Whether you are interested in foreign affairs, public diplomacy, or people-to-people exchanges, you can find a fulfilling career with the U.S. Department of State. With dozens of overseas and domestic career, internship, and fellowship opportunities, the U.S. Department of State has something for everyone.
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Britta Bjornlund is Chief of the Youth Programs Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). As the Youth Programs Division Chief, Britta currently oversees programs for more than 4,500 youth including the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study programs (YES), among others. Prior to acquiring this position in November 2018, Britta was the Study of the U.S. Branch Chief for ten years where she created and oversaw the Mandela Washington Fellowship (YALI) and the YSEALI Academic Fellowship. Before joining State in 2009, Britta was the Executive Director of the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation from 2006 to 2008. Prior to that, she worked at the Open World Leadership Center of the Library of Congress where she directed high-level exchange programs for leaders from Russia and other Eurasian countries. Her background also includes managing development and technical assistance programs in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Britta authored four books on the Cold War and the Russian Revolution for middle- and high-school students. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a bachelor’s degree in Russian from Williams College.
John Leake is a second-year master’s student in Regional Studies – Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia at Harvard University. His research interests include Russian politics, Soviet history, and issues of race and racialization in the post-Soviet space. He recently completed a summer internship in the Youth Programs Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He is also a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow and will join the Foreign Service after graduation. John is an alumnus of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program to Russia and served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kazan, Russia. He is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, and graduated from New York University.
Naureen M. Nalia is a program officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs overseeing short-term exchange programs for over 30 countries in the Western hemisphere. She has previously served as the Deputy Public Affairs Officer in U.S. Embassy Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago and as a Consular Officer in Hyderabad, India, and Guadalajara, Mexico. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Naureen was a legal aid attorney in Central California where she represented victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in civil proceedings. Naureen was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and has a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a master’s in foreign service and a law degree.