Bradley Wiggins earned her MA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development and Conflict Resolution. While attending the Elliott School, she focused on the impact of armed conflict and security threats on educational systems – specifically in Africa. Bradley’s Global Capstone Project analyzed strategic considerations for harmonizing language education policy and practice in South Africa. During graduate school, Bradley first worked as an intern for Global Classrooms DC, the flagship education program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA). She then joined the U.S. Department of State as a Pathways intern, later converting into a full-time employee. Currently, Bradley works as a Program Coordinator in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of International Visitors, Near East and North Africa Branch. Before completing her graduate degree, Bradley received her BA in History and Art History from the University of South Carolina. She then served as a 2014 Teach for America corps member in Nashville, Tennessee, where she taught high school for two years. Bradley is originally from Statesboro, Georgia.
Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?
I work as a Program Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP is an exchange program for current and emerging international leaders who travel to the U.S. for programs that reflect their professional interests and U.S. foreign policy goals. My team and I work with U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa to identify changemakers who will have an impact on their professional field for years to come. In my position, I am instrumental in the logistical planning and consular components of this program. This includes composing a variety of reports and cables to support the region. I also serve as a liaison between staff at embassies and our non-governmental affiliates to ensure that our exchange visitors have all of the necessary travel documents and exchange information to ensure a successful program. Additionally, I assist with program orientations, attend Department of State regional briefings with our participants, and conduct closing evaluations.
What was your experience with the job search post-graduation? Can you provide any wisdom for students who will start their job search?
Since I was already working as a Pathways intern, my job search post-graduation was slightly different than some of my peers. Instead of searching for a new position, I had to navigate the conversion process to become a full-time federal employee. Although programs such as Pathways may not guarantee you a position upon graduation, they do offer the opportunity to gain relevant work experience, acquire a security clearance, and build your network from within an agency while completing your graduate studies. All of these are valuable advantages to finding a job upon graduation. For these reasons, I would encourage students to research opportunities such as Pathways early on in their graduate career.
What do you wish other people knew about your organization?
Having been around for nearly 80 years, the International Visitor Leadership Program has a rich history. The program has supported U.S. foreign policy by fostering the mutual exchange of information across a range of key sectors such as education, security, and governance. The IVLP welcomes around 5,000 exchange participants every year and relies on the commitment of nearly 90 volunteer-based community organizations in 44 states. More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP. Many of these exchange participants went on – later in their careers – to become Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, such as Anwar Sadat and Margaret Thatcher.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
It should not come as a shock to anyone who knows me that I would definitely be a corgi. Take one look at my desk at work and you will find a corgi calendar, magnets, and stickers. I even recently attended the Million Corgi March in Washington, DC and am now certain that being surrounded by corgis is the epitome of true joy. I really can’t pinpoint what makes corgis so great, but I believe it has something to do with the disproportionate nature of their short legs and big ears that makes them so lovable. For these incredibly thought out reasons, I without a doubt would be a corgi, potentially in a costume or sweater, because what is better than that?
The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. The views expressed by alumni profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail email@example.com.