Sahil Jain, a native of Northern California, began his time at the Department of State in the Office of Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. Subsequently, he joined USAID assisting with the launch of the Global Development Lab Bureau. He then returned to the Department of State, where he is currently a Country Officer assisting on Hague Convention treaties. In 2018, Sahil—a current U.S. Department of State Charles B. Rangel Fellow and a 2018 master’s candidate in International Affairs at the Elliott School—will join the Foreign Service as a political officer.
When did you realize you wanted an international career and what inspired you to select your program or concentration at the Elliott School?
As a first generation Asian-American growing up in a diverse neighborhood in California, I was lucky enough to realize in my elementary school days that I enjoy cultures and international affairs (without explicitly knowing the term). My first class in college happened to be Intro to International Affairs with Dr. D’Amico who introduced diplomacy to me, and from that point on, I knew I wanted to join the Foreign Service. Currently, my concentration is U.S. Foreign Policy. I’ll be joining the U.S. Foreign Service next year, and to understand and contribute to this field in academia is a privilege and an honor.
What resources (online or offline) have proven to be the most valuable in helping you reach your career success?
Mentors! To have someone make an unorthodox investment in me is the only reason I’m still in D.C.. Through my mentors, not only did I gain knowledge, but personal support throughout the beginning of my career.
What piece of advice/wisdom would you have given yourself when you started your program now that you’ve completed your first year?
My favorite part about Elliott is the faculty. Dr. Burrows, for example, former Counselor to the National Intelligence Counselor and chief drafter of Global Trends 2030, was one of my professors. He currently works a few blocks away at the Atlantic Council, and without the Elliott School, there would have been slim chances of me meeting him, let alone him giving feedback on my work. I hope to keep relationships like this beyond my time at The Elliott School and would advise everyone else to take advantage of this diverse faculty.
If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?
D.C. Resident Forgets his SmartTrip Card at Home–Again.
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The #WeAreElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights current students to answer common questions posed by prospective, incoming, and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs.