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Upcoming events

    • 04/26/2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual
    • 0
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    Are you interested in joining the U.S. Foreign Service?

    On April 26th, BPIA will gather four Foreign Service representatives from various departments and agencies to educate BPIA student members and the broader public in U.S. Foreign Service career opportunities. After providing an overview of careers available in their sectors, the panelists will answer questions from the audience about their professional experiences and potential career opportunities.


    Yolonda Kerney joined the U.S. diplomatic corps as a Foreign Service Officer in 2004. She served as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Mission to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica; Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Cameroon, and Economic Officer and Chief Consul at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Guinea. Dr. Kerney is a proud alumna of Howard University from which she earned undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in music history and literature, and religious studies.

    J. Nathan Bland is a career Foreign Service Officer with over fifteen years of experience in a wide variety of areas with the U.S. Department of State. His most recent assignment was as an Assistant General Services Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, serving as the Embassy’s primary Contracting Officer and overseeing logistics for VIP visits. Prior to that, he was the Political, Economic, and International Narcotics Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize. Nathan graduated from Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and Relations with an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations and an M.A. in Asian Studies.

    Alexious Butler is a career Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development. In 2019, Ms. Butler completed a four-year assignment to Haiti Mission where she served initially as the Democracy, Rights and Governance Office Chief and then moved into the front office to serve as Deputy Mission Director (DMD). Her DMD portfolio included the Offices of Foreign DIsaster Assistance, Economic Growth, and Agriculture, Food for Peace, and DRG. A native to Atlanta, Ms. Butler worked in the private sector for almost 10 years as a public relations specialist for a variety of clients including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, McDonald’s, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and the World Bank.

    Rhonda Sinkfield joined the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) in 2013 and has served in Shanghai, Johannesburg, and currently in Washington DC as a desk officer in GM Asia. She is is the inaugural Chair of the recently formed International Trade Administration's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. Rhonda has nearly 20 years of experience in consulting and public policy in various roles at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Deloitte Consulting and Financial Advisory Service, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, General Dynamics, Western Cape Department of Economic Affairs in South Africa, and Japan External Trade Relations Organization. Rhonda holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Clark Atlanta University and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University. She recently completed the International Trade Administration’s Leadership Development Program.

    • 05/01/2021
    • 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual
    • 11

    Join BPIA with special guest Mr. Christian Caryl, Editor of The Washington Post's Opinions section for "Writing with Purpose: An Interactive Op-ed Writing Workshop" on May 1, 2021 from 12pm - 2pm EST. This event will be moderated by BPIA board member Alexandria J. Maloney and BPIA member Shirley M. Hargis. This event is for active BPIA members, with a target toward mid and senior level professionals. 

    This session will discuss:

    • How to pitch an op-ed to a media outlet

    • Samples of "good" and "bad" op-ed pitches

    • Understanding the difference between Op-eds vs. Analysis pieces 

    • Best Practices and other relevant topics

    For more information: please email 

    To become a BPIA member, visit


    • 05/07/2021
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Virtual



    Friday, May 6, 2021 | 7:00 PM ET 

    Location: Zoom 

    After an overwhelming response to our recent feedback survey, BPIA proudly presents "First Fridays: Virtual Happy Hour" a monthly members-only virtual networking happy hour occurring on the "first friday" of every month. Come mix, mingle, and connect with fellow BPIA members of all levels! Because we can't meet up in person, we encourage attendees to greet with cameras for further connection. This months "First Friday" will be co-led by BPIA Board Members Alexandria J. Maloney and Sandile Hlatshwayo. 

    This month's conversation theme is "Connecting in the Diaspora" We look forward to sharing and hearing experiences! 

    Not yet a BPIA member? Join Today!

    For questions - please email 

Past events

04/02/2021 (BPIA Members-Exclusive Event) April First Fridays Virtual Happy Hour
03/25/2021 Celebrating The United Nations International Decade For People Of African Descent “The Struggle, The Beauty, The Hope” featuring the “Say My Name” Art Exhibition
03/05/2021 (Members Exclusive Event) BPIA March First Fridays Virtual Happy Hour
02/25/2021 2021 Black History Month Program “Sitting at the Head of the U.S. Diplomatic Table: Black American Ambassadors Speak”
01/21/2021 Mental Wellness During Covid-19 with Dr. Shelley Savage
01/14/2021 WTO & the State of Play in International Trade Affairs
12/17/2020 MEMBERS-ONLY: BPIA Virtual Holiday Soiree - An Evening of Jazz and Conversation featuring Special Guest Judge T. Michael Peay
11/19/2020 4th Annual BPIA Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Economic Outlook Forum w/ IMF & USADF
11/18/2020 Diversity in the Intelligence Community: National Geospatial Agency (NGA) Career & Student Opportunities w/ Kenny Rios NGA Recruiter
10/07/2020 Increasing Your Visibility: Tips for Creating an Unforgettable Presence (Webinar)
08/25/2020 2020 BPIA Diversity in International Affairs Virtual Conference and Career Fair: Enrollment for Sponsors and Exhibitors Only
07/14/2020 Think & Drink | Climate Change & the Diaspora Amid the Time of Covid-19
05/28/2020 "BPIA & Council on Foreign Relations: Why Diversity Matters in International Affairs Careers and Opportunities in Think-Tanks"
05/22/2020 "The Intersection Between Academia and Foreign Policy" with Harvard Ph.D. Candidate, Naima Green-Riley
05/18/2020 "Peace Corps: Living a Life of Service" featuring Peace Corps Director of Programming and Training, Aleya Horn Kennedy
05/15/2020 BPIAChats Speaker Series: Integrating Women into Botswana's Defense Force Sara V. Simmons, COL (Ret), US Army
05/13/2020 Choosing Public Service: Why Diverse Voices in International Affairs Matters
05/13/2020 Comprehensive National Security: Strengthening Civilian-Military Partnerships
02/19/2020 Think & Drink | Human Trafficking: Domestic Impacts and Implications
01/25/2020 Celebrating Three Decades of Services: BPIA Annual Membership Meeting
12/07/2019 Annual Members' Meeting and Mentoring Workshop (originally scheduled for December 7th) are Postponed. Additional Details Will Follow Shortly.
11/26/2019 BPIA African Economic Outlook Forum
10/16/2019 BPIA-TLG Career Expo at Howard University
09/28/2019 African Heritage Day
03/30/2019 BPIA Mentoring Series: The Future of Work
12/08/2018 BPIA Annual Membership Meeting
11/12/2018 African Economic Outlook Forum sponsored by BPIA
BPIA membership is open to all applicants who support our mission and goals without regard to race, religion/creed, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual preference or identity.

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