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Career Conversations – Career Trajectories and Types in Foreign Affairs | Foreign Policy in Practice Series

September 27, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm CDT

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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (@ChiCouncilFP) and Associated Colleges of the Midwest (@ACMedu) have joined together for a yearlong series on Foreign Policy in Practice.

Have you wondered what a career in foreign affairs might encompass and how you might take your important first step in that direction? Join students from across the ACM in a conversation about different career types and paths in this field and hear from a panel of professionals whose experiences span the government and private sector and diverse perspectives from journalism, advocacy, diplomacy, tech, and security. Our panelists will discuss their career paths and how these different foreign affairs tracks interact, followed by time for students to ask questions of the panelists, discuss potential career paths, and network with their ACM peers.


Foreign Affairs Career Panelists

  • Nahal Toosi, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, POLITICO
  • Darya Pilram, Strategy and Policy Lead on Artificial Intelligence, Carnegie Mellon University; previously led Twitter’s Harmful Group Activity research
  • Jeffrey Smith, Founder and Executive Director, Vanguard Africa
  • Maureen Farrell, Director for Horn of Africa, National Security Council
  • Elizabeth Shackelford, Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former U.S. foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department

About the Panelists

Nahal Toosi 

Nahal is POLITICO’s senior correspondent for foreign affairs and national security. Her work has taken her from the halls of the US State Department to refugee camps in Asia. Nahal joined POLITICO from The Associated Press, where she reported from and/or served as an editor in New York, Islamabad, Kabul and London. Prior to joining the AP, Nahal worked for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she spent most of her time at the college paper, The Daily Tar Heel.

Darya Pilram 

Darya is the head of strategy and policy for Carnegie Mellon University’s Artificial Intelligence Division at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). Previously, Darya led research and insights for Twitter’s Harmful Group Activity team. Before transitioning into tech, Darya worked to uncover the human aspect of conflict and unintended consequences of military operations in Afghanistan, Somalia, and other conflict and post-conflict zones. She earned her Master of Public Health from George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego.

Jeffrey Smith 

Jeffrey is the founder and Executive Director of Vanguard Africa. He has over a decade of experience in human rights advocacy, pro-democracy and research work on Africa, including at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Freedom House, National Endowment for Democracy, Institute for Democratic Alternatives in South Africa, and UNESCO. Jeffrey has planned and conducted human rights and civil society assessment missions to several African countries and has published extensively on US-Africa policy and human rights.

Maureen Farrell 

Maureen is the Director for the Horn of Africa at the National Security Council, where she develops and advances US policies and objectives across the region. Maureen has more than 20 years of specialized experience in Africa, having worked in the development, defense, and diplomacy sectors on the continent.  She has previously worked for US Africa Command (AFRICOM), in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, at the Department of State, as a USAID implementer, on Capitol Hill, and in the private sector.

Elizabeth Shackelford  

Elizabeth Shackelford is a senior fellow in US foreign policy with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She was a career diplomat with the US Department of State until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration. As a Foreign Service Officer, Shackelford served in Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Poland, and Washington, D.C. She is the author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age, winner of the 2020 Douglas Dillon Book Award.


September 27, 2022
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm CDT
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