Our Alumni Share Their Experiences

WIDA has alumni across the United States and in 30 other countries on five continents. They include students, recent graduates, mid-career professionals and senior executives. Some of them work or pursue careers in diplomacy, while others apply the diplomacy skills they learn to their work in other fields.

Rachel Boveja


“As a mid-career professional, this academy gave me the opportunity of a discourse with others from a variety of backgrounds and ages who were also interested in diplomacy. I benefited from instruction in diplomatic communication, public speaking and diplomatic negotiation. I look forward to using these skills throughout my career.”

Charlie Keohan


“As someone interested in a career in diplomacy, this program was a great experience for me. I was able to learn about practical elements of diplomatic work, including cross-cultural communication and diplomatic writing, as well as the inner workings of embassies around the world through real-life exercises.”

Consuela Lahoury


“This was the best decision I made in 2019. I didn’t know it was that intensive, and I’d get such comprehensive knowledge of all the subjects I was interested in. It went beyond my expectations. The instructors were extremely knowledgeable, at a very high level.”

Liberty Potter


“I got exactly what I came here for. I’ve been given access to ambassadors to whom I would have not had access otherwise. The training has given me in-depth experiences, the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback and mentorship.”

Walter Sterling


“I took the 2020 summer program, completely online, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in diplomacy. There was a huge diversity of instructors, and everyone who spoke had direct Foreign Service experience.”

Krystal Correal-Tippie


“If you are interested in a WIDA course, then take it and let nothing stop you. You will be pushed outside your comfort zone. You will meet unforgettable classmates and officials from around the world, and your perspectives will grow.”

Sara Andresen


“I wanted to explore more deeply the diplomacy venue of international relations. In some ways, it was what I expected, but I got a much clearer and deeper view of that. In other ways, it has given me insights into aspects of diplomacy that I wouldn’t necessarily have expected.”

Tony Baker


“You’d be hard-pressed, even in a town like Washington, D.C., to have had so much interaction with the level of diplomats we got to meet in this program: Bill Burns, Thomas Pickering, several ambassadors in very important posts throughout the world.”

Fabian Ruiz


“I think this is a very high-quality program. The fact that we were taught by ambassadors, people who have practiced in this field, was very encouraging. No matter what career path you take, diplomacy is a skill you will need.”

Keisha Gilkes


“It’s an amazing program for people starting out in the Foreign Service. But I also think it can be a refresher for people who have been in diplomacy for a long time, who now may need to learn new methods of communication and thinking.”

Selam Petersson


“Going behind the scenes of what it means to be a diplomat and learning from such experienced diplomats was invaluable. You won’t get that until after 20 or 30 years of actually being a diplomat. This training will give you such details, which I don’t think you can gain anywhere else.”

Myriam Puryicky


“I’m very glad that I’ve taken and benefited a lot from this program. If you really want to pursue diplomacy, this is a very good place to start. The program exceeded my expectations, and I definitely can say in a very confident manner that I’ve learned a lot here.”

Maksim Greinoman


“I wanted to learn something that’s not in the books, and for that you need experienced diplomats. The American approach is more down-to-earth than the European approach. It was interesting to see how they influence people in difficult circumstances.”

Latifa AlDarmaki


“I feel like I have more understanding not only about diplomacy, but also about different opportunities and fields, be it political, economic or public diplomacy. At this Academy, not only do you learn, but you also experience. I’m truly grateful.”

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