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.