As an international relations and economics major, Shayma Jannat learned to thread the needle between theory and practice. The interdisciplinary curriculum enabled her to hone her communication, foreign language and negotiation skills – all of which have been critical to her professional development as a diplomat.
Shayma’s passion for diversity advocacy and international affairs gradually translated into a career in the U.S. Foreign Service – a profession in which she is rarely faced with the comfortable or familiar. During her time in the Foreign Service, she has advanced peace negotiations in Burma to end a six decades-old civil conflict, managed an immigration parole program for Cuban doctors in Colombia and promoted U.S. democratic values and economic and business interests in Hong Kong. She says her William & Mary education equipped her with a variety of tools and experiences from which she draws to navigate these diverse challenges, but above all it taught her how to be an active, informed and responsible citizen. Shayma is currently assigned to the American Institute in Taiwan.