Hamilton High alumna Allison Chen wants to promote American values and she figures the best way to do that is in foreign service.
Recently, her ambition got a major boost from the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University, which awarded Chen a 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship following a highly competitive nationwide selection process.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by Howard University, the fellowship “supports extraordinary individuals who want to pursue a career in the foreign service of the U.S. Department of State,” according to a release from the center.
A 2017 Hamilton graduate, Chen also will be supported in getting a master’s degree.
This summer, she interned at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress as part of her fellowship and next summer she will intern at a U.SZ. embassy abroad, although exactly where has yet to be determined.
Chen, 22, has work on a double major in economics and political science at Yale University, which is where her ambition to serve this country blossomed.
“I realized that I could best serve the U.S. as a diplomat, by representing the U.S. using words, presence, negotiation, and cultural adaptability,” she said. “My skills and experiences, including fluency in four languages and longtime engagement in international affairs, have shown me that I can best serve the U.S. in this capacity.”
Chen has also interned at the United Nations, focusing on sustainable development issues, and at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing supporting women’s economic empowerment.
As the previous co-president of Yale Building Bridges, she helped create a standardized sex education curriculum for rural Chinese high school students, which has been taught by American and Chinese student-teachers to nearly 1,000 students in rural Shandong and Hunan.
Last summer, she interned at Love146, an anti-child-trafficking non-profit, conducting research for preventative anti-sex-trafficking education in Africa.
She served as managing editor of The Yale Politic, an undergraduate political journal established in 1947, and worked as a Paul Block Journalism Fellow. She is fluent in four languages (English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese) and was a 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar. She will attend Columbia University as an incoming master in international affairs student this fall.
“I am incredibly excited to work in the U.S. Foreign Service,” Chen said. “It’s been a long-term dream of mine to work as a diplomat and engage cross-culturally, representing the U.S. and promoting diplomatic engagement and economic development abroad – especially regarding issues of gender and broader social inequality. I could not have done this without the support of my family, school, professors, and friends.”
Upon successful completion of the fellowship, Chen will become a U.S. diplomat in summer 2023.
The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program aims to enhance excellence and diversity in the U.S. Foreign Service.
Established in 2003, the Rangel Program selects outstanding fellows after a competitive nationwide selection process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring and professional development activities.