#IAmDiplomacy: A Young Diplomat’s Journey

I am a product of the U.S. Department of State’s diversity recruitment and I represent America.

While I have served at State for several years now, my story began much earlier when my 7th grade geography teacher first inspired me to travel. That year I sold candy so I could afford the school trip to Spain. My newfound passion for international affairs eventually led me to Washington, D.C., where the heart of policy beats daily. As a freshman and sophomore in college, I worked two jobs and continued to apply to scholarships to help me pay for my education. Finally, fate and a friend led me to apply for the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship in 2003. Prior to learning about this fellowship I had no idea about the Foreign Service or that this career was within my reach as a young African American girl from Georgia. At just 19 years old, I made one of the most important decisions of my life: accepting a fellowship that paid for my education as well as providing me a future career.

As a Pickering Fellow, I received my first introduction to the U.S. Department of State through its internship program. As an intern, I served both in Washington, D.C. and at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. In Quito, I analyzed the forestry industry and learned more about how the U.S. government was partnering with Ecuador to prevent deforestation. I got to venture to rural parts of the country and speak with communities that all depended on their local trees for income and stability. In Washington, D.C., I edited the International Religious Freedom report before it was distributed worldwide. How the United States regarded countries’ respect for other religions was top news, and foreign governments and non-governmental organizations alike were reading this report once it hit the online and print mediums. These experiences confirmed I made the right decision taking this fellowship and prepared me for a career in the Foreign Service.

U.S. Department of State Recruiting Officer Acquania Escarne (left) speaks to a student at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff [State Department Photo].

One year into my first tour as a diplomat in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a major earthquake tore apart the country. Immediately I went into action with my colleagues to evacuate Americans and their family members to the United States where they could have safe shelter, medical care, and vital resources to heal and overcome this traumatic event. During this time I experienced what it was really like to be on the front lines of American diplomacy and how we must step-up as leaders to help rebuild after a natural disaster. I later assisted evacuees coming from the Middle East while stationed in D.C. and went on to the United Arab Emirates, to lead part of the Management Section of our Consulate in Dubai.

Throughout my entire career, I have talked to students, peers, and anyone who would listen about the Foreign Service. So, when I saw a job vacancy for a recruitment position I jumped at the opportunity. Now, as a Department recruiter, I get to venture across the U.S. to speak with high school and college students as well as experienced professionals about this dynamic career.

I hope that students of Indiana University were inspired by Secretary Kerry’s call to join America’s foreign policy team during his speech. I agree with Secretary Kerry: we need more diversity, and Americans from all walks of life should join our ranks. We need a diplomatic corps that reflects America’s cultural and geographical diversity and we need to go to the people. We need to keep traveling to small towns like Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and big ones like New York City until everyone knows that they too can play a direct role in shaping America’s development and foreign policy.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signs his autograph for students after delivering a speech about U.S. foreign policy at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, on October 15, 2015 [State Department photo].

As I travel the country, I meet young people who are eager to become involved in public service. I encourage them to consider the wide range of career opportunities offered by the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the Peace Corps.

I want them to know you don’t have to be well-connected to be a diplomat. You can simply be a passionate traveler from Georgia who sold candy to go on her first international trip and signed up at 19 to serve her country.

If this sounds like you, consider applying for the U.S. Department of State’s Internship Program.

About the Author: Acquania Escarne is a Recruiter and Outreach Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State.

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Comments

Comments

muhammad m.
|
Pakistan
October 22, 2015
it is good article
Thony L.
|
Haiti
October 22, 2015
I like this program.
Helen c.
|
California, USA
October 23, 2015
I have a niece that a family member and role model was just talking to her about this type of career opportunity like the peace corps this past weekend. I will share this information with her .
Diane H.
|
California, USA
October 23, 2015
Reading your blog really confirmed my first impression that I had the honor of meeting an extraordinary young woman who grasped the vision of the American Women for International Understanding Career Opportunities for International Relations Symposium and without hesitation proceeded to present qualifications for being the best person to be keynote speaker to welcome the participants. Wow. That's the type of team player I welcome. Thank you for being an outstanding example of following your passion that contributes to the betterment of the world.
Md H.
|
Kentucky, USA
October 23, 2015
I love America.I love president Barack Obama.Thanks all the best America.
Duaa O.
|
Israel
October 25, 2015
ı dream to studay school in amercia
Walid A.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 25, 2015
As Ian working these day as a minister advisors on the international cooperation I wish to have this opportunity and have this great chance with my regards
Hisham D.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 25, 2015
I hope that I can attend a course to diplomatic officer and I can make changes to my people
nael s.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 25, 2015
Diplomacy is not just for politicians. But is the art of communication facilities in life.
Akram Z.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 25, 2015

I like American Diplomacy and I hope to be one who speech the. Language of peace in the Middle East

yosif b.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 26, 2015
Hi iam yosif I graduated from faculty of law in the last year I hope to improve the world statment according alot of idea the people must live good life
Al-ameer A.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 26, 2015
I hope to join this because I want to improve my self and help who needs help .
Faisal r.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 26, 2015
I want to train in order to achieve justice in the whole Arab worid and the world of extremism and dissemination aldeamqratih and the emergence of loving and conscious generation of peace
Noor A.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 27, 2015
I wish to have the opportunity to attend this internship program
Ouida W.
|
United States
October 27, 2015
Outstanding!!!
Nezar K.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 28, 2015
I want to help
Suheir K.
|
Palestinian Territories
October 28, 2015
I'm very interested
daniel d.
|
Idaho, USA
April 10, 2016
I want to rule
U.S Department of State Foreign Service Officer Acquania Escarne in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. [Photo courtesy of Karen Race]
Posted by Acquania Escarne
October 22, 2015

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