You have worked as a teacher in different parts of the world prior to joining the US Department of State. Can you share the experience of your journey into diplomacy?
I was a teacher in Indonesia, and there is a man who was an American diplomat, and he really thought that it was a kind of big deal. I was very proud of being a teacher. So, this guy said to me, ‘If you are so smart, take the test.’ I thought, ‘I’m a teacher, I am smart.’ So I took the test and I passed. I failed the oral part, so I took the whole thing all over again, and that was how I became a diplomat. When I got the letter inviting me to join the US foreign service, I also got a letter inviting me for another teaching job. I remember my husband and I trying to decide what to do. But a friend admonished me to join the foreign service, saying, ‘If you pass off this opportunity, you may never have it again. That is a lesson that has stood me in good stead. Read more