Sunday, February 20, 2011; 9:14 PM
Department of State | Political Officer | Istanbul
Best known for: As a 26-year-old foreign service officer on her second overseas assignment, Draper seeks to promote opportunities for Turkish women through U.S.-backed programs. These include a project to teach leadership and job skills to more than 2,550 girls in Istanbul and surrounding areas, and a program for Turkish journalism students and faculty at five universities to address gender issues in the media and ways to overcome gender-based violence.
Government service: After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Islamic studies, Draper joined the State Department and completed a year-long tour in Saudi Arabia as a consular officer. She then spent nine months in Turkish language training before becoming a political officer for the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.
Biggest challenge: Living overseas means spending large amounts of time away from family and friends in the United States and missing out on American pop culture and music. “When I returned from Saudi Arabia in 2009, my friends had to give me a crash course on the ‘Saturday Night Live’ skits I’d missed and everything about the 2008 election.”
Quote: “You can’t always point to one thing you did that changed the world. My job with the Foreign Service is my way of supporting American citizens and U.S. goals, both domestically and overseas, and it also happens to be an interesting, challenging and fun career.”
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