Senior Matt Raab Finds Time for IR and Other Passions at SFS

Matthew Raab
SFS, Class of 2017, International History
Potomac, Maryland
Mililani, Hawaii
Language: Spanish
Proseminar: Imperialism and Resistance with Prof. Maria Luise Wagner
Study Abroad: Santiago, Chile (Fall 2015)
On-Campus Activities:
The Hoya
Intramural sports
Georgetown’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership (Research Assistant)
SFS Communications Office (Intern)
Non-GU Activities:
McColm and Company (Intern)


May 1, 2017 by Margaux Fontaine

Like many students in the School of Foreign Service, Matthew Raab’s (SFS’17) interest in international relations and public service is what attracted him to Georgetown in the first place.

“What I was less sure about coming to Georgetown is where my other interests would fit into the picture—media and journalism, history, and just a general interest in expanding my horizons,” Raab said.

While international relations still remains his passion – his ultimate goal is a career in the Foreign Service – Raab soon discovered that Georgetown and the SFS provided him with the opportunity to explore his other interests. He has been a prolific sportswriter for The Hoya since his freshman year, and he has been involved with North American Invitational Model U.N. (NAIMUN), one of his favorite events each year, in a variety of capacities. He’s worked as a research assistant at Georgetown’s Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership, and is now working in the Communications Office of the SFS, a job he loves. Raab also considers himself an avid intramural athlete – “Although I never snagged my championship,” he recalled.

Raab and friends cheering on the Georgetown Men’s Basketball Team in Madison Square Garden at the 2015 Big East Tournament.

What Raab will miss most about his time at Georgetown is the people.

“First, my friends, who have given me countless memories, from the weekends to the late night foreign policy debates,” he said.

He also deeply values the opportunities he’s had to connect with the professors in the SFS.

“Being surrounded by the Georgetown faculty, so many experts in so many fields disposed to share their knowledge, has been a gift that I’m not sure will be matched at any other point in my life,” Raab said.

Raab explained that Dean Anthony Pirrotti has been a constant source of guidance throughout his academic career, and a number of professors have also have a significant impact.

“I will always be thankful to former Visiting Professor Theresa Keeley, now at Louisville, for her engaging U.S. diplomatic history classes and guidance, which were a huge part of bringing my major and course of study to where it is today,” Raab said.

The class that left the most lasting impression on Raab was “U.S. Foreign Policy in Conflict States” with Institute for the Study of Diplomacy fellow Ramon Escobar.

“As someone who hopes to someday work in the Foreign Service, I found Ramon’s perspective as a FSO on critical areas of U.S. foreign policy, some of which he had been personally involved with, to be eye-opening and inspiring,” Raab said.

Another incredible class for Raab has been “Foreign Policy Toolbox” with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, which he is taking this semester.

“I have had the chance to engage with so much experience and expertise through this course,” Raab said. “Professor Albright provides perspective like no other, and the policymaking simulation that the course centers around was one of the most memorable assignments I have had at Georgetown.”

“I was blown away by the otherworldly Atacama Desert while I was abroad in Chile,” Raab said. “A small lake bed in one of the driest places on Earth perfectly reflected mountains and other wild scenery.”

Beyond the Hilltop, Raab spent a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile, which he describes as one of the most incredible experiences of his life.

“While in Chile, I was completely immersed in a foreign culture, in a part of the world I was unfamiliar with, living in the home of a family I had never met beforehand,” he recounted. “I gained incredible perspective on global affairs from outside the United States while my Spanish language skills solidified and I got the chance to explore some of the world’s most stunning landscapes.”

Raab graduated from high school in Potomac, Maryland, so coming to school in D.C. wasn’t a major location shift for him. Still, he tried to break the bubble at every opportunity.

“Making the effort to connect with the city was a huge part of my freshman year (and beyond),” Raab said. “I can’t pick just one experience—all the Nats games, food quests, and just wandering have been an indelible part of my Georgetown experience.”

With his dad in the Army, Raab grew up in a variety of places, ranging from Germany to Hawaii among others. But his four years on the Hilltop have added up to more than another pin on a map, as he hopes to continue to engage with international relations and government issues here in D.C.

“My time at Georgetown has solidified D.C. as a home for me, something I hope to enjoy in years to come,” Raab said. “But it will never look quite the same as it did from the Hilltop.”