Join the World Affairs Council’s Young Professionals International Network (YPIN) for a panel discussion on international development, foreign policy, and the US Department of State at iLeap. Casual networking and light refreshments to follow.
Learn about what it's like to work in the US Department of State, the industry, and the path the panelists took to get there. The US State Department works to advise the President and lead the country in foreign policy issues.
Chelsea Bergeson/ Vice Consul U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City
Chelsea joined the Department as an Economic-coned officer in January 2016 and began serving her first Consular tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in November 2016 after 11 months of Vietnamese language and other diplomatic training.
Chelsea is a native Pacific North Westerner, having grown up in Marysville, Washington. Thereafter she studied Political Science, Human Rights, and International Studies at the University of Washington. Chelsea then moved to Arusha, Tanzania for two years, where she met her husband, Chris, and dragged him back across the globe to Seattle, Washington where she obtained her J.D. degree from Seattle University School of Law, focusing on Business and International Law.
Roger Meece/ Former U.S. Ambassador to Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo
After graduating from Michigan State University, Mr. Meece served as a Peace Corps Volunteer is Sierra Leone, and later various staff assignments in several countries. Joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1979, he had assignments in Canada, parts of Latin America, and Washington DC, including two years detailed to the Vice President’s Office. He spent a majority of his career in Africa, however, with two appointments as U.S. Ambassador, to Malawi (2000 – 2003) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2004 – 2007). Following his retirement from the Department of State, the U.N. Secretary-General appointed him as Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, heading the U.N. Peacekeeping Mission there from 2010 - 2013. Upon completion, he returned to retirement in the Seattle area, but continues to be involved in foreign policy related activities. He currently serves on the board of the Seattle World Affairs Council, and chairs the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Washington State.
AJ Rei-Perrine/ Senior Consultant Loft9 Consulting, Former Foreign Service Officer
AJ Rei-Perrine began her professional career as a US diplomat, implementing foreign policy and providing first-hand reporting and analysis in Eastern Europe and South America. Later AJ helped run an international film company, producing television, music videos, and short films overseas. She practiced law for several years upon returning to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and is now in management consulting. AJ speaks Spanish and Albanian and is from Seattle.
US State Department Mission Statement
The Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow.
The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.