Ann is committed to bolstering the Foreign Service and encouraging and mentoring the best and brightest from all walks of life to represent their government abroad. Passionate about public service, Ann has worked for four government agencies over the past 25 years. Her goal during her fellowship year is to give back by sharing that experience and zeal with young people, developing their interests, and helping them explore new opportunities.
As a former high school teacher, Ann’s affinity for young adults and belief that exposing them to diverse opinions and opportunities during adolescence can have a transformative effect on their lives drives her project. Her two children recently graduated from high school and their lives have clearly been influenced by experiences and encounters they had living in other countries. Ann’s project encompasses outreach to high schools across the country to present talks and information about the Foreign Service. Her proposal is to target underrepresented areas and populations, to work through the school districts to engage directly with the students in the classrooms or through career fairs and assemblies, to encourage students to think broadly about their careers, and to identify perceived barriers they may face. By doing so, Ann hopes to inspire a broader and more diverse student cohort to consider public service overseas.
Ann has lived overseas for 17 of the past 23 years, in El Salvador, Lithuania, Nigeria, Colombia, Peru and Brazil. She speaks Spanish, French, and Portuguese and recently completed her MBA at Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
Families are not only the support network for Foreign Service Officers, they are unofficial diplomats themselves. Their stories – of moving to a new country, making new friends, learning a new language, going to a new school, changing jobs – are often the most relatable to their fellow Americans. During her fellowship year, Claire will focus on increasing understanding of the Foreign Service lifestyle to improve retention while also giving new audiences an appreciation of the work done by Foreign Service Officers and their families.
Claire is creating an interactive multi-media exhibit to document the real-life stories of Foreign Service families who serve as “diplomats behind the scenes” to reveal and record the compelling, but often challenging journeys of Foreign Service families. The exhibit will showcase the personal adventures, reflections, and perspectives on Foreign Service life from within the community aimed at reaching a broad audience, including potential Foreign Service Officers, their partners, children, extended families, as well as the general public.
Prior to her Cox fellowship, Claire headed the South Korea Unit at the Department of State. Claire’s overseas assignments included Berlin, Kabul, and Stockholm. She also served in the office covering NATO affairs and as a Watch Officer and Senior Watch Officer in the Department’s 24/7 Operations Center.