TLG is proud to spotlight Brandon Jovan Jackson, Foreign Service Officer at U.S. Department of State. Brandon serves as Vice President of The Pickering & Rangel Fellows Association (PRFA), is an International Career Advancement Program (ICAP) fellow, and a member of the Thursday Luncheon Group. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Brandon earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell University and Georgetown University. Learn more about Brandon's journey, experiences, and the importance of inclusion below.
“Working for State as a Foreign Service Officer has been transformative, enabling me to understand more intimately that policy and process is about people and our ability as foreign policy practitioners to connect and work through our areas of disagreement. I have worked in the multilateral space for some time and it has been one of the most humbling and yet rewarding experiences I have had since joining the Department. When I am sitting behind the podium at an international event, representing the United States, I feel a sense of pride. It means so much to be the voice of America as a representative of a disadvantaged group – it means so much to communities in America and those who we engage with as partners around the world. The State Department has provided such opportunities for me and countless others.
I gravitate towards the unknown – always have, where there may be more questions than answers. I also enjoy learning, and in this job, I am constantly engaging issues as a student. I am a proud Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program Fellow. The program changed my life. I was not exposed to the State Department growing up. I was educationally prepared, but culturally, there are specific careers and lived experiences that are just more accessible to certain communities based on historical access. I am thankful that such notions are slowly changing and I remain a strong advocate for inclusion. A Department that retains and fiercely advocates for those who have been historically marginalized is the best example we can give to our partners around the world, particularly when we raise issues of equal and fair treatment. In my time at State, I have endeavored to use my skills and knowledge to build, change, and create new opportunities that ultimately advance the values and interests of the people of the United States of America."