Andrew Pacelli '04
Position: Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State
Field: Politics & Policy
Thesis Title: “Wealth and Virtue in Fourth-century Athenian Public Oratory”
My college years were spent indulging a mad curiosity for wonderfully esoteric ideas. I had no better partner in crime than the History Department which gave me an incredibly rigorous foundation in research and writing, plus the latitude to pick classes from every imaginable field of study – from Government and Philosophy to VES and Art & Architecture. In pursuing knowledge across the university, I became adept at translating ideas across areas and disciplines. This is a skill I employee every day in my career with the State Department as an officer in the Diplomatic Service of the United States. From the jungles of Guinea to the bazaars of Pakistan, I am drawing from what I know about the past to tell stories and shape narratives that will hopefully help change the direction of history for some of the world’s most troubled regions. Whether I am listening to cabinet ministers, street sweepers, warlords or refugees, my time in the History Department trained me to be open to their perspectives and to weigh each with care. I have no doubt that a degree in history was the best preparation I could have had for being a Foreign Service Officer. Diplomacy requires exactly what the study of history demands: an inclination to question what you know, and a life-long desire to know more.