OCTOBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
Dear TLG Members,
2019 has been a marquee year for TLG. We helped to organize a Black History Month Program at the U.S. Diplomacy Center, conducted a series of brownbag events with several Department principals, participated in the annual HBCU Foreign Policy Conference, and partnered with the Association of Black American Ambassadors to host the annual Pickering, Rangel, Payne Fellows reception. We capped off the first half of the year with celebrating our 45th anniversary in the historic Benjamin Franklin Room. Thank you all for making this year a success.
With the support of your membership dues, we welcomed two paid summer internships, Sabre Morris and Jasmine McClam. We thank our partners the American Foreign Service Association and the Association of Black American Ambassadors for their continued support for the summer internship program. We were happy to spotlight the amazing work of our summer interns. To learn more about their story visit our TLG Spotlight page.
This year we also welcomed two new members to the TLG Executive Board, Michael Fraser (Program Chair) and Christina Tilghman (Membership Chair). If you are interested in working with the Executive Board or have ideas for programing feel free to email us at TLG1973@state.gov.
We have exciting programming for the fall coming up. So, stay tuned. On behalf of the Executive Board, I thank you all for your continued support and participating in our events.
TLG Board (from left to right) Imani Esparza Pitman, Recardo Gibson, Shawanesh Underwood, Amber Whittington, and Michael Fraser (not pictured Christina Tilghman).
Thursday Luncheon Group and Black Professionals in International Affairs Career Expo
On Wednesday, October 16, TLG and The Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA) will host a career expo at Howard University. The discussion topics will include: career opportunities in international affairs. To RSVP visit the Events page.
NEW TLG Board Members
Michael Fraser - Program Chair
Michael is a Foreign Service Officer with a passion for public service, economics, community building, and mentorship. His previous assignments include being an Economic Officer in Panama, a Consular Officer in Peru, the Political/Economic Chief in Guyana, a Financial Economist in the Economic Bureau’s Office of Monetary Affairs, and the Macroeconomic Officer in the Africa Bureau’s Office of Economic and Regional Affairs.
Currently, he serves as the Tanzania Desk Officer. Michael grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended Edward R. Murrow High School. Michael completed a bachelor’s degree of economics in 2002 at Tufts University. Later, in 2004 Michael became a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellow. As a Rangel Fellow, Michael served as a summer intern at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, completed a Master of Public Administration at New York University, and joined the Foreign Service in 2006. Michael is also a 2017 ICAP Fellow.
He is married with a five-year-old son. Michael’s hobbies include martial arts and writing poetry.
Christina Tilghman - Membership Chair
Christina Tilghman joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer in 2010. Currently, she serves as the Senior Public Diplomacy Advisor for the Global Health Diplomacy Office under the Secretary’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator. Her previous overseas assignments included Canada and South Africa. Christina also served domestically in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues, Bureau of International Information Programs, the White House's National Security Council, and Bureau of African Affairs. She speaks French and Urdu.
Christina is a native of the Washington, D.C. area. She attended Hampton University for her Bachelor’s degree. Christina earned her Master degree in public policy focusing on international development and global public health from the University of Maryland, College Park. Christina is a Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellow, 2018 International Career Advancement Program Fellow, and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member.
TLG 45th Anniversary Gala
In June, we celebrated our 45th anniversary! Thank you for joining us to commemorate the commitment this momentous occasion. The sacrifices of our pioneers have paved the way. As we look forward, TLG remains committed to reinvesting in our future. We were honored to recognize four stellar individuals with the TLG Pioneer Award. They have made profound impacts on the foreign affairs community. We were proud to recognize Ambassador Harry Thomas, Jr., Ms. Fannie Allen, Dr. Tom Rowe, and Dr. Richard Hope for their work. To view more photos visit our Instagram page.
We are proud to support the 2019 Thomas R. Pickering, Charles B. Rangel, and Donald M. Payne Fellows. TLG and the Association of Black American Ambassadors welcomed the fellows to the foreign affairs family with a reception featuring Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. and Congressman Emeritus Charles B. Rangel. Follow cohort happenings using #PRPFellows2019.
Brownbag Discussion Series
We hosted Ambassadors Joan Polaschik, Todd Robinson, and Tibor Nagy and Assistant Secretary Mary Elizabeth Taylor as a part of our Brownbag Discussion Series. These discussions allow mid-career and entry-level members to interact with Senior level participants to gain insights, lessons learned, and hear how they overcame challenges in their career.
Black History Month Program: African American Trailblazers in Diplomacy
In honor of Black History Month, the U.S. Diplomacy Center, TLG, and Blacks in Government hosted an event exploring the diplomatic careers of five African American trailblazers in diplomacy: Ebenezer Bassett, Ralph Bunche, Edward Dudley, Patricia Roberts Harris, and Mabel Murphy Smythe. TLG Pioneer Ambassador Ruth A. Davis led the discussion. The full program can be viewed on YouTube.
HBCU Foreign Policy Conference
As TLG honors our pioneers, we also place specific emphasis on reinvesting in the next generation. In March, we welcomed and guided students during the U.S Department of State's 10th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Foreign Policy Conference. TLG's participation demonstrated support for engagement with our community and opportunities for students to access mentors and information about careers at State and USAID.
TLG Monthly Spotlight
Thank you to Sabre Morris, Jasmine McClam, Candace Bates, Youshea Berry, Tony Fernandes, Navarro Moore, Lia Miller and Recardo Gibson for sharing their career journeys and stories with TLG members and social media audiences. Every month, we spotlight TLG professionals to celebrate their contributions and give stellar examples of the diversity in background and experiences of African Americans in foreign affairs. If you would like to be featured in the Spotlight email us at TLG1973@state.gov.
Expanded Social Media Presence
In an effort to reach new audiences, we launched a new YouTube channel and Instagram page. We want to position ourselves to reach the new tech savvy generation. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE. To follow us on Instagram visit https://www.instagram.com/thetlg1973/. We would love to highlight the work of our officers on social media. If you have photos of your If you have photos of your work from the field, please share them with us email at TLG1973@state.gov.
TLG 2019 Survey Results
Earlier this year, we asked you to provide feedback on your experience as TLG members, share what has been beneficial to you, and make suggestions for improvement. According to your comments, TLG has helped expand your professional network, is a key advocate for African Americans in foreign affairs, and has helped make our State and USAID communities more diverse.
Along with what we are doing well, you made recommendations on how we can do even better. You suggested we utilize senior members more, especially by connecting them with early and mid-career members. You recommended we conduct more outreach to youth and the community. You asked for more networking opportunities. A few of the new developments in this newsletter, preview our new initiatives in response to your feedback. We heard you, but feedback does not stop with the survey. Send us your ideas, volunteer to lead a program, or just check-in at TLG1973@state.gov. If you are interested in learning more about respondent demographics, see below.