foreign Service Officer. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Public Diplomacy Officers and Locally Engaged Staff to facilitate cultural exchange programming, ESL classes, and Education USA workshops. I want to represent the United States abroad and contribute to the mission of U.S. State Department.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

I really enjoy the number of opportunities to connect with alumni from my program who are now working at various federal agencies.


Jacob Dietrich (SSP’19)

La Grange, Kentucky
University of North Georgia (Major: Arabic Language and Literature Minor: Leadership)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

From the beginning, I was inspired by the people I saw within the Foreign Service. A chance encounter with a Foreign Service Officer while studying in Oman actually introduced me to the life and career of an FSO. Realizing this career afforded me the opportunity to fulfill my desire to serve my country while satisfying my passion for travel, I immediately began applying for scholarships and grants and thankfully received the Rangel Fellowship. The opportunity to study at the top IR school in the world was something I could never have imagined.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

While a few other schools were on my mind, nothing compares to the Security Studies Program here at Georgetown. The professors’ reputations are beyond comparison and I am grateful
everyday for the opportunity to learn from the best.

In which region would you be most excited about working?

I definitely hope to work in NEA (MENA) once my career in the Foreign Service kicks off. I was lucky to spend a lot of time in places like Oman, UAE, and Morocco during my Fulbright Fellowship and I am eager to return. The opportunity to combine the policy skills I cultivate at Georgetown with my Arabic studies from UNG will be a dream come true.


Katie Garay (SSP’19)

Alexandria, Virginia
George Mason University (Major: Government and International Politics)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

In the summer of 2015 I had the honor of interning at the U.S. Embassy in Panama in the Political Section.  While initially I wasn’t sold on a career in Foreign Service, my work that summer was invigorating and inspiring and I knew after that experience that I had found the career I wanted to pursue.  I admired all of the Foreign Service Officers in the Embassy, and I imagined myself doing similar work some day. After discussing my goals and interests with my supervisor in depth, I decided that I would do whatever it took to enter the Foreign Service, and I set my mind on becoming a Rangel Fellow.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

When looking at graduate programs I had a fairly good idea of what I wanted.  I wanted to study security policy in a program that was more practical than theoretical; that was focused in preparing its students for real world application; and that looked at security more broadly than the traditional idea of security.  While doing this I felt that the Security Studies Program was the best fit for me, not only because of how amazing the program is, but because it was also close to home and on a campus I had always loved.

What do you see as the greatest diplomatic challenges going forward?

The world is changing far more quickly than we could have ever anticipated, and our greatest challenge will be navigating through uncharted waters.  As technology advances, and countries and non state actors begin to use these technologies, we will be faced with challenges that we can’t yet imagine, and it will fall on those in Foreign Service careers to lay the groundwork for a global path forward.  The greatest challenge will be working with the international community to ensure safe usages of new technologies.


Manuela Hernandez (MSFS’19)

Medellin, Colombia/Florida
University of Florida in Gainesville (Majors: Economics and International Studies)

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

I really enjoy the small program of 120 students in my class in contrast to the large state-university experience I had for my undergrad. I love that the classes are capped at 16 people because I get more interaction with the professors. The MSFS program is ranked number one in the world for my field of interest, and I wanted to learn from the best practitioners and classmates before starting my diplomatic career.

In which region would you be most excited about working?

My main focus area has always been Western Europe; I have lived in both Germany and France, speak those languages, and have traveled to over 20 countries in Europe. But after completing a “Portuguese for Spanish speakers” course last semester, I have been drawn towards Brazil and the Western Hemisphere. My parents are from Colombia, and I have both lived/studied in Medellin so I identify with the culture. I will ultimately work anywhere the State Department sends me, and I am not limited to just those two regions; I find Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East also fascinating.

What concerns and hopes do you have for the future of the Foreign Service?

I am concerned with the lack of diversity in the Foreign Service because it is crucial for the success of our foreign policy, and programs like Rangel and Pickering are fundamental pillars of raising awareness and helping fill this gap. I hope that we can fill many of the current vacancies—with more diverse employees—in the State Department in order to bring in a wider perspective that is representative of the U.S. population.


Ashley Inman (MSFS’20)

Naples, Florida
University of Florida (Majors: International Studies and Political Science)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

The challenges the international community faces today are increasingly complex, and the world often looks to the United States for leadership. I believe the world can best be changed by building relationships and cultivating mutual respect and understanding between countries—and joining the U.S. Foreign Service, serving on the front lines of diplomacy, will allow me to play a role in doing just that.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

Georgetown focuses intently on a curriculum that blends theory and practice, allowing students to take lessons from the classroom and directly and concretely apply them in professional spheres. Moreover, MSFS especially appealed to me due to its focus on the ethical dimension of international relations, as it emphasizes the importance of international service: elements that I think are crucial for a Foreign Service Officer.


Sin Yan Lau (MSFS’20)

Boise, Idaho
American University (Majors: International relations and Economics)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

My family decided to immigrate to the U.S. when I was young, and we had such a positive experience at the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong. That interaction with the State Department Foreign Service ultimately inspired me to become a Foreign Service Officer myself. I want to represent the U.S. abroad and work on a wide range of challenging issues that are affecting the American people.


Brittany Orange (MSFS’20)

Orange County, Virginia
University of Massachusetts, Boston (Major: Political Science Minor: Spanish)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

I grew up in a really small town in Virginia with very little diversity. Moving to Boston was a completely new experience for me. I was surrounded by so many different cultures. While there, I completed two AmeriCorps service years before starting undergrad, the last one in an immigration center. I saw the importance of serving your country. However, I also had a love for international affairs that had been ignited by the cultures in Boston. The Foreign Service is the perfect mix of the two.

What hopes do you have for the future of the Foreign Service?

Judging from the group of Fellows here at Georgetown, the Fellows I spent the summer with, and the FSO’s I’ve met so far, the future of the Foreign Service is bright and I am excited for the future!


Nicole Roberts (SSP’19)

Milford, Massachusetts
American University (Major: Justice, Law and Society Minor: Mandarin Chinese)

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

While many of the fellows in my cohort came to Georgetown to get their Masters in Foreign Service, I chose Georgetown specifically for its Security Studies program. I’ve always had an interest in Political/Military affairs, and I thought the program would give me a unique perspective that would enable me to be a more effective representative of the United States, particularly in interagency situations that require close coordination with the Department of Defense.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

My favorite part of my Georgetown experience has been meeting and interacting with the other students in the SSP program. They all come from a variety of backgrounds and have unique professional experiences that make class discussions lively and engaging.


Kalif Robinson (MSFS’19)

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Georgia State University (Major: Economics Minor: Arabic)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

The opportunity to lead a life of global public service was one of the most attractive aspects of obtaining a career in the Foreign Service. Moreover, this career will positively change my life and my family’s life for generations to come. I am deeply honored to be able to serve my country and show the world the many faces of American diplomacy.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

My favorite part of the Georgetown experience has been getting access to some of the world’s most renown foreign policy leaders. I have seen former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Colin Powell speak, I have met and had a conversation with former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and I have had the opportunity to meet many former and current US Ambassadors. It has also been amazing to get to know some of my incredibly talented and driven peers from all over the world.


Zinna Senbetta (MSFS’19)

Wheaton, Illinois
Princeton University (Major: Sociology)

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

I chose Georgetown because of its commitment to service in the international community, MSFS‘s well rounded and flexible curriculum and the amazing Georgetown university network.

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

Small-group discussions and coffee chats with practitioners have been a highlight of my Georgetown experience because they give me and fellow students the opportunity to engage and challenge our classroom knowledge and personal professional experiences through intimate and open discussions about current issues.


Hawi Tilahune (MSFS’19)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Minneapolis, Minnesota
Macalester College (Majors: International Studies and Political Science, African Studies Concentration)

What inspired you to join the Foreign Service?

I have always been drawn to public service and exploring the intersections of ethnic conflict, faith and foreign affairs. The foreign service provides the platform to serve Americans abroad and to engage my passion for foreign policy.

Why did you choose Georgetown for preparation for the Foreign Service?

I chose Georgetown for its holistic curriculum, location in a vibrant city and professors who draw upon their vast experiences to engage students from all over the world.  

What has been your favorite part of your Georgetown experience so far?

Informal conversations with classmates about their own field of interest in foreign policy. It’s been a thrill to hear the stories of my classmates and understand where their passions for specific issue areas and/or regions comes from.

In which region would you be most excited about working?

Although I have always had a passion for Africa, every region has something unique and challenging to offer; I am open to these transformative experiences.